In our staff meetings at CBI, we have been studying the armor of God. Last week we looked at the “shield of faith.” (check it out in Ephesians chapter 6). A shield can protect you from arrows, swords, and most other forms of attack. BUT the Romans figured out that when they combined their shields together, they became impenetrable. Check out the “tortoise formation” used by ancient roman armies:
We can learn a lot as we read this scripture through the lens of Roman military tactics. First, when they worked together to make a larger shield they were protected not only from arrows pointed directly at them but also from the ones falling down on them or sneaking up beside them. In the same way, God doesn’t put us on the mission field field alone. As we fight Satan’s attacks (which cause us to doubt God’s love or be discouraged in our work here in Japan), God uses our team to protect us and renew our faith in him.
Our team in Japan is vital to our well-being. In the last week we had to say goodbye to a dear family on our team, but also got to say hello to a new teammate. All of these changes are an important reminder to us that we are a family and dependent on each other for protection! We are also dependent on our supporters back in the States who pray for us and encourage us. We appreciate your financial support, your letters of encouragement and most of all your prayers for us as we fight this battle. Satan loves to attack when he sees God’s work being carried out, but we honestly can say that we feel so protected as we stand with so many people who also love Christ and want to see his news bring hope to people in Japan.
Secondly, we learn about the importance of preparation from the Roman army. Before building that fancy wall of shields they would dip them in water so that when flaming arrows came toward them they would immediately be extinguished. From this we learn the value of preparing before we step out onto the battle field. But instead of hosing down, we cover ourselves in prayer. Thank you for praying for us and with us during our 9 months so far in Japan. We FEEL those prayers. A Japanese friend was over for dinner the other night and asked how our transition to Japan has been for us. When I told her that it has been different but not difficult like we were expecting, she said “wow you must have so many people praying for you.” It’s true!! You, our support team and family, have lifted us up to our Father and we feel so protected!
Would you please continue to stand behind our giant shield with us lifting us up in prayer?
For our family – for protection of our health, marriage, and time together (as we figure out our new schedule of balancing life with the queen, ministry and language school)
For our team – as we adjust to changes on both of Japan team and GYFM team that we would continue to communicate well and keep our focus on Christ and his kingdom!
For our ministry – as we build relationships with college students and TCKs in Nagoya that God would protect and grow those relationships to bring people into his family and offer them eternal protection.