God is good, all the time. We had a wonderful trip visiting churches in Hawaii. Many now share our burden and vision for Japan who did not before. We trust God that He will continue to work in hearts to join with us in our ministry.
We are now on our second big trip in our deputation experience. I’m sitting here next door to the church I grew up in. My mom was baptized here when she was 9 months pregnant with me! It’s a strange feeling to be back here where I grew up. So many familiar faces mixed with new ones. I remember sitting in the pews here, walking the halls, playing basketball in the gym and soccer in the field.
God has brought me through so much in my journey of knowing Him. I don’t pretend to be there yet. He is still growing my faith. I struggle with trusting Him when difficulties come. The words of our Lord then echo in my ears, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” I don’t imagine these words said harshly but rather in a kind reassuring way, where Jesus takes me by the hand and lifts me up out of the wind-tossed sea and into the safety of His arms. After all it takes faith to jump out of a boat that is being battered by waves and walk on the surface of the water. But Jesus called and when He calls He empowers, and when we eventually fall for lack of faith, He is still there to save us from drowning.
I don’t know what you are going through right now. But I know my struggle to trust Him when churches are not partnering with us and our support levels are not increasing as quickly as I thought. The answer to our struggles is simple yet hard: look to Jesus. Look to Jesus for He said, “Have courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid,” (see Matthew 14:22-33). He is the God Who saves. We are the weak and weary who trust. And when we fail to trust, He never fails to save. So let’s get back up together and keep trusting Him.
Right now we are a little over 16% of our needed $7000/month to leave for Japan. I am trusting God to work in your heart to partner with us in taking the glorious gospel to Japan. We need prayer warriors on our team; commit to pray for us regularly (and reply to let us know you are praying). We need giving warriors on our team; commit to our burden and vision by being a monthly pledge partner (go to www.vanningjapan.com and sign up to join our monthly support team). We need going warriors on our team; commit to pray about going to help meet the need in Japan (and contact our mission board at www.ibmglobal.org to join our team).
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to reply to this email and communicate with us. We look forward to sharing our burden and vision with you.