Greetings again Brothers and Sisters! Thank you for your continued prayer and love for my team and me as God continues to use us as ambassadors for His name in Japan.
One of the values of the Tokyo BEST community is to help the students to grow in servant-leadership. Last Monday, my team and I were able to hear from four upperclassmen about how they have been able to grow in this area since they first joined Tokyo BEST. They discussed how servant-leadership is having a heart attitude to serve and love others in Tokyo BEST and to lead and be an example by serving. One of the staff said that we should evaluate our own lives and look at our heart attitudes when we serve. Another point that he made was that we should look at those who are younger than us and see if those people are also desiring to care and love others by serving them.
That same night, we took out the trash at the house I am staying at for the summer. The trashcans were very dirty and one of the fourth year students, Chiba, offered to help me clean the trashcans. I honestly didn’t want to help clean them because they were gross and it was a task I didn’t desire to do. But Chiba, who doesn’t live at the house, offered to help me and his heart attitude to want to serve and help me to do “the dirty work” really struck me.
That experience reminded me of John 13 when Jesus washed the disciple’s feet. Even though that was a task usually saved for those who were household slaves, Jesus humbly desired to serve His disciples and wash their feet. Jesus, who was God incarnate, was willing to do what the disciples likely did not want to do. Even more than washing the disciple’s feet, Jesus underwent mocking and pain from those who wanted to crucify Him and humbly gave Himself so that He could save us from our sins and death.
Chiba’s heart to want to serve not only me but also my other housemates, knowing that it was not an easy or highly sought after task to complete, touched me. It made me realize that a lot of times, my heart attitude in serving is not purely because I want to love and serve others. Many times it is out of selfishness and for pride, in hopes that people will praise me and thank me for what I have done. However, this is not how it should be. It should be out of a heart that truly desires to love and serve because God first loved and served us. May God mold my heart to serve and love others not for my own selfish desires but to do so because God has abundantly loved and served me.
This is a picture from our Shaberanaito (Sharing Night) on Friday and this was my discussion group. From Left to Right: Chiba, Ayumi, myself, Naotaka, and Riko
- God continues to teach and humble me and continues to teach my teammates.
- My friend Nami, whom God brought to San Diego to study abroad this past year, is staying in our area until this Friday. It has been a joy to be able to reconnect with her and see her as she also interacts with students. You can pray that God would be able to use her to plant seeds in these students as well as in the hearts of her friends and family as well as her transition back to life in Japan.
- Continued prayer for student’s tests. Students have finals until the end of the semester which is next Wednesday. Continue to pray that they would study hard and that our team would be an encouragement to them.
- Continued prayer for my team for both physical and spiritual rest as well as team unity.
- Next week, our team along with students and staff from Tokyo BEST will be traveling to the island of Oshima, a ferry ride away from the mainland. I have heard that it is a time to bond with students as we will be spending 4 days all together. We will be having group discussions and pair talks (which are one on one times). Pray that God would use my team and me to continue to plant seeds and deeply connect with students.
- You can also pray that I would continue to trust in God’s sovereignty and goodness for the salvation of these students. You can pray that I would remember that the blessing to be used by God to be able to plant seeds, even if I may never see the fruit, is a miracle and a true joy.
This is a group picture of my team, Tokyo BEST staff, and students after we were able to go to Karaoke last weekend!
Thank you so much all for all of your prayers and encouragement. It is such a blessing to have brothers and sisters in Christ like you that are able to support my team and me as we continue to do God’s work in Japan. Lots of love!