Are you looking for the nuts-and-bolts of “What to bring to Japan”? Originally I thought very practically about this question, too. But I realized it might be more helpful to consider what God wants us to bring instead.
After years of wanting to come to Japan, I finally arrived in March this year! I was beyond excited: ready and eager to be a part of God’s work in Japan for the next year.
But a few months into my placement, I began to feel quite unworthy of being here. Doubts and my own inadequacies filled my mind. Surely there were many more people who could speak Japanese competently, could teach English classes much better, and could reach out and engage more creatively with the community around us. So why me and not someone else more qualified?
But then God, in his loving and gracious way, began to correct my wrong thinking. God does not require perfection. Instead, he desires faithful, humble people who rely on him and have a heart to learn, listen, and grow.
2 Corinthians 3:5-6 (ESV) says, “Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be a minister of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit.”
God alone makes me sufficient for what he has called me to. God specifically brought me here, not someone more qualified. He is the One who gives the strength and sufficiency to minister to and love each person I meet. I simply need to keep my eyes on him, knowing he alone is the One who saves, and faithfully do the work that is asked of me.
Will you say yes to go where he sends you? To trust that he will work through your weaknesses? And to be faithful in all that he requests of you?
If you say yes, what should you bring? In my experience, you should bring:
A heart that trusts and relies on God to make you sufficient for each task.
A humble attitude to be willing to serve in any way.
Eyes that remain fixed on Jesus, knowing he is powerful and sufficient.
By Dena, a short-term OMF Missionary