International Ministries

God’s Good Timing

April 14, 2011 Journal
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Dear friends,
Two weeks ago, if I had gotten a phone call from Michie, something might have gone awry.  But God’s timing is perfect.  When we pay attention to all the hints we are given we’re able to see God’s hand.

As you know, I’ve been doing what I can to mend a back problem.  Finally with help from doctors, I’ve been able to overcome the problem.  It’s been through exercise and strengthening certain muscles that I’ve been able to get better.  During this time of recuperation and reflection the temptation has been great to run off to NE Japan to be of assistance and encouragement to those I know and love.  I only had July or August to look forward perhaps, if I got well.  

Ten days ago I was feeling a little better and thought that I could finally shop at Japan’s Costco and pack some boxes of supplies to send up.  But alas, a phone call to Michie, the wife of Rev. Yamada at the Shiogama church caused me to pull back.  She said that the groups she was dealing with no longer needed anything, at least at present.  How could they have all they needed, I wondered.  I decided to go shopping anyway, and send individual packages to each home of the members related to Shichigahama Preaching Place.  After I finished the shopping, the phone rang, and it was Michie who said “I have something I want you to send up.”  So I grabbed a pen and paper.  Then she said “I want you to send yourself up!”  “What?” I replied.  Then she explained how discouraged the church was there.  That each person was experiencing their own personal hardships and because of shortages of gas and energy had not been able to go to church once since 3-11.  The pastor, Rev. Oyama and his wife had worshipped for three weeks in a row by themselves.  In addition, the loss of Tomoko, their main-stay, had been great!  

So, what should I do?  I still had not tested the strength of my back yet to see if the long ride and extra strain would effect it negatively.  On Monday, a friend and I finished filling seven boxes, and after sending them to North East Japan, I went off on a short 2 ½ day vacation for a little refreshment.  I walked long distances and did some short treking.  During that time, while I prayed, the Lord made it clear that the time was now for me to go.

As I glanced up at Mount Fuji, I recalled Psalms 123 “I shall lift up my eyes to the mountains; from whence shall my help come?  My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth…The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever.”  v. 1, 2, 8  Yes, the Lord had kept me from going out when I shouldn’t have but will protect me as I go up north and come back.

So, on Friday as you are reading this I will be on my way to give an encouraging word to those who have all their earthly goods in tact but who are grieving over their relatives and acquaintances some of whom have lost everything.  How can I comfort anyone in that position?  I guess I just have to look up to the mountain, that reminds me that someone greater than me is my ever present help and will guard my coming and my going.

In Christ, Roberta

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