Still it longs to be near You. (Japan)

Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.

If everything we have been through forms a memory in our head, then this trip to Kumamoto has formed a memory in my heart. A memory that can never be erased. I felt so ever strongly about this place that I have grown to love, and it was hard to leave when my heart wished I could do more. When a friend released a word of knowledge into my life today, the question was,” why wait? what is holding you back when you already clearly know what you want?” When God is with me, I can do it through Christ who strengthens me.

Even though, this prophetic word spoke the desire of my heart clearly, I know that leaving would require preparation. Preparation for the things I need to do, and equipped to do the greater things. That as Paul knows that all he is going through was a time of preparation before he was thrown into jail, so I know that all this is a preparation before I went out to do the great works for Him. Paul did not have an easy life on his way to Rome, and despite having the choice to leave, Paul stayed on to serve the Lord with this course.

And I do, I desire to serve the Lord like Paul did. That at the end of every hard pressed day, perplexed day, I would still choose the Lord. And trust that the Lord did make a way for me the nothing in this world could make my heart waver. My cry and my heart desire was always to be near the Lord. It is definitely not easy to hang on till the day dreams come to pass, but I know this desire and passion I have for the Lord will never burn away again. Because His great love has always compelled me to want to do more for Him. That my life should not be just stuck in the social norm of studying and working, getting married and having kids, and raising my kids right. There are people out there that needs Him.

That my dreams might get crushed because people do not understand why I will still choose to leave over and over again, but I will uphold my dreams tightly in my heart. Because even though, Jesus knew it was hard to head to the cross, Paul knew it was hard to get thrown into the prison, one thing we all knew was that, it is the right thing to do. And if it is the right thing to do, then go, go and hear of the Lord’s word.

And unknowingly 1 corinthians 9:19-23 became the verse for my life.

19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

Because I clearly know that Jesus loves people, and if I want to be close to God, I have to love His people. All of His people and my desire grew stronger to head out to love people, because it will be the only place where I won’t have any restraints or fear. And the only place where I can love people fervently and draw close to God. When others commented that I became quieter in class, it’s because I know that whatever I have been through can never be verbalized with just words. I will be back soon, Japan. Real soon. And I am excited to see revival sparking in Japan.

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Laying my dreams on the altar.

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Habakkuk 2:2-3 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

So I wrote my vision, and make it plain. That it is my deep desire to go to Japan and start a Children Ministry, standing in that gap for the kids.

All along, I knew I was different. Someone who is different from the rest, and sometimes, it is a little hard to connect with others or even convey my thoughts. All along, I knew clearly that all this things that I am going through here is a preparation for me to go out somewhere to reach out to little children, or people. And this is a dream that has been residing in my heart for the past 6 years. I never exactly had a clear path of where I wanted to go, but somehow God has made this Japan trip so significant. That every single time, I talked about the kids there, my heart is overwhelmed. And the presence of God send chills down my spine.

Yet, one of those things that got to me was people telling me that it is impossible. People who knew me well, told me that I could not have been the one God called. That I should be staying here to run the vision of the ministry. Yet, despite the fact that I love my ministry, I knew that it was not God’s call in my life. That this place, so beautiful, yet it will never be able to capture all of me. That if I were to die today, my life would be filled with the regrets of not chasing what God has intended for me. And I entered into SOT with the same way, writing down my vision that I will be at SOT 2016, and here I am studying.

People always say that there is seldom a chance that I will go crazy over a guy, but what if I can assuredly say that I can’t date someone who loves this place too much, that he won’t be able to leave this place. It will hinder my love for running after the One, the presence that I needed more than anything. That a guy could never be an obstacle of me running to where I should belong.

And I know that this could only be a God given dream, because despite the fact that people say no, people who poured cold water into my dreams, I held on. I held on to what I believe. And this trip to Japan opened my eyes, and help me see part of my dreams coming to pass. That standing in this gap, running after God’s heart, chasing His love is more precious than all the treasures in the world.

What makes it easy to give? Because when I was lost and running on empty, God poured out His spirit on me. And gave me a desire that no one could satisfied. To know the feeling of not having, hurting myself and seeking to end my life, then I saw life. Amazing life, that Jesus poured for me, into me. And since then, my heart has not wavered into giving to His people. That as long as I can, giving should never be a hindrance in my life to His people.

