My flight was delayed for four hours. So instead of arriving at 1 a.m. in Tokyo and being able to get some sleep, the plane touched down at 5 a.m. So, I jumped straight into seeing Japan by visiting Tsukiji Market (fish market). I had the best sushi breakfast for my first morning in Japan.
I had my list of things I wanted to do: visit galleries and museums, eat Japanese food, and many other activities. I had it all planned. But one by one, my dream trip started to crumble. Most of the museums and galleries were closed, either for renovation or in preparation for another exhibition. Even the anime center was closed because they were moving. My day tour to Mt. Fuji and Hakone fell on the only day in my entire trip that had no sunshine or blue skies, instead we had snow. I did not get even a single glimpse of the graceful iconic mountain. I started to complain, how could a trip that started so wonderfully (even with the delayed arrival, I had a great breakfast) take a turn for the worse?
But then I asked myself, What am I complaining about, really? That things did not going according to my plan? Maybe this trip was not about my plans, but God’s!
This made me think of my life in general. I had it all planned out without asking where God figured in my plans.
True enough, God had bigger plans. Little did I know that this trip was the beginning of God leading me to a mission trip to Japan.
On the last day of my trip, I booked a kenjutsu (sword fighting) class and, unlike the other plans, this one went well. After class, I had the opportunity to interact with locals over late yakitori (meat grilled on a skewer). This uplifted my mood about the whole trip. I wanted to share Jesus to them, but time was short and their English limited.
Japan is worthy of its reputation as one of the top travel destinations. As a designer I admire this country for its abundance of intentional design, good planning, and excellent workmanship. From a small mochi packaging (pounded rice) to the tallest skyscraper in Tokyo, good design and careful thought behind each detail is obvious. Unfortunately, these are all most tourists see. During my trip, God allowed me to see beyond that. He led me to see that Japan would even be more beautiful and extraordinary if Jesus was in the hearts of the people.
At the time of writing Meg was serving in Japan for one year doing Media and helping out with a student ministry called fmZERO in Hokkaido.
Will you pray for Japan?
- Pray for short term missionaries to come and serve in Japan. Pray they’ll be able to discern God’s plans for them.
- Pray for more visitors to Japan to see beyond the beauty and perfection in Japan, to see the need in Japanese people’s hearts for Jesus.