Destination: Japan

Designation: Church planting

Sending Church: Beeches Evangelical, Birmingham

Rachel Dexter

My first time in Japan was when I was 14 years old for a school exchange. After a long journey and being considerably jet-lagged, I was welcomed by my host family, with the grandma introducing me to one of Japan's delicacies takoyaki (fried octopus). The combination of jet lag, homesickness, unfamiliarity, and new foods quickly ended in
tears and a long sleep!

My second time in Japan was quite different as I was welcomed into a small OMF-supported church plant for the next 18 months. I quickly felt settled and at home, and after some time listening and observing, I was able to join in conversations and connect with the people. I got to see some of the ways God was working in this beautiful country, and was reminded of the seeds sown in generations past by my missionary grandparents, aunties and uncles, and many more. I saw how God had worked in my life, through family and Japanese language learning at school, to draw me to these people. Even in my weaknesses and inadequacies, God showed me how he was using me to share his good news with people often hearing it for the first time. He reminded me of the passage in Romans 10: 'How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?' (verse 14).

Please pray as I return to Japan again to follow God's calling and share the good news in every opportunity I receive.