I’ve continued my time in Hamamatsu today… Actually, as I start to write this blog post I’m just about to board the Shinkansen back to Tokyo, and am mentally also trying to do a bit of preparation for tomorrow’s meetings as I go.
But it’s been a refreshing time.
And I’m glad I came.
Church last night was beautiful. The worship carried us into the Presence of God in a way that was liberating and allowed us just to lift up the Name of our wonderful Saviour. Dancing at the back of that small gathering of people, overwhelmed with the love of a Father who has done everything to be close to me, singing worship in both English and Japanese… That was one of the those memories I will always be thankful for.
Laughing around the kitchen table with new friends last night just warmed my heart for both a people and a place in a special way. (And saw my accent imitated with a variety of successes ;))
And today, talking about heart and vision and the transforming love of God with new friends was precious. (And eating a lot of great food and a wonderful continental breakfast was also delicious).
So it has been a refreshing weekend.
And more than anything, I am just thankful for the affirmation God brings through others. For those you have only just met, who will still love you and pray for you and with you. For laughter and joy to be rich and full, even in a season of uncertainty or searching direction. For friendship and the family of God.
And, this afternoon, I was streaming a David Pawson sermon with a friend about the resurrection of Jesus.
And it just filled me with such hope.
Because there is power in the resurrection of Jesus.
Such never-seen-before-God-reigning-in-authority power.
In God’s authority over death and the grave.
In the never-to-be-taken-or-shaken victory that Jesus won.
In our future hope.
That because He lives we can live.
We will live.
We will be raised and be like Him, when we shall see Him as He is.
I get so excited thinking about how His desire is that we will be with Him forever!
And also when I think about today. About this hour.
Because the same power that raised Jesus from the dead; that same power that will raise us up; that same power flows through me by His grace and the gift of Holy Spirit dwelling in my heart this day.
And that same power can move in this nation of Japan and across our globe in a way that heals and changes the social and political and human sin issues that we just can’t deal with without Jesus.
But His power can.
I believe that. I know Him as healer and I know Him as Lord. My own testimony shows that He can bring broken and dead hearts back to vibrant joy and life.
And I know that in the midst of the shaking, He still holds me together.
What a wonderful God we have.
What an awesome-all-powerful-all-changing King.
Now, yesterday I was especially encouraged by some time I spent in the afternoon with three girls from the church’s youth group who were practising the worship they are leading at their youth camp in a month’s time.
We were practicing in the local park.
Practicing loudly in the local park.
Practicing action songs in the local park.
Singing about Jesus in the local park.
And the local park was not empty. In fact, it was actually pretty busy. People passing, watching, just hanging out.
But these three girls just kept on singing.
And I sang and danced with them and a couple of their youth leaders, and generally had a lot of fun 🙂
But, what hit me was how bold these girls were about their faith.
And I shared with them that it was such a blessing to my heart to see them so free, and so confident.
Because I believe God can use young people.
I’ve seen it before. And I pray I will see it here.
That He will again take three of four young people who love Him with boldness and confidence, and He will use them to bring in the hundreds.
So please pray for them.
And please also enjoy a photo of two of my new friends in Hamamatsu, who just happen to be a couple that the love of God radiates out of in a way that is inspiring, and immediately makes me want to hang out with them some more!!