Beginning of June 2016 #Japan #connection16

Written on the plane on my way home Saturday…

What a whirlwind trip! Went from St Louis to Honolulu, to Tokyo, to Honolulu, now on a plane to San Francisco for a short lay over to make it home in St Louis late tonight. All in 2 weeks. My body pretty much has no idea what day or time it is!

Japan was awesome. I spent the week with my friend of 17 years, Janine. Along with her husband of 4 years and their 2-year-old daughter. I pretty much just followed them around the whole time. I went as a ministry trip to them. It’s like a mission trip, but not in the traditional sense. I went as a friend and a face from home. I brought them stuff from the states that they can’t get there and just wanted to spend time learning what they do on a day-to-day basis. A traditional mission trip would have been with a team and we would have had a project to accomplish (like a VBS or painting something). Missionary ministry trips are a lot less stress on everyone involved. It wasn’t a vacation in the name of missions, as some may see it or have done. I wanted to be a blessing to them, which I believe I was. This is pretty much my life ambition to do full-time.

Japan is full of concrete and people. Lots of both. Nice people who keep to themselves mostly. Tall concrete buildings and lots of little streets and alley ways. And cars and bikes. The food was pretty good, tried Japanese ramen for the first time and really liked it. Not the greasy blocks you can get for $0.10 in the states, but real food. Hopefully I can find something similar in St Louis.

One of the days there I helped out at a moms’ group that Janine started. I demonstrated how to make a dessert and told the testimony of what God did for me through the MS diagnoses and subsequent depression. I’ve been told the whole thing went well.

The only bad thing about Japan was all the walking! I mean, I know it was good for me, but I ended up with multiple blisters and one got infected. My one ankle is still swollen. I went to a clinic in Hawaii for the blister and got some antibiotic cream and pills for it, so that helped.

So, speaking of Hawaii, it was awesome too. I didn’t make it to the beach at all though. Saw it from a distance, but spent most of the time in a conference. See, my denomination (Foursquare) has a national/international conference every year, each year in a different city. This year was Honolulu, next is DC. I hope to make it next year, I LOOOVVEE that city for its history and getting to see a lot of friends at the conferences is great, but I don’t know what my job situation will be next May. So we’ll wait and see.

The conference was amazing. I volunteered a lot the first few days, but got to meet a lot of neat people. When I completed 12 hours of service, I got into the conference for free! I met up with some friends from my home church and enjoyed the sessions. The worship and messages were powerful. I also got to see some old friends from the mission trip I went to in 2013 to West Africa. Interesting, considering what I’ll explain in a moment. There were about 3,000 people at the conference, mostly leaders from Foursquare churches around the States and a lot from all over the world too. They started the conference with a luau with great food, fire dancing, hula dancers, and a reconciliation ceremony. There were other sessions with various speakers, all with the theme of Empowered. There were breakout sessions on a few topics, I chose The Church and Sexuality and Creative Minority and was invited to the African multi-ethnic session (more on that in a moment too).  The first was a real good talk on ministering to those of alternative lifestyles (I’d share more but really don’t feel competent enough to expound on the subject at the moment). I didn’t get too much out of the 2nd session, we left early for a group dinner. The conference ended Thursday afternoon and few of us went to Pearl Harbor. That was an awe-inspiring trip. As one of my friends said, I wasn’t prepared for the emotional response of the USS Arizona Memorial. It was especially interesting considering I had just been to Japan. Hard to put into words what all I’m feeling there, but just that sometimes things happen in ways that don’t make sense, but that doesn’t take God off His throne. His sovereignty over everything never ends. But that can be so hard to comprehend in the face of such tragedy.

So, West Africa and all that. I believe God’s been working in my heart about future missions and where He’s taking me with this sudden job situation. I believe it will all be connected in the long run. I asked for prayer a couple of times while at the conference and there was a confirmation of some stuff. See, God’s cultivating a love in my heart for Africa, especially West Africa. I believe sometime in the next few years (5-7) that I will live on the ‘mission field’ at some point for 6-12 months. I want to ultimately, visit missionaries all over the world, like I did with Janine and her family last week. It’s part of the reason I’m going to school to be a counselor. In order to better understand what they go through, I think it might be prudent to live the life for a period of time. When I think of these things, West Africa always comes to mind. I don’t know if that means I’ll actually go there (which could be really difficult since one of the vaccines they want you to have I can’t get because of the MS), or work with immigrants/refugees in the States, or work somewhere else in the world (France?) to minister to them. So, I explain some of this to the Foursquare National President of France and Francophone nations (went on a mission trip with him once and we’ve kind of kept in contact since). He invited me to join in the African Multi-Ethnic meeting during the conference to make connections. A missionary couple I met in 2013 was there and we reconnected.  All of this and when I went for prayer a couple of times during the conference, God said this: that I would be pushing back the darkness, that this job situation/change would end up effecting a lot of people for the Kingdom, that I would eventually fight against injustices in the world, stuff that has crept into the systems that aren’t right, and I would come against principalities. Whoa. So, believe this job change could be the next step towards the mission field, however God works that out. I just want to make sure I apply for and accept the right job, the job that will be the right next step, you know? Plus all that talk of being a warrior for the Kingdom just reminds me how much I need Him and His Word. I need to dig my roots deeper into the Truth and rely on Him alone for EVERYTHING. Even if that leads me to taking a job somewhere other than at home. Scary and just a thought. No plans on that one!!

OK, maybe I’m starting to ramble, I’m really tired and can’t sleep on this plane!

Published by tammyk777

I want to be as open as possible, safely anyway. If I've been set free in something, maybe I can encourage someone else to seek God and they can be free too!

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