So I will write it down, and make it plain, that in September 2017, I want to move to Japan, and reach out to the kids there, living on God’s grace entirely. And even though I know that till the day dreams coming to pass, holding on will be the toughest thing to do, I will hold on. And even when all else fail, I will stand.

Overcoming fear with faith

`“Overcoming what frightens you the most strengthens you the most.”

In the book of Daniel 6, the story talks about Daniel in the lion den. Daniel was betrayed by the administrators in the King’s courts. They were envy of him and set out to device a plan and got king Darius to sign a decree that everyone could only worship the King. When Daniel heard of it, he went home to pray three times a day on his knees and give thanks to God. In Daniel 6:16-22, Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den. However, when morning came, Daniel was found unscathed and the lion mouth was shut.

Our faith in God is our confidence when faced with fears
Daniel had a strong faith in God, and his confidence in Jesus was unwavering. In face with his fears of going into the lion’s den, Daniel knew that God would be with him. He had the confidence that God would never leave of forsake him. In the bible, Psalms 118:6 The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? Daniel’s faith in God was not limited to just his circumstances.

Before I went to Japan for the disaster relief, many people have been asking me why would I risk my life in an earthquake zone for others. At that point of time, I was really afraid too. Yet I held on to my faith and confidence in Christ. I had a peace within me, that everything was going to be fine, just like how Daniel had peace within him even in the lion’s den knowing that if God is for us, who can be against us. And it turn out that I am fine. 

Our faith in God is our weapon in face with fears
Our faith is like light and our fear is like darkness. Just like how only light can drive out darkness, only our faith in God can cast out fear. And this faith in God is our is the weapon to cast out all fears that the demons place in us. The definition of F.E.A.R is false evidence appearing real. And only having that faith in God could remove our fears.

The verse Psalms 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me. 

The definition of shadow:a dark figure or image cast on the ground or some surface by a body intercepting light

Even in the midst of the valley of shadow of death, there will still be some intercepting light. And the intercepting light is the light of Christ. The faith that we have in Christ is like the weapon that can cast out our fear. The intercepting light is there is the same as the rod and the staff – It is used both for guiding and defending the flock. Therefore having faith in God is one of the most powerful weapon we can have against our fear.

During the trip to Japan, we were supposed to carry debris down a 11th storey building which was completely split into half by the earthquake. In order to get to the lift, we had to cross this 30cm hole. As I looked down, I could see the ground level. And I was shivering in fear. However, I decided to say a prayer, and take a step of faith to believe that my God will protect me. And this faith I had, became a weapon for me. Soon, I was no longer deceived by the circumstances I was going through. I conquered my fear of crossing the gap, and it made the job afterwards much easier.

Our faith in God is our confidence and weapon against our fear. If we hold on to this faith and use it against our fears, we will soon realize that there isn’t any fear that could get to us. Because Jesus is the alive, and if He is with us, who can stand against us? Daniel’s faith in Jesus eventually became his confidence and weapon in the lion’s den, and God delivered him from the wilderness.

He wrote in my heart (Japan).

201Before I went to Japan, so many people has been questioning me over this trip. There were so many noises that flood through my head.

Why are you going?
Why are you risking your life for people you don’t even know?
Why are you heading to a disaster zone, and being unsure if you could come back?

This were the common questions that I have heard throughout before heading over to Japan. It set me thinking real hard. Why did I go? But before explaining why did I go, I could clearly tell you what I have gained from going to this trip.

I have gained/learned..

  • meaningful friendships with people all around Japan who came to serve without a second doubt. The 1% Christians from all around Japan came to help. They connected with Kumamoto Harvest Church, and came so willingly to serve their own people. This are the people who must have love God and His people so deeply to travel 16 hours to meet the needs of their people.
  • the grace of God even more deeply. Those things that we do the past few days would not have been achieved without the grace of God. The strength and power of God by overcoming our fears, the heaviness and the tiredness over the early days, and late nights.
  • of humility. That laying your life down at the cross is doing the simple and basic things of life. That no matter what your position is, it is just a title. That as pastors in different churches, many of them could just clean the toilets and washed the feet of the people who lost their home.
  • of what one simple action could do. What giving a sweet to a 93 years old lady could do. How that one hug, and one touch could do for her. And how all this turn into the appreciation of what my Lord has for me.
  • the joy of serving God’s people. That I always feel so alive serving God’s people and His kingdom. That even simple task like cleaning and cooking for them could have made me laughed, and satisfied.
  • and just being there to meet the needs of the people. Knowing that in all things, God has a greater purpose for me.

and more than that, I have a new deep desire to start a children ministry in Japan, and to reside there. So many children that needs Japan are over there. I love the warm country and its people.

