Showing and teaching about God’s love through conversational English classes and reaching others through the love of Christ to develop loving friendships. The Japanese, although a small percentage are somewhat open to the gospel, need personal access to the love of Christ. Communication will be a challenge as I work to increase my minimal Japanese language ability! Pray that the Japanese people will come to know and love Jesus.
For the last 15 years I have taught various grades from K-12 in California public schools, always with an emphasis on English as a Second Language. In a culturally diverse community, proficiency in English is expected for students to be successful in school. When God called me to serve Him overseas, He placed Japan at the forefront to continue my efforts as an ELD teacher. My areas of ministry in Japan will be:
–Showing and teaching about God’s love through English classes at local churches.
–Pitching in wherever there is a need with local missionaries and the local churches.
–Exploring potential areas for future ministry opportunities in Japan.
I am very excited to go back to Yamagata, Japan to continue the work I started in the summer of 2013. I look forward to working with the members at Zao Christ Church, local school children, and other churches to carry the message of the gospel through English classes and outreach. I also look forward to returning to the areas hit the hardest by the tsunami in 2011 and building fellowship with these communities and serving them in the way the Lord guides me. It is also my desire to learn Japanese to better serve and work with the people in these communities.
After seeing The Passion of the Christ 10 years ago, I became a Christian. Prior to seeing this movie my relationship with God began when He led me to recovery in June 1988. The first 15 years of my recovery was spent rebuilding the mess I had made of my life, sharing the message of recovery to others, working the 12 Steps with my sponsor and sponsees, and getting the education I’d abandoned many years before. In recovery I came to see how God has always been in my life, guiding me and providing for me, but after seeing The Passion of the Christ my desire became to learn more about Him.
At the end of the movie when Jesus was crucified, my heart shifted, my life shifted. God was placing me on a different path. The first verse in scripture I memorized was John 3:16, the embodiment of Jesus’ crucifixion. It became the foundation on which my new life with Christ began. Nine years later while serving my church during their annual Easter production of the Passion of the Christ, God told me He wanted me to serve in ministry overseas. Amidst the preparation, rehearsals, and production of this Easter event, He made clear to me His will. So began my journey into ministry. When God opens doors, unimaginable things can happen, and four months later, simply because I was obedient to His purpose for my life, I was in Japan teaching English and sharing the love of God.
Being able to serve God is my reward, but being in a community in which all members serve, work, and share His word was an experience I’d never had. The majority of my life is spent in the secular world and this ministry opportunity surrounded me with Christians obedient to Him. Our time was spent ministering to unbelievers by teaching and conversing in English, helping local students with their homework, working with special needs children and providing mothers a time out, and building fellowship in a community devastated by the 2011 tsunami.
God gifted me with the ability to teach and work with children, but in this ministry He enabled me to stretch beyond my comfort zone and work in an environment in which English was not the primary language. This will continue to challenge me in my ministry but with God all things are possible.