First time on a plane, first time over seas, 12 hours over the ocean to pray over my first international mission trip. After months of planning, preparing, learning Japanese phrases, and studying customs, a diverse time of students from SEBTS embarked on a weeklong trip around the world. Excitement and nerves made an interesting combination as we landed in Tokyo.
As we roam around Japan, taking in all of the lights, sounds, smells, and people we then go into Yokohama Tower and climb a staggering 900+ feet in the air. Looking over the city I was amazed at the vast beauty of Japan but was overwhelmed at the vast numbers of lost individuals this city contains. Every building, every car, every park represents scores of people that the odds of them being evangelical believers are 0.5%. That is millions and millions of people who are going through their daily lives without the hope of Jesus Christ and unless they are told the Gospel and their eyes opened, they will spend an eternity apart from their Creator. I couldn’t hold back tears at the thought of this.
This was made personal when visiting Asakusa Temple in Tokyo. As we passed through seeing the gods of gold and silver, I look to my right and see a women praying to her god. Our eyes meet together and in that moment, as she prayed, I saw the emptiness in her heart and vain attempts to be heard by a god that is not there. This image is forever ingrained in my mind and the brokenness for that woman, and the millions inhabiting Japan, will forever be on my heart.
This is a nation of vast beauty but a nation of desperate need for the Gospel to be boldly proclaimed. As I spoke with one of the long-term missionaries in Japan, his prayer will be mine: “The land of the rising sun, will soon be the land of the risen Son.”