THANKFUL REMEMBRANCE

ONE: I am thankful that God brought me to Japan. In 2011, I was looking for work as an English teacher. After applying for a good job in Japan and not getting it I was rather discouraged. Then the tsunami hit Japan and I was burdened with the feeling that I was supposed to be there. Later my friend and mentor, Pete Mahoney, and his wife invited me to come to YWAM Tokyo. After 24 hours of prayer and seeking the Lord, I was certain that that was what He had for me. He opened every door, provided every dollar, and began to speak vision for my time in Japan. 5 days later I landed at the Narita Airport in Tokyo.

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TWO: I am thankful for the freedom, restoration and healing He did in my life during my 5 month Discipleship Training School with YWAM Tokyo. My first 5 months in Japan were very intense. I was a student taking a DTS: 3 months of lecture, worship, prayer, and then 2 months of outreach, evangelism, prayer and worship. During this time God healed, restored and brought freedom to many places of my life, mind and heart.

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THREE: I am thankful that He brought me back to Japan! After my DTS, God called me back to Japan for a 2 year commitment. The journey of returning was a huge faith building. One distinct memory that I have is sitting on a friends couch super worried about raising support. I had about 30% of my needed monthly support. My prayer was, “God I will jump in faith if you tell me to, but only if you tell me to. Otherwise I don’t want to go to Japan unless you provide the money first.” After that I had a strong faith begin to well up inside of me and in my heart I was then resolved that I would go to Japan no matter what. 3 days after that heart choice, my support went from 30% to 90%. He is faithful! And He is committed not just to providing for our need but even more so to teaching us on the journey of His provision for us.

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FOUR: Community. For the past several years I have been learning about the beauty and value of Godly community. I have learned that there is actually a lot of past brokeness in my life revolving around community. During my time in Japan, God has been bringing that into the light and restoring what He originally designed. He has provided me with amazing men and women that I get to know and run with in Japan. This has helped me learn more about what it means to be vulnerable not only to a select few but also to a loving community. I am excited to grow more in this area and am so thankful for the journey that He has had me on.

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FIVE: Prayer, Worship, Evangelism. I am thankful that God has brought me into a place where loving God and loving people are the two most important things. I am blessed to be around people who love to love on God and then from an outflow of that minister to people.

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SIX: I am thankful that He has brought me to the Philippines on outreach for 3 years in a row. It has been such a wonderful blessing getting to know the amazing missionaries at the YWAM Olongapo base as well as Pastor James and his family from the Subic Bay House of Prayer. During these three years God has done so much! I have gotten to see girls leave a lifestyle of prostitution, become Christian, get mentored, and trained into a new job and lifestyle; each marked with incredible joy. I have also gotten to worship alongside Philippino people and intercede for revival in Olongapo and Manila.

Philippines

SEVEN: I am thankful for the time that I got to help lead an outreach in a park in Ueno. During that time I was super nervous but on the last day I felt Holy Spirit wanted me to walk around on my own and do evangelism. So I did. I met this man by a fountain and sat by him. He spoke no English and I spoke almost no Japanese but we were able to communicate some by pointing and hand gestures and after about 40mins, I invited him to the event our group was doing. Later that night he became a Christian. That was a huge blessing to me. To see that God could use me, work past my own limitations, and impact the life of a single man, eternally changing his destiny.

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EIGHT: I am super grateful for the high school ministry that I have gotten to be a part of the whole time I have been in Japan. International HiBA is full of amazing high school students who will be future leaders and impactors of both this nation and the world. It has been a privilege to invest in these amazing world changes and see them released and grow into who they are. During my time with HiBA I have gotten to mentor some guys one on one, lead worship and also train other worship leaders, lead evangelism teams all across Tokyo, be a counselor for 3 years at HiBA Camp, and probably my favorite: be a part of a very special night in 2011 where a room full of about 100 Japanese and international believers cried out for revival in Japan, repented of national strongholds, prayed for healing, and experienced a deep encounter of the love of God.

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NINE: I am super grateful for the home church in Japan that God brought me to! Cornerstone Tokyo is a wonderful international church in Japan. It is actually a church plant off of a church in Seattle so that is super cool too. It has been a blessing serving this beautiful church and getting to know the amazing people therein. I have gotten to help with set up tear down, outreaches, worship team, and have even started leading one of the services.

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TEN: Cornerstone Early Service. For the past 6 months I have been leading the early service at Cornerstone church. Right now I am working with my Japanese friend Takumi and we are having a lot of fun. One of the things that I noticed at church was that there are so many new Christians that attend. They love Jesus but don’t know the Bible super well yet. So I am having a lot of fun teaching about core and foundational things. Recently we just started a series called “STORIES” which focuses on one OT story and the main character’s relationship with God. Its super fun! Another great thing is that we have set up the early service to help train people. So many people are getting a chance to lead worship or give a message at the early service and are growing a lot.

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ELEVEN: Recently I got to talk with one of the new Christians that regularly attends the Early Service at Cornerstone Tokyo. I was heavily impacted by his intense joy. We were talking about different parts of the Bible that he had been reading. And I showed him my favorite chapter in the Bible, Philippians 2. As I explained the passage to him his face constantly lit up with a huge smile and he kept saying how amazing God was. He also would point to his chest and say: “He paid for my sins, my sin is broken” with a beaming smile on his face and laughter of joy. I love that!

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2 responses to “THANKFUL REMEMBRANCE”

  1. Ed says :

    Wonderful to read and rejoice with you… God truly is so good.

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  1. THIS COMING SEASON | E. DEVIN VANDER MEULEN II - November 15, 2013

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