My calling to be staff first began with a simple understanding of God’s love for me and realizing He loves others with the same love He has for me. Although I grew up in the church, it was my involvement with Soon Movement in college where I grew the most in my love and identity in Christ. One of the most important things I learned was living out the Great Commission. Soon Movement’s big emphasis is to share the gospel. I am so amazed that God could give me His heart for the lost, if it weren’t for God I would never want to talk to strangers about Jesus. But as Soon Movement gave me opportunities to share the gospel on my campus at UC Santa Barbara and later in Japan. God gave me a glimpse of his heart for the lost.
Although Japan is a well-off country, it is only 1% Christian. I loved Japanese culture, anime, and music so it was heartbreaking to hear so many Japanese did not know Jesus’ love. After experiencing summer missions in Japan, I felt there was such a stronghold where hardly anyone thinks about, let alone feels the need for God. Despite this, God has been opening the hearts of the Japanese as I have seen my friends respond to His gospel year after year of summer missions.
After graduating, I didn’t even consider full-time ministry. I wanted to figure out my life and began applying for Christian counseling graduate programs. But God had different plans. A student from Japan came to LA to share his testimony to SOON Movement and urged us to come to Japan. God stirred up a new passion for me to go to Japan and share the good news. But worries of my future and concern for the family were high. As I wrestled with God, I realized one year was short and an opportunity to devote for 1 year of missions was a rare chance. Although my family was opposed to me going, I knew it was because their hope and security were not in God but in self-sufficiency. I made this decision to go to not only grow in trusting God for myself but to encourage my family to trust in Him too. I learned to entrust my family to God. Others in the church also encouraged me in this season God was teaching me to trust him with my family and seek first His kingdom. Then, as I was praying for a second year God opened the heart of my mom let me do missions for a second year. I saw God drawing my family closer to Him was as I was seeking His kingdom. As I was seeking what to do after my 2 years in Japan I reflected on Mark 10:29-30. So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, “who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time– houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions’” and in the age to come, eternal life. Eternal life. Jesus said, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and for the gospel will save it.” I once again prayed and wrestled with God about this promise. If He can really pull through for me and my family if I just seek to live for the gospel. I then came to 1 Kings 17 and saw how God led Elijah to a widow since he obeyed and trusted God to provide for Him, and ended up providing for the widow not just with food but the saving knowledge of who God is. I remembered how God worked in me and my family and was faithful for the 2 years, and I felt a big burden for myself and family was lifted. Then joy rushed inside me once I thought I could really go to Japan to share the gospel. This joy confirmed to me that it was God giving me the heart to go and was calling me.
Since then God has used this time of preparing and raising support to graciously the heart surgery I need in issues of pride, discipline, and capacity for building relationships. I’m learning that full-time ministry requires a lot from me, but I’m thankful that God’s calling on my life is enough to see me through because He is the founder and perfecter of my faith. I’m excited to take GCTC to learn more of God’s heart for me and His ministry, thank you for all your support for us as trainees.