Bethany Ho

BETHANY'S REFLECTIONS

 

Articles by Bethany Ho

panorama of a group of people

Our value for community and the importance of partnership 

We often exhort one another at A3 with the proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.” While the exact origins of this proverb are murky, the truth of it is undeniable: for sustainable ministry (and really, life in general), we need each other. 

And just days before departing with our 2023 Summer Short-Term Team, I experienced this truth in a profound way.

woman hiking in foggy mountains

Tokyo Summer Olympics 2020 Team Going to Japan 

A3 (formerly Asian Access) began decades ago with a thriving short-term summer program called Scrum Dendo. Every summer, multiple teams would come to Japan, partner with Japanese churches, and create bridges to each community through English language outreach. 

At the beginning of 2020, we had high hopes of reviving these summer mission teams, partnering with churches who wanted to do major outreach work surrounding the Tokyo Olympics. 

We had no clue what was coming that year.

woman hiking in foggy mountains

For over a decade, February 1, 2011, remained memorialized in my mind as my “Japanniversary,” the day God took me to Japan, one month before the Triple Disaster. Each passing year, I have acknowledged this date in some way—karaoke with friends, a Facebook post, or a quiet prayer to God. 

But 2022 was the year I wrapped up over a decade of life in Japan and moved “home.” In 2023, to recall my arrival date in Japan, I had to look at my 手帳 (techō, my pocket schedule book). I was too late! The day, March 16, had passed by me without so much as a wink.

woman hiking in foggy mountains

Throughout the week, I share the story about my faith journey A LOT. As a mobilizer with SIM, I’m one of the first conversations people have with us as they seek to discern God’s calling for them in His kingdom work around the world. An important part of every conversation is getting to share my journey and inviting the person on the call to share theirs.

A favorite line I like to share in my story is “If you don’t have a firm sense of your identity in Christ, and you don’t have a firm sense of His calling on your life, then you probably shouldn’t try to teach middle school English!”

woman kneeling in worship

…and beyond: encouragement from a big sister

I first heard about what God was doing on your campus on Friday, February 10. At the SIM USA sending office, we take our motto By Prayer very seriously. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, we come together corporately for a chapel service to pray over each one of our fields and our missionaries. On Mondays and Fridays, we do the same, but this time we gather in smaller groups by our departments. One of my coworkers brought up what God was doing on your campus, and we began to pray for you. 

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