I’m going to Japan on July 24-August 3.
Trust me, this isn’t something that was originally on my 2009 “To Do” list. When I was asked a few weeks ago to consider being part of the team, my gut reaction was No.
After all, I’m not really a missions-minded person. Don’t get me wrong, I care about the unsaved; however, I consider myself more of a “supporter” of those who do trips, not a “go-er.”
But I figured I should be a good Christian and pray about it. That way, God would confirm my knee-jerk reaction, and I could officially decline. Right?
Wrong. As I prayed about it, God softened my heart.
He reminded me of my initial excitement about Short-Term Trips when I came on staff. In fact, I was so excited that I filled out the STT application within my first few days on the job, but (for whatever reason) I never turned it in.
The more I thought and prayed about it, the more I was touched that I was hand-picked to be part of the Japan team. (I didn’t apply.) Maybe God had a hand in choosing me…
I found out that I would be one of only 8 people on our team for Japan, which was a definite perk. The last missions trip I went on was in 2002 to Tanzania, Africa. It was a big group – too big, in my opinion. Members started forming little cliques within the group.
But Japan still didn’t seem to add up. The trip was going to take place smack dab in the middle of our crazy season at work. And I do mean crazy. The Communications Team helps all ministries prepare for their September 1 launches, so I’m usually limited to 1 day off in July/August. There’s no way my boss would go for this…
…except he did. I explained the trip, and he casually said, Serena, you’re a great planner. I have no doubt that you could have everything organized and in order before you left. I’m open to it.
But I still wasn’t really open to it. Even with approval from my boss and a small, hand-picked group, this still didn’t make up for the fact that I hate raising money. With a passion. And with the economy as it is, that only magnified my hesitancy.
I was sitting in a church service a few days later, when our associate pastor talked about stepping out of our comfort zones. He said something to the effect of, Maybe some of you are considering going on a Short-Term Trip, but you’re not excited about the idea of raising the money. God will provide.
*Serena looking up. Okay, God, I’ll go to Japan.
I met with the trip leader the next day. As I learned more details about the trip, I sensed anticipation building within me.
God has brought my heart 180 degrees in regards to this journey. I’m going to Japan in a few months… and I couldn’t be more excited!
*If you feel led to partner with us financially, please make your tax-deductible check out to Grace Community Church (with Japan in the memo line) and send it to:
c/o Grace Community Church
5504 E 146th St
Noblesville, IN 46062