Bethany Ho



Articles by Bethany Ho

Japanese woodblock printing picture of women drinking tea

What is your one next step?

Tonight at Urbana, when introducing Bishop Claude Alexander, Anna "ah-yee" Lee-Winans prefaced with this question: What is your one next step? Bishop Alexander then walked us through the story of Stephan in Acts, expounding a little further upon how we can discern the next step. That next step is often "accepting God's call to what is known."

There are plenty of unknowns that we could let ourselves get caught up in! God, what do You want me to do after I graduate? Do I go into the professional world or into ministry? Should I go overseas or serve domestically? What about my family? Friends? The struggle is real, and I understand it well

Bishop Alexander went on to show us that Stephen's next step was making sure the widows in the church, the lowest of the low in society, were cared for in the distribution of food. When Stephan said "yes" to the known in front of him, he had no way of knowing that God would then use him supernaturally to perform signs and wonders in His name. Nor could he imagine that he would be given the chance to glorify the name of Jesus through his testimony to the Jewish council, and certainly not that he would also resemble Jesus in dying for the gospel, asking his Father to forgive those who were taking his life. 

Bishop Alexander also spoke of the impression that Stephen left. He received this impression from Jesus, and in Stephen's own death, he passed this impression on to Saul of Tarsus. When he spoke about leaving an "impression," I couldn't help but think of the Japanese art form ukiyo-e. A picture is formed using various woodblocks to make a layered "impression" that will eventually build up into a whole picture. I have heard some Japanese Christians use ukiyo-e as a description for how they came to Christ: over time, each Christian they met left an "impression" that God used to form a full picture of a life of faith in Jesus. 

Bethany talking to a student at UrbanaThe trouble is that Japan is the second largest unreached people group in the world. Many Japanese people don't have a chance to meet one Christian, much less enough to build a full picture of Jesus and His love for them. There are still towns and communities throughout rural Japan that have no church and no Christian witness. 

What is your one next step?

One next step could simply be coming to the Connections Hall tomorrow and having a conversation. (If you're not in person at Urbana, you can reach out to us here). Let God figure out your unknowns, and say yes to the known that's in front of you. 

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Bethany Ho

Bethany Panian HoBethany first came to Japan in February 2011 to teach English at a school in Sendai. After experiencing the Tohoku Triple Disaster on March 11, she prayed and knew that God wanted her to stay. She taught at the school for four years and was also involved in a local church during that time. Her last year teaching, she felt God calling her to serve full-time with the church, and God opened up the doors for her to partner with Asian Access and the local church in Sendai. She served as a field missionary with the church in Sendai from 2016-2022, and she is now serving in the SIM Recruiting Department with a heart for multiplying the harvest workers sent to Japan.


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