Sometimes working in a country that is not yet reached, it feels like you start from scratch. We’ve been feeling that way. We have been talking hours on end together and with other Japanese and praying and searching Scripture and thinking: “How do we reach these people?… Where are those moments I can jump on with these people?”
Well, we’re still trying. And praying. Fasting. Working. Learning.
And little by little we see small cracks. Small little holes that we press our wide-open eye to and peer into the other side.
With one of my contacts, I’ve been reading through a book for Japanese practice. And of course, it’s about the Bible. It’s a great study for both sides of the partnership. But this weekend, I was able to touch base and move into a little more personal space with her on something that came up. THAT in itself is like a HUGE step into the inside of the circle. And beyond that, she keeps referring back to the book that we’re doing even when I think we’re done with the subject. I try not to press her, and let her feel comfortable warming up to it. This week she said that maybe she will change the way that she thinks because she is reading this book. Inside, of course, I was stoked. But I kept a straight face and said “Oh,” nodding my head.
Later that day, I was at a dinner party to engage some elementary girls in their English studies. The invitation was from a very challenging but open contact we’ve been working with. He had been doing a Bible study with a guy from our church who is American but speaks pretty good Japanese. He’s not a fan of that, and so he wants to switch to having a Bible study with Vicente. He asked me if Vicente currently has many people that he’s discipling. I said not yet. He answered, “Well, maybe I will be his first disciple. Vicente will play a big role in whether or not I decide to become a Christian.”
Talk about pressure. Bible study is scheduled now for this week. Please pray for both of us and the contacts and that the Lord and His love clearly speaks through us.
by Janine Alvarado, missionary to Japan