Staff Posts

STAFF POSTS

 

stories from our missional partners

Linda, Kohei, and kids stand in front of Ippo Ippo group building

By Linda Koyama

Hi, I’m Linda. Nice to meet you. I’m currently writing from Yamagata, Japan, where my family is partnering with a local church. You’ve probably never heard of Yamagata. Don’t worry, neither did I until it was presented as one of the potential prefectures we’d be serving in. 

So where exactly is Yamagata? Think north of Tokyo about 200 miles (300 kilometers), or a 4 1/2 hour drive by car. It’s in the southern part of the Tohoku region, closer to the Japan Sea side (rather than the Pacific Ocean side). It’s definitely not one of Japan’s hot tourist spots, but this region is known for its ski slopes, onsens, and delicious fruits.

Tia stands in front of a Japanese shrine

By Tia Blassingame

Okay, if you look like me you probably started singing that song title and know exactly where I got it from. Perfect, because it has been playing in my head all week! This is truly a different world. Right now, I am at a homestay with my onēsan (pronounced ohnay-sahn) and her family. That term right there is already different vocabulary for you I’m assuming. Onēsan is “older sister” and a “homestay” is when you stay overnight (or more than one night) with a family. In basic “Tia terms” (that’s me), I’m at a sleepover with my sis and her fam. Let me backtrack a bit...

a cup of coffee and the bible open to psalms

Rethinking how God's Word is "relevant" to our lives and ministries

By Kent Muhling

I sometimes pray Psalm 143:8 at the beginning of my morning devotions. It reads, 

“Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, 
for in you I trust.
Make me know the way I should go, 
for to you I lift up my soul.” 

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Part 3: Until everything is about Jesus 

In Part 1 of my testimony "What does obedience look like?", I shared about God’s call, my struggle to say yes, and having a glimpse of what obedience looks like. In Part 2 "Holding onto the things I cannot see", I shared about my struggles with the fear of disappointment, what ifs, and learning to let go of the things I see to hold on to the things unseen.

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Part 2: Holding onto the things I cannot see 

In Part 1 of my testimony "What does obedience look like?", I shared about God’s call, my struggle to say yes, and having a glimpse of what obedience looks like.

The journey of obedience is still not easy. I was still fearful, and insecure but not as lonely. In 2021, I started meeting people who are walking the same journey as me, and I felt that I found my tribe. I became more involved in mission mobilization and made good friends. Yet, the fear never left, it was hunting me. I was still so scared about the unknown, and another fear appeared, the fear of disappointment.

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