Waiting, Witnessing, Celebrating – I am moving to Japan!!!

To You, O LORD, I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in You; Let me not be ashamed; Let not my enemies triumph over me. Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed; Let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause. Show me Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day.

Who is the man that fears the LORD? Him shall He teach in the way He chooses.

Psalms‬ ‭25:1-5, 12

The waiting season, we all dread it, we all wish it over the moment it begins. I’ve had a great deal of time the past couple of months waiting, reflecting upon the goodness of the Lord in the process. In this waiting, I’ve had the time to think about the past waiting(s). It encourages me as I see how waiting is always worth it.

I want to show you a picture of a note I’ve written in my diary a year ago. It was written when God was telling me to finally go to Japan. It was happening and I was very thrilled about it.

The note probably doesn’t make sense to you guys; trust me, it didn’t when I first received them, I just wrote them down anyway. I’ve even noted the dates (good tip!) so that in case it did make sense, I’ll be able to backtrack to when it was foretold. I didn’t realise then that they were telling of things expected in the days ahead in Japan; the mountains, the flights, spending my Chinese New Year in Singapore, even the martial arts part. I believed I mentioned somewhere that I got to learn Wing Chun while I lived and worked in the udon shop. I was expecting more the likes of kendo, learning how to be a samurai, or at least some form of Japanese martial art, but wow, I loved every moment of practice and am thankful I got to learn such a beautiful art from a wonderful sifu. Living with a family was definitely the greatest blessing! I left for Japan without knowing a single person in Hokkaido, but God promised me a family. Not just one, but a few. It was my favourite part of the trip.

Everything on this list has happened except the last two. For a long time I assumed that everything would happen around the same time. I expected to apply for a long-term visa before I left in February, but it didn’t happen. I wasn’t okay with flying in blind, but it turned out to be exactly what I needed to grow in my relationship with Him. It was a training period.

I was discouraged for awhile, thinking it wouldn’t happen. However, now as I am actually applying for a work visa, this little note showed me once again His faithfulness.

Who is the man that fears the LORD? Him shall He teach in the way He chooses.

Psalm 25:12

Wow this is exciting! I’m so happy I get to share Okinawa with you guys!
Okinawa’s been on my mind for a long long time now. My host and friend, Rie-san, told me about Okinawa whilst I was living with her family in Bifuka, Hokkaido. She had this children’s book called ‘The Sad Song of Okinawa’, telling the battle of Okinawa in World War II in the perspective of two village children.

Japan was badly affected by the war, particularly down the southern islands. Many Japanese today are still haunted by the past, by what their country and ancestors went through during those dark days. Rie-san shared about all of this and of her own experiences when she travelled to Okinawa a few years ago. She heard many sad stories and met people who were personally scarred by the war.

With regards to the war and Japan, I can say I know very little. What I’ve known through History lessons were how brutal and cruel the Japanese were during the war towards the countries they have occupied (Singapore being one of them), but never about how they too were victims of such a tragic moment in time.

My eyes were opened a little bit more after those conversations with Rie-san. It wasn’t much, but it was the beginning of curiosity, desire and, eventually, petitions towards a loving Father for their healing and restoration.

Since returning to England for summer, I’ve spent a significant amount of time looking into heading back to Japan. I have fallen completely in love with the country and wasn’t ready to let it go yet. I began applying for various things; jobs, ministry opportunities, whatever could lead to an open door back there. I thought about Okinawa, but decided to knock on doors nationwide anyway.

It became apparent that what I wanted was what He wanted too when the only doors open led to Okinawa. I applied for dozens of jobs nationwide, most of which were in the Kansai area. There wasn’t much in Okinawa, only two in fact; and it was just those two that responded. I never heard from the rest, not even a rejection letter.

I honestly have no clue what’s ahead besides the work, which itself is exciting! I know I have a part to play in fulfilling their vision for the children of Okinawa (can’t wait!) Other than this, I am basically starting from scratch. All my contacts are hours away by plane in Hokkaido, nowhere within reach. It doesn’t dampen the joy I feel though, I am going back!!

I haven’t quite worked out on how this will happen, but I want to worship on the different islands of Okinawa. Okinawa is made up of many islands, about 160 in fact, 48 of which are inhabited. I don’t know how, but I long to sail to those islands to simply pray and sing. Let’s see how it’ll turn out! Leave it all to Him.

Check back again soon! This is fun!

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