Bethany Ho



Articles by Bethany Ho

Japanese woodblock printing picture of women drinking tea

Diversity AND Unity

The prevailing theme over Urbana today was this idea of unity across diversity, love across division. I was already experiencing stirrings of this on Wednesday, but like any good teacher, the Holy Spirit is patiently using repetition to drive the point home. 

This morning we got to listen to our brother Prashan De Visser, who has roots with Asian Access in Sri Lanka. He is the founder of a youth movement called Global Unites, working in vulnerable communities around the world to mobilize the youth for peacemaking and non-violent movements of transformation. He reminded us that peacemaking is in the church's DNA; our Big Brother Jesus is the Prince of Peace! But De Visser also challenged us: how often are we breaking peace rather than making peace, especially within the Church? Jesus's last prayer for us before physically leaving this earth was that we would be one as He and the Father are one (John 17:21). Our unity is deeply important to our Father's heart. 

Joshua 300 155Then God took it even deeper for me. I had the opportunity in the afternoon to sit in on our SIM International Director Dr. Joshua Bogunjoko's breakout session, "Kingdom Diversity Disarms Resistance." He and his wife started serving over 30 years ago with SIM in medical missions. As Dr. Bogunjoko shared his story, he talked about one big reason why he felt led to go into missions saying,

I never met a missionary who looked like me.

And God used this burden on Dr. Bogunjoko's heart in their mission. He and his wife are from Nigeria, but they began serving at Galmi Hospital in Niger. While they were African missionaries sent to Africa, they were still crossing national and cultural barriers with the gospel. Nigeria is largely Christian and English-speaking while Niger is mostly Muslim and French-speaking. Before the Bogunjokos came to Galmi, the doctors were mostly white or Asian-descent, and the Muslim patients would say that Christianity was the Westerners' religion. When the Bogunjokos came and also witnessed about Jesus, the worldview of the patients shifted, and so did the spiritual atmosphere at the hospital. They became open to Jesus. 

Bethany talking to a student at UrbanaI experienced something similar through my Japan church family. I had one Japanese tutor who would dismiss me almost any time I shared about Jesus telling me, "You are American so you are Christian. I am Japanese so I am Buddhist and Shinto." But one day I got to share with him about some international brothers and sisters in our church, particularly the small group of Indonesian students studying at the university. My tutor looked at me puzzled and said, "But Indonesians Muslim." I got to tell him that not all Indonesians were Muslim, but there were many who loved Jesus. In our time together, he never became curious about the gospel for himself, but I pray that this small shift in his worldview planted a seed that someone else will water in the future. 

This has been Jesus's plan all along, that we would love one another across our cultural differences, and that this love would shine brightly and speak to everyone around us, especially those who don't know Jesus yet for themselves. And Dr. Bogunjoko exhorted all of us at the end of his session with this: "Now more than ever is the time for diverse mission teams. It is not time for any of us to drop out, but it is a time for us to double our efforts."

Is it time for you to join us? Tomorrow is the last day to see us in Booth 707!

bethany sig 600px

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.


More Information

Follow this Site

Get new posts by email:

Bethany Ho

Bethany Ho

Did you attend Urbana '22?