Entering week three I find myself struggling with something a bit different. Where does my focus need to be? I want to be His hands and feet. I want to be salt and light. The sheer magnitude of what has happened, and is happening, in Japan can become my sole focus if I'm not careful. It's never far from my thoughts and prayers. It is bad for relief efforts and such to occupy so much of our time? I don't think so. Yet, I know that He has led me, and our family, to other priorities as well. I need His wisdom to discern where the focus should be....His clarity to know which opportunities are distractions and which are God-driven change of directions.
I also find myself tearing up at strange times....random times....If I think too much of those who have lost everything, when I hear of one more need, when I hear yet another rumor of what may happen to Americans stationed over here....emotions are close to the surface.
I've prayed for 2 years that God would give me His heart for Japan. I struggle with a wide range of emotions...hope that the cultural narrative will change providing a bridge for the gospel, disappointment in those whose goal seems to be "saving face" more than helping citizens, astonishment and awe at the good I see in this lovely culture...and yet...knowing that this nation needs Jesus.
I've been frustrated at the ever-changing rumors in the military community. I've been frustrated at red tape that can't seem to flex to accommodate the current crisis. I've been in awe of godly chaplains doing all they can to serve the needs of their troops and their neighbors in this beautiful host country we live in. I'm in awe of so many on base who are giving day after day to local clean up efforts, giving time and money to buy food for stricken areas etc. The need doesn't end. It won't end for some time. Will the door of opportunity to GIVE end? I don't know.
I've been given projects to run with and am learning sometimes projects take us places we don't expect to go.... God makes a way through red tape...compassion and mercy must be tempered with patience and understanding...sometimes things move so fast you wonder if you are guiding a program or being run over by a program.....
I find our plans to travel to see the girls' graduation sort of "up in the air" as no one knows what will happen day to day in Japan.
Through it all I pray for Japan to see the love of God....for us to make the most of this time in history...we dare not miss this opportunity to be His salt and light.
I also spent some time today meeting with our upcoming retreat speaker, changing details for that, preparing local PWOC board reports, preparing for an upcoming regional Skype Board Meeting, preparing for Bible studies...
Please continue to pray for Japan's cultural narrative to shift...allowing for humility and acceptance of gifts. Please pray for leaders to make decisions in the best interest of citizens and not out of a need to be independent and to "save face". Pray for Team Misawa - divided in location at this point....spouses in the states and spouse in Japan. Pray for military leaders to make good decisions and for those good decisions to be LISTENED to further up the chains of command.
This isn't very pretty...but it's real.
Living all of life before the face of God...