I’m going to post some thoughts from during my vacation. Here are the first of them.
January 28, 2009. On a bus from Osaka to Tokyo
Something Dan said to me last night: “In ministry, there are needs, opportunities, and your giftings. Meetings needs and seizing opportunities is good, but in the long run, you will be most content working out of your giftings.”
As I begin reading Revolution in World Missions, about KP Yohannan’s work as an itenerant evangelist, I weep for Japan and know that here, even if you moved from place to place and slept in ditched and preached on street corners, few would still come to Christ. No one would beat you, but no one would be saved.
Only the Spirit can break these barriers. I pray for His outpouring, for there is no other hope. Lord, could it be that You have willed a hardening at this time? Could such a terrible thing be true? How can that change?
Reading KP’s book, I want to weep. In India, there are signs, wonders, mirales, and loads of converts. Loads of established churches. Yet here, in 日本、 we see nothing. It is like this night, driving along a highway through the darkness. While KP Yohannan has dreams of the harvest and reaching them through the bridge of hope, as I look out my window in this dark night, there is scarcely a street light, and now and then a green sign or tiny lamp. For all intents and purposes, there is nothing out there and never will be. Oh Lord, you will bring your dawn, but the night is so long, so dark!
Well, as much as I’d like to go work in the ripe fields of India, I’m not needed. Nor called. However, I am called here! And so, it is my lot to speed blindly through the dark, unseeing.
I’d love to visit India, see some of their work, but to me, perhaps, reading of it is enough while I stumble blindly through the harvest fields at night.
I must repeat again the words of Gimli son of Gloin upon his departure from Lothlorien, for they ring so true in this life: “Why did I come on this quest? Little did I know where the chief peril lay! Truly Elrond spoke, saying that we could not forsee what we might meet upon our road. Torment in the dark was the danger that I feared, and it did not hold me back. But I would not have come, had I known the danger of light and joy. Now I have taken my worst wound in this parting, even if I were to go this night straight to the Dark Lord. Alas for Gimli son of Gloin!” (Fellowship of the Ring)
See, today I played sports with some JCCC staff and a few American Crusade staff serving in Japan. It was fun. The Americans spoke amazing Japanese. They’ve used it a lot, versus my isolation. It was fun. Oh God, even though I am still a little sick, it was good to fellowship. So good. Yet even now, after leaving a slight cloud settles on me. That of friendlessness, isolation, and a hard, hard ministry that doesn’t seem to fit me well.
How in the world am I to go back to Shikoku? And what will I do there to find fellowship?
Lord, the surrendered life seems impossible to me. The far-off, joyous cries of SLO still echo in my ears. My own tears resound from the soil of Tadotsu. Kagawa-cho is shrouded in かすみ mist before me. I feel like it is unreasonable and terrible of God to send me back there to be all alone again. And yet… it is the road to victory. It is the road to the field of Cormallen. And sometimes the hardest part is leaving a place of beauty. And what I have experienced today was beautiful. The simple joy of hanging out with people my age.
Oh Lord, help me to walk this dark road that You have me on, and trust You in it, even as I journey back to Shikoku.
9 months. 九ヶ月 have passed. And I feel like I shall never be anything but lonely – unless I falter and return to the states. But if I do that, I will live the rest of my life in regret. Though God’s grace would shine upon me even then that I should not. Yet the laughter of SLO, still ringing in my mind, seems a thing so lofty and full that it shall never be heard again, in no form, no matter what I do. I feel like things will never get better, because I see no signs of such.
But that is not true.
But that is not true.
It has not always been like this; it shall not always be like this. There is hope.
I see no signs, no way of things improving while I am in my current situation, and 1 1/2 years seems an eternity to spend there.
Oh God, the situation is hopeless. I have no hope in this world nor in circumstances. My only hope is in You. Please come through.
I suppose my only comfort is that I have done this for the Name, and God takes care of His people.