Master or Student?

In the missionary life, it’s easy to get lazy. We’re used to struggling with everything— figuring out whether we’re buying fish or laundry detergent at the grocery store; dedicating significant thought to even the smallest events, because we don’t want to accidentally destroy fledgling relationships; running away from the telephone because it’s so scary to get calls from someone who’s talking a-mile-a-minute while we’re still trying to figure out whether they said their name at the start. 

Some…

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Echoes of Gratitude

“When you don’t have enough, be thankful for what you do have.”

My mother’s words continue to echo in my heart to this day, many years later. As missionaries, Peter and I have discovered that they can be applied to our lives in many ways, not just in the sphere of money. 

When I don’t have “enough” health, but am grateful for what I do have:

  • God opens my eyes to see how I can use my bad health to encourage other people with bad health. When I injured my back, He gave me a ministry to…
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Foot massages and fortunate encounters...

We were walking through a local mall one evening last month when I noticed a new store: a spa. I suddenly had a completely irrational desire to go in and see if they offered reflexology (foot massages). It was completely irrational because we already have someone who does reflexology, who (a) we’re completely satisfied with, (b) is much closer to our home, and (c) is cheaper than anyone else. Still, we went in. 

The shopkeeper was named Dana*. We soon found out that she’d been to Canada once…

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Sharing the Message of Jesus in Japan - Part II

Earlier this month, I talked about some of the principles that are most important when sharing the good news of Jesus with the people of Japan. Today, I thought I would share a concrete example of what this can look like. It’s taken from a short talk that I gave at last year’s Christmas party. I’ve similar talks a few times since, and have been told by several people that this approach has gone straight to their hearts.

Where necessary, I have included a few notes of explanation about the…

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Sharing the Message of Jesus with Japanese Stoics - Part I

As Peter and I continue to minister as missionaries in Japan, we are learning a variety of lessons on sharing the good news of Jesus with people of different cultures. Sometimes the Bible verses that we take for granted in North America—verses like John 3:16—aren’t the most appropriate to use when introducing people of a different culture to Jesus. 

In Japan, Bible dust jackets do not commonly display John 3:16. Instead they use a verse from Ecclesiastes: “Meaningless, meaningless, everything…

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