I just got back from Hokudai (a local university in Sapporo) where I've been doing a few hours lecturing on Community Education for some postgraduate students.
It was an awesome privilege actually.
And an awesome blessing.
And an awesome reminder of God's faithfulness.
And… Thank you, thank you, thank you for your prayers.
I love, love, LOVE talking about youth work and education and community and the creative energy that exists when you get a bunch of people who are all passionate about the same thing in the same room.
I just love that.
As well as lecturing tonight, I also got to be connected to a local project that works to support homeless young people and is just totally heart-brimming-over exciting for me. It's also a heart-breaking reality that at least 700 people in Sapporo are sleeping rough and most of them are in their 20s.
Which is an area of vision for me.
It's an area of prayer for me.
It's an area that Holy Spirit keeps stirring me in.
Hearing about projects and plans and ideas excites me. It really excites me. It really, really excites me.
It makes me want to be better at what I do.
I am inspired to be different and keep going and keep loving and keep walking. Forwards.
I am encouraged.
Being around people of vision keeps my vision alive sometimes.
It's funny how God does that, right?
He places people around you to sharpen you and lift you and pray for you, like iron sharpens iron.
People who make you walk taller.
This week two of the most giantic people in the world started studying at my school. Like, I'm not particularly short in Japan. My 5 foot 2 inches is pretty bang-on-average. But these two guys, towering well over the 6 foot mark, dwarf me. One of my friends tells me I look like a hobbit when I'm with them.
Check this out…
That's me standing, at full height. Next to them standing, at full height.
Just call me Frodo…
One of the guys also has giant-sized-proportion-hands. Don't believe me?
This is my baby-hand next to his…
But you know what I noticed?
I walk taller when I'm with these guys.
Physically, when I'm walking along chatting to them, my posture is better, my head is held high and I make the most of my 5 foot 2 inch frame.
I don't slouch.
I don't look at the ground.
I look up.
I walk tall.
It's interesting how some people help us walk taller. And it's a beautiful challenge to me.
I want to be someone who brings out the best in people and not the worst.
I am praying that Holy Spirit keeps working on me so that I can become a woman of love and encouragement and patience and kindness.
I want to become someone who helps people look up and dream big and take chances and love Jesus more.
I want to be a blessing in His eyes, figuring out what it looks like to love Him with ALL my heart and ALL my mind and ALL my soul and ALL my strength, and pouring myself out for the sake of others.
And that's my thought tonight. And that's my prayer tonight.
Oh Jesus, thank you for friendship and ideas and creativity and zeal and walking tall and Your precious Holy Spirit that allows us to do so. Let me love You more.
Oh, and enjoy some more pictures… As always… ;). It's another blessed week here in Sapporo…