"Lord I present myself to Thee -
My will My property
My time My reputation
My talents My tongue
My entire being
To be and and to do anything
Thou requirest of me.
Now, as I have given myself away,
I am no longer my own but all the Lord's
I believe that Thu dost accept the offering I bring.
I trust Thee to work in me all the good pleasure
of Thy will. Amen."
This excerpts were taken from a Biography I read recently read called Sensei, The Life Story of Irene Webster Smith, the pioneer missionary to Japan. The writing above and her life testimony has truly challenged me to give my whole life fully to God, to be and to do anything that He has required of me. She's truly a woman of faith and her willigness to be given to God to do His wil has truly encouraged me.
My 32 travellling days in Japan was a really exciting one. Travelling along in Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya, Nagano, Tokyo and Karuizawa, I have visited more than 20 churches and met more than hundreds of people. During my time there, I have developed friendship and partnership with many local pastors and missionaries who were there for many years and most of all, my partners who travelled with me, Hannah, Makoto, Ken, and Akira had become very close and dear friends of mine after the 32 days. Seeing the spiritual dryness in this land and yet seeing in my 3 Japanese friends such passion and love in serving Him, has truly challenged and encouraged me to pray for this land and for the missionaries who were there for many years, toiling and struggling to build churches amongst people who are truly oblivious of the gospel.
127 million people with less than 0.5% Christians, I asked myself what I could do in the 32 days? I'm just in tears when I see how richly God has blessed the country of Japan, especially when you see the beauty of His creation, however, people are gripped and blinded by the idolatry that exists in this country from Shintoism, Buddhism to Materialism. It tears my heart when I did a Children's Program and when I asked do you know why we celebrate Christmas,no child gave me the right answer... They not only do not know Jesus, they have not even heard of His name. This is how unreached Japan is and it tears my heart to know that such a rich and developed country like Japan, yet people are so ignorant to the gospel. When I think about it, I can see how blessed the kids in our country are.
Driving through the famous Rainbow Bridge of Tokyo, I saw many nets hung over the bridge and I questioned the locals why the nets are hung and they explained that it is to prevent people from commiting suicide through jumping off the bridge. Japan has the highest percentage of people commiting suicide each year. When I was there i could not understand the reason to such spiritual poverty and emptiness in the peoples' lives and then I realised that it is because they do not have Jesus in their lives... We have tasted His love and has seen His glory, but these people have not heard, not seen and not understood the fullness of His love and glory.
Let's begin by going on our knees. Psalm 116:2 says, "Because he bends down and listens, I will pray as long as I have breath!" I have made a video that showed more what I did there during my 32 days in Japan and you can get the video from Evelyn. Please do take care and I want to wish all of you HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR and GONG XI FA CHAI!!!! Hugs and misses to all at home... Thank you so much and have a Blessed New Year... Hugs and misses to all in church...
In His Love, Ai Hua