So it occurred to me recently that I haven’t given an update on what’s been going on with the ministry here lately.
Well, let me remedy that.
Things are often changing in very slight ways here at Aganai. We are constantly seeking the Lord’s voice on where to place our feet and how to move forward in almost every way.
It’s all very exciting and frustrating all at once.
We feel God’s passion for the Japanese people so earnestly. He truly loves the people of Japan and we are honored constantly to be a part of His plan here.
A few months back, the Lord called Hailey and I to shift our ministry to focus more on establishing a Community of believers that desire to do the Lord’s will.
It has been a patient process watching the Lord slowly build this community and He is very much still in the process, but we are getting to see new things unfold all of the time.
At the beginning of it all we sat down and asked the Lord what kind of community He wanted us to be.
This was what we got. These are the five tenets of whom He has called us to be rooted in:
Community: We are called to be a community entirely centered around just that; community. We are here to be a place where people can come and immediately feel part of the family if they so choose. No jumping through hoops. Just open, welcome arms, and a place beside us at the dinner table.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35 (To read more about this, please check out my blog This Is How They Will Know) ****[To Kaleigh: Can you put a link to my blog here please?]****
Service: We want to be a people known for the way we serve others. This doesn’t just mean the people we are expected to serve such as friends and family, but also those who we don’t know, or those who are against us. We want to reflect Jesus’ servant heart and wash the feet of all those who we meet.
“…Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven… If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:43, 46-48
Faith: This one probably sounds pretty obvious, but the truth is we want to always have faith as a precedent in our community. Faith in the work of the hands of the Father. That even during times where what we expect is not happening, we do not change our tactics in order to force that expectation to happen through our own will, but we allow the Lord to continually move us and stretch us according to His will.
“For we live by faith, not by sight.” 1 Corinthians 5:7
Growth/Maturity: We want to be a people who never cap our wisdom at the people in leadership, but rather constantly encourage all people in our community to seek wisdom from good sources and continually mature in our relationship with Christ and our understanding of the scriptures and the heart of God.
“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” Ephesians 4:11-15
Church Unity: We desire to be a community that fully supports the unified body of Christ in all of its forms and mistakes and shortcomings (Pretty much, as long as you are not a cult or false prophet, we are for you.). We strive to see the disconnected parts of the Church body come together and work as one for the glory of the Kingdom of Heaven. We do this by serving the local churches in any way we can and supporting the people in authority in those places.
“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by[c one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many…Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” 1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 27
So that is who we are, and that is who we will continue to be.
The Lord has given us great vision and great passion to see many things happen while we are in Japan and we are pursuing those visions and passions with great Godly ambition, knowing that the work of the Lord is at hand and that our conqueror is eternally victorious. That is the confidence and assurance that we are allowed to live by. Praise God.