This is how David responded when God’s people sacrificed to give all that was needed for the temple to be built:
“Praise be to you, Lord,
the God of our father Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting.
11 Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power
and the glory and the majesty and the splendor,
for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
Yours, Lord, is the kingdom;
you are exalted as head over all.
12 Wealth and honor come from you;
you are the ruler of all things.
In your hands are strength and power
to exalt and give strength to all.
13 Now, our God, we give you thanks,
and praise your glorious name.
But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.” – 1 Chronicles 29:10-14
We are humbled by the goodness of God and the generosity of his people and praise Him for bringing in 100% of our support!
You all have been there faithfully praying, giving, and encouraging every step of the way. But on May 13, as we take off from the Roanoke Airport, the real journey will begin. In other words, we need you now more than ever! Here are some things you can be praying for as we head to Japan:
1. Please pray for our physical health and safety as we travel.
2. Please pray for God to comfort our families as we leave them behind.
3. Pray for God to give us patience and grant us encouragement as we make a new home in an unfamiliar land. Everyday things like going to the grocery store or the bank will be exponentially more difficult as we’ll be without a car to transport our groceries and will have difficulty communicating initially. Even getting around on our bikes will be a struggle as we learn to read street signs and drive on the other side of the road. In light of all of that added stress, we’ll need extra grace, patience, and self-control. So please ask God for that on our behalf.
4. As we begin language school, we’ll need humility to try and fail and try again. We’ll also need God to help us guard against unproductive competition with one another. I suspect we’ll feel so out of place that any opportunity to stroke our own egos will be hard to resist. So we’ll need humility as we interact with one another regarding language acquisition and cultural assimilation. Ask God to help us function a team.
5. Please pray for love, grace, and mutual trust between us and the other missionaries we’ll be working with. One of the main reasons missionaries leave the field is because of the tension among their own teammates. Not only does that reflect poorly on the gospel, but it hinders the mission of God and can cause deep wounds that are no easily healed. Please pray for love and unity, for deep friendships, and for godly mentors.
6. We know that because we are doing God’s work, the Devil and all of his demons will be on the prowl, trying to throw us off from time to time. I don’t pretend to understand spiritual warfare or what form it will take, but I do believe it’s real and would ask that you would take up the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit in prayer our behalf.
7. Please pray for our hearts. Pray that they would be filled with nothing else but love for Jesus and the Japanese. We have no other reason to pick up and move across the ocean. So, if our love for the Japanese wanes, we’ll have no reason to stay in Japan. We’ll begin to complain about the culture and seek comfort in the familiar. And, if our love for Jesus wanes, we’ll run to other gods – comfort, prestige, and others – to give us what only God can give. Ask the Lord to turn our hearts toward him and the Japanese.
8. Finally, please ask God to bless our work. Psalm 127:1 reminds us: “Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.” We are well aware that unless the Holy Spirit shows up, our efforts are for naught and your giving has gone to waste. We need you to pray for God to use us because the Holy Spirit is the real powerhouse of missions.
An as you pray, please know that we are praying for you as well. Know that our hearts are with you and that we rejoice daily to know that we are in this thing together. May Jesus be glorified across Asia because of our partnership together in the gospel! We love you guys!