THE GLOBAL CHURCH
UPDATE: Recently my heart has been rather focused on the Church. Although I have been a Christian for most of my life, grown up in several local churches, and helped with church plants, it is only in the past couple of years that a deepening and focused love has been maturing in my heart. What is the Church? This blog post is intended to be a general update so I will not go into a long description, however, some definition may still be beneficial. I will define the Church simply as every Christian past and present (and it shall include every future believer as well). And it is with this focus that I chose to call it the Global Church.
SOME THOUGHTS: The more that I pray for the Global Church, the more I begin to long for unity. I am beginning to believe that one of the keys to revival is unity. That the Global Church can only truly walk in the fullness of her identity as a unified body. And that Christ isn’t returning to the earth for a bunch of isolated or independent Christians but one unified Bride; His church. A picture of this is laid out in 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 and the following chapter (1 Corinthians 13) also seems to be important.
MY SMALL PART: It is humbling and overwhelming to focus on the whole earth. Yet the more I pray, the more God seems to be focusing my heart on the Global Church. My prayer has recently been something like: “God may I be a participant in what you desire to do on the earth with and through your Church”. How I deeply desire to see global reconciliation, healing, unity, forgiveness, and a great coming together of Christians on the earth with Christ as the head. Maybe there will be opportunity to participate in building bridges of many kinds, this is becoming a new vision for me.
JESUS IN THE GARDEN: “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” John 17:20-26 ESV
TO THE NATIONS: As God as been giving me more of a heart for the Global Church, He simultaneously has been providing opportunities to work with many Christians in various organizations, churches and countries. In 2014 I had the privilege of working with local churches and missional organizations in California and Washington in the States. I also got to connect with many pastors, missionaries and leaders in South Korea, Norway, and Japan. In the first few months of 2015 God has taken me to Taiwan, South Korea, and Thailand and next month I will be returning to the Philippines for my 4th time. I am still very much based in Tokyo, Japan but it has been a wonderful joy to be able to connect with other parts of the Global Church around the world in the past two years. I would now like to share some quick updates and photos from my recent trips. Hope you enjoy!
I had the privilege of visiting some Taiwanese missionary friends in Taiwan. A few used to attend my home church in Tokyo before moving back to Taiwan. I went with some Japanese friends from church on this short visit to encourage our wonderful friends. We enjoyed times of prayer, testimony sharing, worship and delicious food. MORE photos here.
On my second trip to South Korea it was so good to reconnect with people that I had met last year. I again stayed with an amazing host family (pictured above) who are missionaries in their home nation. During my stay there, I spent time with a YWAM team of Korean missionaries who were also being hosted by this amazing family. It was also really wonderful for me to meet up with my family’s last Korean home stay student who had recently returned to Seoul. The rest of my trip in Korea was filled with reconnecting with other missionary friends. And on one very special day I got to visit the boarder between North and South Korea. I have been praying a lot for these two nations recently and it was an intensely emotional and precious experience for me to see both boarders with my own eyes. MORE photos here.
I traveled to Thailand and spent 10 days with some amazing missionaries. All are Korean but they are working in different countries. Altogether these people represented Japan, Korea, China, and Thailand. I really enjoyed spending time with these people and it brought joy to my heart to see how God was using them in so many nations! MORE photos here.
THANK YOU: I want to thank each of you for your continual prayers, messages of encouragement and financial support. Through you, God provided the airfare and expenses for these recent trips. I really believe that God is doing much and it is exciting to anticipate the things to come.