Monday, August 23, 2010

STINT BRIEFING 2010, or Why Does the Water Still Smell Like Sulfer?

Tokyo STINT 2010, plus our Stint Coordinator Cayla, our coach Julie, and Kazue (2nd girl from the right) who is going to Osaka with the Korean CCC

so now we've reached the present, where i, the naive soul who said i'd never work for Campus Crusade, am now an official STINTer. to read the "how," see previous post.

every year Cru puts on a one week conference for its STINTers. this year it was held in St. Charles, IL, about 45 minutes from Chicago. the 2nd or 3rd day of the conference, the water began to smell and taste like sulfur. apparently the filter at the resort decided to stop functioning. it was rather foul for a few days. but eventually it got fixed. or we got used to it. we never really figured out which. anyway, at this conference, we met our STINT teams for the first time and spend the week bonding and learning things useful to our STINT year. there are 7 people on this year's Tokyo team:

Ariel: he's my Mr. Miyagi- i can ask him any question about Cru, STINT, Japan, etc. and he knows the answer. it's awesome. he's re-stinting (aka, he stinted last year and decided to go back)
AJ: one of our team leaders. he has much wisdom. like Yoda. he's another re-stinter.
Michelle: the other team leader. she had planned on going to East Asia til they called her and asked her to consider Tokyo instead, literally about 3 hours before i was asked.
Lyndsey: another re-stinter. she's japanese but doesn't really speak any, like me. we bonded over this. she had decided to re-stint and then they told her no other girls had applied and that if they couldn't find one more she couldn't go back to Japan. and that was when God called me and michelle. so crazy.
Mike: the 4th re-stinter on our team. he's a Yankees fan. lyndsey and i are both Dodgers fans. this may cause divisions. stay tuned. he's awesome otherwise. his story is very similar to mine- didn't want to go on a Summer Project, then did, didn't want to STINT, then did, now he's re-stinting. he's the #1 risk-taker on our team, as we discovered during a team activity.
Henry: another Texan! he's taken many years of Japanese and makes me wish i'd paid more attention in Japanese class.

together the 7 of us are the Magnificent Seven, or the Seven Samurai, or the Seven Dwarves. we haven't decided yet. feel free to vote. after spending a week with them, i can hardly wait to get to Japan and work with them for a year. i really enjoyed briefing- it was really cool to see how many people God's called to serve him in other countries. we did kind of have the running joke that you could always tell the Cru people apart because they were the relatively attractive young people with backpacks. michelle, lyndsey and i immediately made friends with some stinters going to Argentina when they asked us to play the game "Signs" with them the first night. we were later joined by a few other people, including phillip, who is going to Rome, and jeremy, who is going to Prague. Signs is a very popular Cru game. you should learn it.

most of our time was spent either learning about ministry in our cultures, learning about finances, learning how to love our team, or in seminars such as "Ministry in Low Response Areas," "Effective Ministry in Guilt, Fear & Shame-based Cultures," "Student Led Movements," "Preparing for Spiritual Warfare," etc. wednesday evening there was banquet for our commissioning, and then we got commissioned by location (i.e. Western Europe, Latin America, etc.). while it was cool to see how many countries people were going to, there were so many countries not represented. they showed a video of statistics that was so convicting- cities of 100,000 people where not even one person knows Christ. i teared up watching it. may the Lord send more and more workers until the whole world knows his Name! after the commissioning we all took lots of team pictures, then we played Signs one last time with our Argentina team friends and a few other new friends. and then suddenly it was time to say goodbye- the worst part of briefing was making all these new friends, and then realizing we may never see them again. at least we have technology and don't have to communicate by carrier pigeon or something.

- praise God i've raised almost 75% of my funds; however, please pray that he would grant me the remaining $13,000 soon! if you feel called to support God's ministry in Japan, you can go to and search Kimiyo Brown. if you're already supporting me, you're awesome.
- some of our visa paperwork never reached JCCC and had to be resent, and now it could take up to 8 weeks for us to receive our visas. we are praying that we would receive them in 2 weeks so we may go to Japan ASAP.
- please pray that the rest of my team also receives all of their support on time! our 4 re-stinters have to be back in Japan the first week of Sept. to renew their visas

if anyone ever has any prayer requests i can pray for, please let me know! God bless anyone who actually made it to the end of this post!

