Posted by: grantmiho | June 9, 2009

Tougher Place to Be

We are currently at a missions training in Chicago this whole week. Last night, one of the other missionaries who has been working in South America shared how he felt that we and another couple going to Spain are in a more difficult place. He would rather serve in South America than Japan. We had been talking about working in other cultures and serving the poor. He remarked that in these poorer contexts, the people and kids are very expressive and it is easy to see results and impact.

I found this to be true while reflecting on my two mission experiences in Mexico. The first in high school reminded me of how easy kids would flock to us Americans and get excited about Vacation Bible Schools and bible lessons. The second was as a youth leader building homes. The family wept when they received their first home in their life at the end of the week. They appeared super appreciative. This left you with a great feeling and could see the impact made immediately on their lives.

Japan is not the same way. People are not flocking to missionaries for help and care. It is not as apparent and immediate the impact that is made on their lives. This makes it extremely difficult and sometimes depressing to serve in such contexts. We might plant seeds and water the soil, but miss out on opportunities to experience the harvest. Yet, while this might be a tougher place to be in some respects, we still feel strongly called here and want to serve with perseverance despite what results we might get to see.


  1. some till the soil, some plant, some water – but only a few see the harvest. its not the end result we’re working towards, its being part of the process that honors God.

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