Saturday, May 31, 2008

Evidence of God working in my life.

Today is yet another day when God has poured his grace and blessings upon me.

Today is the second day in a row of rain and the third week since I have last seen Trash Box Jam. Last week I was doing well, I had plenty of energy and many exciting things were happening to keep me distracted. This week, my energy started draining. I kinda knew it would be coming. Today I was at the lowest point of the week. I couldn't wake up this morning. Barely made it to work before my students. Didn't bother to eat before work. Not only that, looking back on my week, I felt like I hadn't accomplished anything. There were so many things that I "should have done." Once again I was faced with my true character, my habits of sin, and my need for redemption. Once again, God showed me His true character, the forgiveness for my sin and offered His hand of redemption. (He even prompted a student to bring me food as well.)

So this week has been game week. This year I've decided to help reinforce English by playing word games once a month in my Adult and returnee classes. It also helps out with lesson planning. So we played games this week. It was good, and didn't require too much energy from me. Kids are another story. But this is an example of God's grace.

Today I have two classes of returnees, Kids who have lived in America (or other English speaking country) and want to keep their English. One class is now up to 4 six year olds, and one class is a group of 3, 3rd, 4th and 6th grade. In the younger class we played Candyland. It's been a while since I've seen Candyland, and I wondered if it was really going to be entertaining for the kids. Well, turns out it is. Haha. We had a great time. I never knew Candyland could be so exciting. I encouraged them to talk by making them choose from two or three cards in my hand instead of just drawing the next card from the pile. This also added a bit of excitement to game. But in the end, I know that it was a gift of God. God has given me a gift of being able to play with children. I'm always amazed, because I know I don't deserve such a wonderful gift. But he gave it to me anyway, even on days I'd rather be at home hiding under the covers.

Today in Bible Study one woman was saying again how "kawaii sou" (pitable) the Israelites were because they were always being given such strict punishments from God. I tried to point out how it was really their fault, and show how merciful and patience God was really being. It reminded me of some people I've known. I have a friend here. I've known her for two years. In the begining, I always thought that the people around her were a bit too harsh with her. I would try to defend her and support her. Now I have been here longer, (and know a bit more Japanese) and I can see the frustrations of the people around her. She doesn't change. She continues to act like a child, so the people around her will continue to treat her in that fashion. And they really do care about her. But they can't change her heart. They can't make her mature. That's a lot how Israel was. That's a lot how I am. I can see the person I used to be. I can see how much I've changed. And I can see how far I still have to go. I know I am also a stubborn child. I continue to try to do things my way, and complain when they don't go the way I wanted them to. I try to force my will on God, or try to bribe Him to see things my way. How wonderful He doesn't always listen to me! I've seen the results when God finally gives up and says "Fine, have it your way. Remember, you asked for this." I don't want that. I'm so thankful that God continues to work in my life even when I am a faithless, undisciplined, stubborn child.

By all accounts, today should have been a miserable day. But God redeemed it, and allowed me to learn and open my heart just a fraction wider than before. This is good. I want to mature with my God and Father. This is my prayer.

I guess this was a bit of a strange blog entry, but it's how I'm feeling tonight and I felt like I should write it down. But it's encouraging to see how much God continues to interfere in my life. I know He won't stop until I become what He created me to be. That's wonderful.


Elaine said...

Hi Amber,
I came across your blog by coincidence when I googled 'japan missionaries'. I plan to go to Japan myself as a missionary next year so your blog has been a great way to know what to expect roughly and its been an encouragement to read about all your joys and challenges living for God in a foreign land.
I was going through your web album and it truly is a small world coz i recognized Efrain. I met him when i was in Japan for a short time doing missions work on the Doulos (an OM ship) and i visited his church in Niigata. sitting in on his english class actually inspired me to take this road of missions work in Japan.
It must be quite strange getting this message from a complete stranger, so let me introduce myself, I'm Elaine and if you would like to know anything more, just leave a note on your blog and i'll send you my email address. I've got so much more questions to ask but maybe it'll be better to ask them through email.
Be blessed,

cinderlee said...

Hey Elaine!
I'm good friends with Amber and was actually talking to her on the phone when I saw your comment. I am the current missionary at Niigata Church, where Efrain used to be. Here is my website. I would love to chat with you if you want to.