Last week I had the extreme pleasure of joining 24 other missionaries for a week-long conference in Atlanta. The conference (“Launch”) was held at the home office of Mission to the World, the organization I will be serving alongside while in Japan. I cannot say enough how much of a blessing the whole week was. Thank you so much to those of you who prayed ever so faithfully for me – your prayers were felt throughout the week!
I mentioned briefly in my last update how excited I was that I would be meeting new people with hearts to spread the gospel in so many different parts of the world. Little did I know just how wonderful of an experience meeting these people would be. “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, 'Your God reigns.'” (Isaiah 52:7) I want you all to know, it isn't just the feet of these people that makes them so beautiful. To see these hearts with a passion for the nations to call on the name of our Savior; the love they have for those they have yet to meet, for those who have yet to know our King; their desire and earnestness to GO – how beautiful! From day one, friendships were established and stories after stories were told. (A majority of those at this event had previously been involved in overseas missions.)
|Out to dinner at a Greek restaurant with new friends!|
The purpose of Launch was orientation for preparing to go on the mission field. The talks, strategies, and exercises were challenging in the best ways possible, and I am beyond thankful for the MTW staff that dedicated so much time to bless us. I enjoyed getting to talk with the staff over meals and break times and building relationships with those who will be helping me specifically as I head to Japan. It was really neat to see the gifts God has given each of these individuals and how they use them in assisting missionaries far and near.
During Launch, a Vision conference was taking place in the same building. This was for those who felt called to missions, but weren't particularly sure where God was calling them. Team leaders from mission fields all over the world came together to give a better vision of the work being done in the countries they are serving. Thanks to these overlapping conferences, I was able to reconnect with Dan Iverson, the team leader of Japan, who also happened to be my host dad both times I served in Chiba, the city to which I will be returning. It was such a blessing to catch up, laugh, and speak Japanese together. It was encouraging to be so involved with Launch and have someone there to remind me of the place and people I will be serving.
|Catching up with Dan|
Thanks to the Vision conference, I also got to meet a couple that is seriously considering becoming missionaries in Japan, maybe even in Chiba! It was such a blast to talk with them and answer their questions about Japan. (I'm all about getting people excited for anything Japan related!) It would be neat to meet them in Chiba. Here's praying!!
The whole experience was truly remarkable, and I am thankful for the abundance of friends and information I gained. (It's amazing all the connections I made with friends of mutual friends. I long to see the day when we all meet in the throne room and rejoice together in the presence of the Ultimate Connection!) I am excited to share with you all how you can be involved in my ministry to Japan, and how important of a role you hold! For now, I continue to ask for your prayers as God continues to lead me down this road. There are many unforeseen struggles ahead, but I believe in a big God who will carry me through and guide me in His steps! I pray I will continue to look to Him for guidance, and that I would honor and glorify Him with my life.
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9)
|Last day of Launch - Introducing 25 newly approved MTW missionaries!|