" I am the Lord; that is my name!
I will not yield my glory to another
or my my praise to idols.
See, the former things have taken place,
and new things I declare;
before they spring into being
I announce them to you."
Our last time on the blog we had been in Italy in 2013 - what a wonderful 6 months we had with Calvary Chapel Montebelluna! We were coming home for work in SA for December /January, but ended up staying on at home with Matthew born on 20 January 2014. What a blessing this little chap is! We tried to go back to Italy later in the year for the Fall semester, but the door was closed as they needed our accommodation for a big semester with an influx of students. We tried again the next Spring semester 2015 and again a closed door - I struggled - I cried - there was this deep yearning to go back - to be with the people we had grown to love back in Italy.
God had a plan for us at home too and I can see looking back He had us at home for many reasons and we have and are able to serve Him always anywhere we are. We helped with a church plant - Mike got to teach a subject for a semester of a Bible college here, he got to go on a missions trip to Malawi, etc etc and a year ago God clearly lead us to go be a part of Calvary Chapel Paarl - interesting telling people you drive every Sunday to a town 1 and a half hours away from your home and hearing their reactions..... I know it doesn't always make sense, but we follow one leader and our heart is to be obedient to wherever He leads us - His guidance is so clear though and His Word so comforting.
I remember those first weeks traveling through and how the Lord just spoke so clearly to me from His Word as I doubted Him wanting me in Paarl - I would read in my Bible things like " until I come and take you to a land like your own - a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees and honey. Choose life and not death" ( this passage describes Paarl to a T and as we were driving I would see all these things around me. Often after church we could go and enjoy these exact beautiful things of Paarl.
He confirmed I am called : Isaiah 41
" I took you from the ends of the earth,
from its farthest corners I called you.
I said, 'You are my servant';
I have chosen you and not rejected you.
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. "
He told me to " Comfort, comfort my people" Isaiah 40
So the big news........
The Lord has been calling us again very specifically as we always seeking Him to follow in our missions heart. Last year during the Calvary Africa Missions Conference we sensed the Lord wanting to send us somewhere again. Our prayer was that the Lord would reveal a specific nation and make it loud and clear where that was. Japan kept coming up - Everywhere we went - the Lord made it loud and clear. This constant confirmation Japan. Mike asked a pastor there if he could come visit and he had a 10 day trip over to Tokyo in March. He came home and prayed some more and still the never ending Japan - the pastor was open for us to come for 3 months of this year and so we are waiting to hear if we got our visa. Literally the week the pastor said we could come the Lord provided for 6 air tickets - that does not happen everyday and gave us confirmation this is the path to follow. We plan to go early September to early December. A prayer request regarding this that we hear soon that our visa is approved.
People love to know what we will be doing there in Japan. The church Calvary Chapel Fuchu has - besides being a regular church - a private English school up to grade 6 including a kindergarten and preschool. There are around 150 Japanese kids who come through the school and English conversational classes. We open to just go and be a part of the church and the school they have etc so I am sure as English speakers that is a big thing over there to be a part of English teaching. I am sure we will help out there with our kids joining in.
School in Japan
This is what the Lord has told me to be doing in Japan through His Word:
" In his teaching the islands will put their hope "
" Sing to the Lord a new song,
his praise from the ends of the earth"
" let them shout from the mountaintops.
Let them give glory to the Lord
And proclaim his praise in the islands."
" You are my witnesses, declares the Lord
and my servant whom I have chosen
so that you may know and believe me
and understand that I am he
Before me no God was formed,
nor will there be one after me.
I even I am the Lord,
and apart from me there is no savior"
" You are my witness declares the Lord, that I am God.
Yes from ancient days I am he. "
" I say, 'My purpose will stand,
and I will do all that I please.'
From the east I summon a bird of prey;
from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose."
"I will also make you a light for the Gentiles,
that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth."
"My house will be called
a house of prayer for all nations."
May His will be done in all our lives, to be faithful and obedient to follow in anything He calls us to do. With us that will be to the ends of the earth .........
My kids dance with a lady who taught them to dance for the audience of One - I want to live for the audience of One.
" I the Lord, have called you I'm righteousness;
I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people
and a light for the Gentiles,
to open eyes that are blind,
to free captives from prison
and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness."
" Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is , and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls."