Serving in Japan, Part 2
Call to Missions
On an unsuspecting day near Christmas break in high school, our freshman Bible teacher showed us a video about a teen ministry which took summer missions trips all over the world to preach the Gospel. In a darkened room full of chatty teenagers, I was gripped by the video and could not pull my eyes away. I went to my next class and told my friend that I had to go on a missions trip the next summer! She looked at me oddly and just said, “ok?”
That began God’s call to missions in my life. I went to India that summer and fell in love with sharing the Gospel with people who had never heard it. For a month, we did evangelistic dramas and saw the blind, deaf and lame healed. Many, many people were saved. The next summer I went back again for two months. Two years later my mom and a friend, who had been on both trips, went back to stay with the Pastor’s family and did a lot of discipleship and preaching in homes and at churches. I was eighteen at the time.
When I entered college, I was challenged to lay down my call to missions and wait for confirmation from the Lord–that I wasn’t going out of my own desire but out of a call from the Lord. I waited for nine months. It was difficult not having an answer for people when they asked what I was going to be doing. In college, we went on a two week service and arts trip to the jungles of Peru. This time, I was so excited to be able to speak with people myself and not need a translator. It was maybe a month later, during worship at a Wednesday night service, the Lord clearly spoke to me that He would send me…I had only to pursue Him. It was the confirmation that I had been waiting for.
To make things short, in 2006, at age twenty-one (after graduating from college), I moved to Mexico to begin a two year missionary training program with World Indigenous Missions (WIM). I worked in the cold, foggy mountains with teenagers in a youth center. I witnessed there for a total of three years, discipling and training youth to win their city for Jesus. However, I knew that my long term call was not for Mexico (that had mostly been reached), but for Asia.
In a long series of events, I had become interested in Japan and one day discovered the staggering statistic that only 0.4% of the population had heard and believed the Gospel. My heart dropped, especially when I realized that the majority of the church population in Japan was over the age of sixty. Eventually, I became connected with some missionaries in Japan and made a scouting trip there in 2009 to meet different missionaries and ministries to see if this was what the Lord had for me.
Indeed it was. I moved to Japan in March of 2010, and began working with Fuse Jesus Community, a young church plant with the desire to reach the younger generation with the Gospel and make disciple-making disciples. The mission was not just to see one church planted but many churches reaching the last corners of Japan.
Look for more of Janine’s story soon…