Heading Out ... to Japan?!?
In just over a month, I'm heading to Japan. I going with some other regional pastors to learn more about how we can partner with local missionaries. I'm looking forward to my first trip out the country ( ... unless you count Canada), my first cross-cultural experience; and if I'm honest I'm a little intimidated as well. Nineteen hours of travel doesn't sound fun. "Why me, why do I get to go? What do I hope accomplish? What do I add to the team going?" These are the thoughts that have been running through my head, more so now that the trip is getting closer to reality.
The simplest answer is because I ( ... and we) are commanded to, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations ... " (Matthew 28:19 ESV) (Emphasis added). While I find it easier and more convenient to "go" across the street or even across town; that doesn't mean I don't have a responsibility to "go" to other nations.
Why am I going? Someone reached out to our church with the invite, and my lead pastor, who had other commitments, couldn't go, although he wanted to. After some checking and some prayer, it was decided that I'd go.
What to accomplish?
I hope to encourage the missionaries who are on the ground (1 Thes. 5:11, Heb. 10:25), one of whom we financially support as a church. I plan to do this by finding ways to serve (Gal. 5:13, 1 Peter 4:10).
What do I add to the team?
What I would like to add to this team of pastors who are going is the ability to exhort (Heb. 3:13) -- especially in the areas of children's, youth, family ministry, as well as in the area of discipleship.
I leave May 20th (my anniversary, by the way) and return on the 29th. Please be in prayer that God's work is done, His Kingdom is grown, and His Glory is displayed.