Bethany Ho

BETHANY'S REFLECTIONS

 

Articles by Bethany Ho

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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!”

If you would like to hear the full story, pray about inquiring to serve with SIM and we can have our own call together. (Disclaimer: This should not be your only reason to inquire with us about cross-cultural ministry. Grinning face with smiling eyes)

God often encourages me in some way on every call. Last week it came through a couple who have found themselves pastoring a little church in the Southwest for 10 years now. This couple was a generation ahead of me and obviously had a lot they could teach me, but they saw me instead as a peer and as a partner in the gospel. The husband found encouragement in my little joke about teaching middle schoolers.

What you said is so true. The most important thing for people in the church today to know is their identity in Christ.

It took me a while to get there. I gave my life to Jesus when I was 20. Still tried to follow my own plans until I lost my job at 23. Surrendered my plans to God and allowed Him to lead me to a teaching job in Japan. There I experienced a deep culture and identity shock at 24. And then a huge breakthrough came when I was 28: after receiving wise counsel from SIM and my home pastor, I decided to get counseling.

Through all of this, Jesus has had my wholeness in mind, and wanted me to walk in it.

The journey toward my calling has been just as gradual and transformative as becoming certain of my identity in Christ.

And guess what? I’m still working it out, and that’s okay. The biggest thing always is keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, “the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)

Our world is changing. We ourselves are always changing. But He is steadfast, a firm rock on which we can stand. The more we know this, the more we can step out into this world boldly and share His love with a lost and dying generation.  

 

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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. Eventually 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 cross-cultural worker 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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