Saturday, April 15, 2017

Tales from Japan - Sharing Jesus in the Sakura



Crowds of people walk through and picnic in downtown Fukuoka for Sakura 
It is a very rare occasion that I have time on a Sunday to go outside.  I am usually busy preparing a message or doing a wedding.  Typically my Sunday is a 10-12 hour work day.  However last week just as the Japanese Cherry blossoms - SAKURA - were at peak I was able to go to the park.  I was strongly convicted to go to the park and pray and even reach out and expect God to do something.

Fukuoka Castle Ruins during Cherry Blossom full bloom
So as I went out I asked a woman if she needed prayer and she was in a lot of pain but she refused.  I`m sure I need to work on my approach but that is ok.  You don`t stop swinging the bat because you didn`t hit the ball! That would be foolish.  So you take the scorn or whatever shake it off but I was determine to just be still and trust God who would need prayer next.  About 20 minutes later I was reading some signs about an exhibit in the park and I ask two ladies to tell me where it was.  Striking up this conversation led them to ask questions about me.  Where I came from?  What I do?  So this naturally came to the discussion of I prayer for people.  Do you need any prayer for healing etc?  And one lady quickly told me she had really bad shoulder stiffness.  I asked to pray for her and she started to laugh and smile and said she felt so happy.  After I prayed a few times her shoulder stiffness melted away and we talked about God and Jesus for just a few minutes before her friend beckoned her to leave.  She told me after her encounter that she wants to pray to JESUS everyday now! How about that!! She said she has heard the Gospel but never experienced anything like this.  She said that she always thought God was real and now she knows!
I asked if I could take a picture before she left and she agreed, God is good
Many families, and young people gather on the open fields and eat lunch together

I learned that we can be used by the LORD wherever we go we just have to be willing to GO.  Jesus told His follower GO and make disciples.  This means go out of your comfort zone at times and encounter people and sharing Jesus with them.  Not just the word or the talk but the actual reality that He is real and you can experience His presence, His healing, and His goodness wherever you are.

This woman is on the path and she is following the Way, the Truth, and the Life and that is Jesus.  When Jesus met the woman at the well He didn't talk about the cross or even her sin.  He revealed that He knew her, he spoke of a time that people will worship in Spirit and Truth and then she decided to follow Him.  This was the beginning for her and like many encounters we have it may be a seed, it may be watering something God has already done, or it may be confession of faith, or baptism.  There are many steps to discipleship that follow as well. So let's be faithful first to GO and then let God lead and always be ready.

A short FB live video of me talking about what happened plus other bonus stuff.

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