Why did I go?
Because God has called me too. He called me out of the darkness into His marvelous light, so I could shine for the glory. I was scared too. But somehow, the peace of God has always surrounded my heart, and I know that I was going to be safe. Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” This was the verse that got me through all the times that I shivered in fear, in lost, in unknowing. Even the times when I was scared, I knew God was with me. He was and had gone before me. And all that I feel about Japan could not have been expressed out in just words. He wrote this words, visions and dreams in my heart. Japan, you helped me do what was deemed impossible with man, but only with God. And through this, I drew closer to the heart of God. 

私は日本に行く前、非常に多くの人々がこの旅の上に私を疑問視されています。私の頭をあふれさせるように多くのノイズがありました。

なぜ、あなたは行くの?
なぜあなたは、あなたも知らない人のためにあなたの人生を危険にさらしていますか?
なぜあなたは被災地に向かって、あなたが戻ってくることができればわからないされていますか?

これは私が日本に渡って向かう前に全体で聞いたことがある一般的な質問でした。これは、実際のハード考えて私を設定します。なぜ私は行きましたか?しかし、私は行かなかった理由を説明する前に、私は明らかに私がこの旅行に行くから得ている何を言うことができます。

私が学ん/得ています..

  • 第二の疑いもなく仕えるために来たすべての日本の人々と有意義な友情。全国各地から1%のクリスチャンが助けに来ました。彼らは熊本ハーベスト教会に接続され、自国民に奉仕するように喜んで来ました。これには、深く愛神と神の民を持っている必要があり、それらの人々のニーズを満たすために16時間を旅行する人々です。
  • より一層深く神の恵み。我々は、過去数日間行うそれらのものは、神の恵みなしに達成されなかったであろう。強さとパワー神の私たちの恐怖を克服することで、重さと早期日間の疲労感、そして夜遅くまで。
  • 謙遜の。クロスであなたの人生を敷設は人生のシンプルで基本的なことをやっていること。それは関係なく、自分の位置が何であるか、それだけのタイトルではありません。それは別の教会で牧師として、それらの多くは、ちょうどトイレをきれいにし、彼らの家を失った人たちの足を洗っ可能性があります。
  • 1つの単純なアクションは何ができるかの。どのような93歳の女性に甘いを与えることを行うことができます。どのように1抱擁、ワンタッチは彼女のために行うことができます。そして、どのようにこのすべては私の主は私のために持っているものの鑑賞に変わります。
  • 神の民にサービスを提供する喜び。私はいつも神の民と彼の王国を提供するので、生きている感じています。洗浄、彼らのために調理などあっても、簡単な作業では、私は笑っなされたものであり、満足している可能性があります。
  • ちょうど人々のニーズを満たすためにそこにいます。すべての事に、神は私のためのより大きな目的を持っていることを知ります。

そしてそれ以上に、私は日本の子供たちのミニストリーを開始すると、そこに存在する新しい深い欲求を持っています。日本を必要とするので、多くの子どもたちがあそこにあります。私は暖かい国とその人々を愛しています。

なぜ私は行きましたか?
神はあまりにも私を呼んでいるので。彼は彼の素晴らしい光に闇の私を呼ばれるので、私は栄光のために輝くことができます。私はあまりにも怖がっていました。しかし、どういうわけか、神の平和がいつも私の心を囲まれている、と私は私が安全であるとしていたことを知っています。ヨシュア1:9わたしはあなたに命じたではありませんか。強く、勇敢です。恐れることはありません;どこにいてもあなたがたの神、主があなたとなりますために、落胆することはありません。 “これは私が無知で、失われた中で、恐怖に震え常にを通して私を得た詩だった。私は怖がっていたとしても倍、私は彼がいた。神が私と知っていたし、私の前に行っていた。そして、私は日本について感じているすべては言葉だけにして表現されていませんでした。彼は私の心にこの言葉、幻や夢を書いた。日本、あなたは私が行う助け何が人間では不可能と思われたが、唯一の神と。そして、これを通じて、私は神の心に近づいていきました。