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My short term ministry trip feels like a vacation

I’m 24 years old and I’m a kindergarten teacher. I love teaching young children. But being a kindergarten teacher is a tough job and for the last couple of years I have been very stressed. I was always hoping for a quieter time in my life. To my surprise God decided to send me on a one-year “vacation” trip to Japan. That I always had had a big interest for Asia and Japan is another story to tell, but today I want to share with you why my short-term trip is a God-given vacation for me.

I remember how I prayed before I nervously went into my boss`s office to tell her officially that I wanted to apply for time off to take a year abroad. In my mind, I’d already signed my resignation documents. But my boss just smiled and said, “I will make sure that you get unpaid vacations.” One year later I went to the airport in Munich on my way to serve with OMF in Sapporo and my vacation began.

I thought I would have a very tight schedule after I arrived in Japan and be with the kids all day long. But God soon showed me that I’m on “vacation” with him. My main focus is to serve the missionary families at the language school. I help them take care of their children so they can focus on language learning and adjusting to life in Japan. I’m really enjoying it.

I spend a lot of time with the kids and their families, but I still have plenty of time to myself and to enjoy the presence of God. During these times I have realized that I missed this important time very often in my daily life in Germany. I realized that I need to learn again what it means to become still before God, listen to him, read his Word, and enjoy his presence.

Now, after a few months, I have realized that I had lost my focus on God and put him aside too many times in the last few years; he’s reminded me that he wants to be the center of my life. He sent me on an adventure in a completely different country with a very different culture to show me how much I need him. I’ve started to enjoy waking up in the morning to read my Bible and pray about everything that is on my mind and my plans for the day. Even in daily situations I have started to pray to him, when I don’t know how to deal with things here in Japan. I’m thankful—that he wants me to learn to be still in front of him, listen to him, and figure out what his plan for me is.

By Evelyn, OMF Serve Asia worker

Will you pray for Japan?

  • Pray for more people to follow God’s leading into mission: be it short-term or for a longer period.
  • Pray that missionaries wouldn’t lose their focus on God in the midst of the urgent and overwhelming needs in Japan.
  • Pray for short term workers to help with childcare in various places in OMF, especially the ongoing need for workers at national conferences and orientation courses.

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