Friday, August 20, 2010


ok firstly, i must preface these posts with a disclaimer:

capitalization stifles my creative genius. therefore, i will be using capital letters as little as possible. if you have a particular issue with this, i do apologize, and ask that you show me grace and tolerance in this. moving on.

this blog has so far been the home to posts about the two Campus Crusade Summer Projects (short term missions) i've gone on. both have been to Tokyo, Japan. both were amazing experiences, and they not only grew me as a person and a Christian, they gave me a lasting heart for Japan. they showed me firsthand the pain and suffering of the Japanese. wait a minute, you say. Japan? it's one of the most financially successful countries in the world- how on earth are they suffering? statistically, less than 1% (approximately 0.5-0.7%, to be exact) of the Japanese population is Christian. over 100 people commit suicide every day because they have no hope of anything beyond this life. their culture is centered around guilt and shame- if they fail in any way, their immediate reaction is to feel that they have dishonored their families. their only knowledge of religion is of the millions of gods in Shintoism, and the rules and regulations of Buddhism, neither of which is fulfilling or life-giving. materialism is their main god these days. also, as anyone who has worshiped Materialism before knows, it too is not very fulfilling.

last summer, when i returned from my second Tokyo mission trip, i felt that at some point, God would call me back to Japan; however, i didn't want to work for Cru. ever. honestly, one of the main reasons was because i didn't want to raise support. but God called me out on that. this past march-april, he had 3 different people suggest that i STInt in Tokyo. the first time i ignored him. the 2nd time i did actually look at the application, but it was already a month after the deadline, and i decided that if God really wanted to me to work for Cru, i would have already applied. ha. silly kimi. the 3rd time happened april 14, 2010. i was sitting in The Lot at USC with my discipler Trina (trina this is all your fault) and she says, "so i don't know if anyone's talked to you, but they still need one more girl to go to Tokyo next year or they can't send a STINT team. do you want to go?" my first reaction was to look at the ceiling and say "really, God? really? COME ON!" but i felt an undeniable pull on my heart, and all the sudden it started to beat really fast like when you see someone you have a crush on. we prayed for discernment, and Trina gave me the phone # of the STINT coordinator. we went to the weekly Cru meeting, and they played the songs "I Surrender," "I Will Rise" and "Savior, Please" and i just started crying during them- i don't normally cry much, so this was weird. if you've never heard these songs, you should go listen to them right now.

after the meeting, i decided to go ahead and call the STINT coordinator- i left a message saying i was interested and to let me know if they still needed someone. she called me back about 11 pm that night and said great that's awesome you need to decide by tomorrow. i thought- excuse me? tomorrow? tomorrow's in like one hour what do you mean tomorrow? she gave me some more details, and told me if i decided to apply i would have to go to training friday- sunday. i asked to call her back the next day, as i was still waiting to hear back from Dallas Theological Seminary, i had a performance friday night, and was supposed to film two scenes that weekend. i called the directors and rescheduled, then i biked over to my Bible study Artists in Action (it doesn't start til 10 pm so it was still going on), simultaneously called my mother (forgetting it was 1:30 am her time) and said "so i may be going to Japan for a year to intern with Campus Crusade and i have to decide by tomorrow pray for me k love you bye." bless her. went to Bible study and my friends prayed for me. i was kind of freaking out by that point, not knowing what to do and nervous because of the time constraint. 2 people i talked to said, " y'know kimi i think you really just need to SURRENDER." that darn word again! ok fine God, i said. i'll surrender. i'll apply for STINT. but if i go through all this effort and stress and don't get accepted, i'm not going to be happy! so with that resolution in my mind, i went home and checked my email, where, lo and behold, an email from Dallas Theological Seminary was waiting for me saying i had been accepted. while excited, i think i was more happy that i wouldn't have to make an awkward call to admissions and say something like "so uh i kind of need to know if i've been accepted or not because i may go to Japan for a year instead..." keep in mind, this has all happened in about 5 hours. the next morning i called the admissions office and asked if i could defer for a year. they said of course no problem we'll take care of it right now. well that was easy, i thought. maybe God really does want me in Japan. i called my parents, who were both supportive of my adventure. i called the STINT coordinator back and said ok i'm in- i cleared my weekend, i deferred seminary, i talked to my parents- what now? she said, do you have any idea how crazy this is? i said, i'm trying not to think about it- i'm just surrendering! she said to apply and then go to training that weekend. so i applied. and went to training. and then waited 3 weeks to be officially accepted. but then i was. accepted, that is. and all the sudden it was real- i was interning in Tokyo for a year with the organization i'd told myself i'd never work for, needing to raise the $48,000 of support i'd told myself i'd never have to raise. God's ironic like that.