Hello Everyone! Thank you for taking the time to read this post and share in the journey God has me on!
Last Monday, Jan. 13, training for ISP officially began at California Baptist University. As I walked into the auditorium and sat down to wait for the three hour session to begin, I was reminded all over again of the exciting things ahead of me. I am blessed that I actually get to go to a foreign country. A country I have always wanted to go to. All to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with people who have never even heard the name “Jesus.”
Only two percent of people in Japan claim to be Christians. The dominant religion in the country is a combination between Buddhism and Shintoism. Idol worship is dominant, and everybody believes that doing good deeds will eventually lead to a state of nirvana where there is no suffering. They also believe that time is cyclical, and since time goes in an infinite circle, there is no end therefore there is no after life. Ultimately, there is no heaven.
It is a sad existence to live a life without Christ. Not only to live without Him, but to live without even knowing him.
But I believe those people in Japan, the students my team and I are going to meet, are the reason God is sending me to Japan. No one deserves to live and eventually die without knowing that Christ died for their sins. The truth is that God wants every person living at this very moment to spend eternity in heaven with Him. That is the good news my team and I are taking to Japan!
I am so excited to see how God works it all out!
On Jan. 13, all 150 students who filled the auditorium spent two hours getting a crash course in the state of the world, the five dysfunctions of a team, and what is called the “Pathway Chart.”
The State of the World address–as I like to call it–blew my mind. The statistics are unbelievable, and they go something like this:
- There are 7 Billion people in the world
- Of those 7 Billion, only 2.5 Billion have been reached with the gospel
- The remaining 4.5 Billion people are UPGs, or Unreached People Group, and are part of the growing 10/40 window
For those unaware, the 10/40 window is the part of the world spanning from 10 degrees to 40 degrees north of the equator and includes all of the unreached people of the world. These UPGs consist of Tribal, Hindu, U=Chinese, Muslim, and Buddhist (We use the acronym THUMB, and the U is turned on its side).
Of these statistics, the one that blew my mind is this:
Only ten percent of all missionaries go to the people in the 10/40 window. The remaining ninety percent have their ministries set up in areas where the gospel has already reached people. That is a sad, sad statistic.
We also got information about the five dysfunctions of a team which are:
- Absence of TRUST
- Fear of CONFLICT
- Lack of COMMITMENT
- Avoidance of ACCOUNTABILITY
- Inattention to RESULTS
These five dysfunctions are designed as a hierarchy, and as each thing is overcome the team is supposed to come closer together. The whole time our MOB director (MOB is the abbreviation for “Mobilization” which is the office who coordinates ISP trips) was speaking about these dysfunctions, I was thinking about my team. I began praying that my team would not let all of the dysfunctions come between us. I began to pray that God would work in our hearts and take all of our unique personalities and mold them together in order to form the best team.
The last part of what we learned was the Pathway Chart. This chart is based on 2 Timothy 3:16-17 which says:
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (NIV)
The MOB director told a story about when she was in seminary school and one of her best friends was a little rough around the edges. The only thing the director began to pray for is that God would put someone in her friend’s path that would be able to work with her on her roughness. Never did she think that that particular person was going to be her. But God always has a way of throwing us for a loop.
And so she began to work with her friend, and it all began when she confronted her friend out of love and told her about the things she had observed in the past. She knew she was taking a big risk doing this. After all, we are all human and sometimes we have little control over how we react to certain things. She was fearful her friend would be angry and hurt and would not want to speak to her for a while. But God reminded her this: if you truly love someone, you are more than willing to take on the heartache that comes when you say what God wants you to say.
She took a chance because she realized she loved her friend that much, and God worked it all out.
That is the Pathway Chart in a nutshell. It is a chart to remind us that our brothers and sisters in Christ might need someone to come alongside them, and God will use you (if it is His will) if you love His people.
It was a very powerful two hours of training, and I found myself hanging on every second. The information I learned in those two hours have stuck with me, and they have continued to come to mind in my daily devotions when it is just God and I. And the one thing I am learning is that when you love your brothers and sisters in Christ, when you love God’s children, you will sometimes be challenged to help them, sacrifice for them, pray for them.
I plan to continue with these updates as my ISP training continues! As you all read these updates and share in this joyous time with me, I ask that you would keep me and my team in your prayers. Pray for our growing relationships, our connections, our fundraising, and our preparation. We can use all of the prayers we can get!
Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed it!