And you will be secure; because there is hope. Yes, you would dig around you, and take your rest in safety. ~Job 11:18
(A memory verse I am going through with two of the youngest children at the school I am volunteering at.)
Throughout these past couple years, God has been showing me who I am compared to who He is. This has helped me to learn to love God and see my value in His eyes. I have spent many days and nights in inner turmoil and prayer asking God to reveal Himself to me and make me more like Him.
I now see God’s hand in my everyday life as I trust and rely more and more on Him for wisdom and guidance from His Word. I understand His bigger and better story for my life than I could every see. The days when school seems unbearable and I cannot see past the end of my own nose come and go, but God is faithful through it all.
Before and during my summer internship with Pastor Joshua, my focus began turning towards loving others. I had been reading a lot of the gospels and had seen how Jesus connected with people and served them. Through these, I began to see how much God loves His people. My heart began to yearn to understand that love, not for my own good but to spread it to others. This sentence may sound crazy, but I was willing to do whatever it took to learn to love others as God loved them.
That is why, when the thought of possibly doing a mission trip in Japan came up this year, I did not immediately shy away from it like I would normally do. I was willing to see it through and take the opportunity if it became available.
As I have learned to listen and obey God, He has given me the courage, peace, and joy that truly has surpassed my circumstances. This has allowed me to be open to learning and serving. I caught a plane by myself across the Pacific Ocean to Japan, dance hula in front of a church I have never met before (on my first day), been out for entire days and still have energy left to spend more time with people, teach children English, speak in front of people who don’t speak the same language as me, make new friends within weeks, leave my Hawaii family and friends (temporarily for now) for new family and friends, etc.
So far, I caught a plane by myself across the Pacific Ocean to Japan, danced hula in front of many people I have never met before (on my first day), been out all day (multiple days in a row) and still had energy left, taught children English, taught hula, made new friends, left my Hawaii family and friends (temporarily for now) for new family and friends, etc.
The people here in Yonezawa are so kind and warm. They really care for others and look out for each other’s best interests. I will be sharing more about them in a future blog, but they have taught me so much already.
God is working on my heart here in Japan. I don’t know what He is doing, but I am excited to find out. I am so grateful for what God has allowed me to do and experience so far. I still do not know God’s full plan for where He wants me, and I doubt I ever will. I do know that through His confirmation through you, people in Japan, and others that this is where He wants me right now.
Thank you, friends and family, for all your support! I hope this blog was as encouraging for you to read as it was for me to write.
You are in my prayers as well. May God bless you!
~ Love, Erin