When Seita and I first started talking about the possibility of moving to Japan as missionaries, I had 3 large concerns. Family, medical things, and language. I also had this idea that we were going to board a ship, wave goodbye, and say a ‘see you never’ in our hearts to everything we loved. I really was unschooled in the new ways of doing overseas missions.
I sat on the beach and chatted with a good friend a little while after Seita and I had started discussing Japan. God used her to build my faith to take small steps, not life-investing leaps. Seita was about to board a plane and head to Japan for the initial investigative trip. She asked me if I had faith for Seita to go and check things out. I said yes. God had given me faith for that. I had no doubt. I started to see that each decision, each step, would need to be dependent on God providing the faith.
As we walked through the next 20 months of making decisions, support raising, and attending cross-cultural training, God proved Himself faithful. During that time, those 3 concerns I initially had started to fade. They had become more part of the background. The more faith God gave me in what He was calling me to do, the less my concerns crowded my thoughts. In His kindness, He allowed me to see my concerns and my weaknesses, in order for Him to show me His power.
Although we did not board a ship, we did board a plane 2 years ago. Seita, myself, 4 young kids, 10 bags, some toys from the Target dollar section, and a small step of faith. We knew God would provide the faith for the next step after that. And in all honesty, the faith that He has given me has got nothing to do with me. Faith is a gift. We are simply recipients of this gracious gift. But, it’s God in whom we place our faith, in whom faith points to, and who provides our faith that is truly amazing. This amazing God keeps us dependent on Him by giving us faith in small doses.
I don’t know the perspective our kids hold of our new life in Japan. I suppose we all hear things we didn’t know our kids ever thought about until they are adults. Yikes. Part of their story will be about moving to Japan and following God’s call. I don’t know if we speak about faith enough in front of them, but I do know they are aware of our calling. I pray that they will somehow see how steps of faith have been woven into a pathway forward – even into a foreign country. I also pray that they will know God, who has and will direct the steps He gives them grace for. Baby steps are all I pray for, because only God knows that we can handle nothing more.