Exactly one year ago today,
I decided to surrender my future to God and join full-time staff with Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ).
I decided to become a "career missionary."
Exactly one year ago, I was at my last Cru weekly meeting in Tokyo before heading back to the States. All summer, God had been showing me hints of the brokenness of the Japanese people, the need in Japan, but also how open they were becoming to the Gospel. For example, Japan has the highest suicide rate in the world. While I lived in Japan, every day I would see train delays on the tv screens in the trains from "passenger injuries." Every day I'd see the delays for other trains. But last summer, it was almost every day that my own trains would be delayed. I'd be the one sitting on the train or on the platform for 1-2 hours, waiting. And I'd look around me and realize that no one cared that someone had just lost their life. To everyone else, it was just a daily inconvenience that their train was delayed because someone had jumped on the tracks. And I said, "God, this should never be normal. This should never be something we get used to, that's just a daily part of life- that someone was so devoid of hope or love or joy that they threw away their life in front of a train."
And God nudged me and said, "You're right. What are you going to do about it?"
And I realized I have this message of love and hope and joy, and that I need to be sharing it with every person who God puts in my path.
But God was also working in the hearts of Japanese students. Students I'd almost given up on would ask ME to take them to church. Students would ask about Jesus and the Gospel. I was able to buy my friend her first Bible. And at the last Cru weekly meeting, God showed me very clearly that He was changing the spiritual atmosphere of Japan.
We were talking about the Holy Spirit, and I was sharing about how the Spirit had brought me to Japan 5 times, after originally never giving Japan much thought. And all the sudden I heard myself saying, "You know, I also used to say I'd never work for Cru, but now I've realized I have the best job in the world, and I just can't think of anything better." And then I started crying. In front of everyone. It was awkward. I sat down and my friend nudged me, "Were you expecting to say that?" he asked. "Heck no!" I replied. The Spirit was definitely moving in my heart.
Then a Japanese girl stood up. "Today was my first time to come here, and I want to become a Christian," she said. We all looked around in shock- that NEVER happens in Japan! It was so exciting, and God nudged me and said, "Hey look what I'm doing in this country."
Then we began worship in Japanese. My Japanese is not particularly good enough to understand the songs, but I sing along anyway. We sang this one song called "Anata no mina wo hometataeru," and as I was singing, I started crying again. "Ok this is ridiculous," I thought. "I don't even know what I'm singing!" But since I was crying, I figured it was probably important, so I pulled a girl aside and said "Ok what am I singing?" She said, "Oh it says 'Lord, remake my heart, I want to be your hands and feet in the world, I want to shine your light..."
After a sign like that, I knew that God was calling me to be His hands and feet and shine His light to the nations, and I decided to join full-time staff with Cru.
I came home August 2nd, went to my first training in Orlando in September, then began the long year of raising financial support, with a month of training in January and 3 seminary classes in between.
It's been a long journey to get here, and I think my whole experience with Cru has been reluctant, but amazing. My friend Gen had to yell at me to get me to go on my first Summer Project to Japan. God had to slap me in the face with STINT. But last summer, it was like God was saying "Kimi, it's your choice, but this summer I'm going to show you all the reasons why YOU WANT to join staff."
And goodness knows He did.