The following is Beau Andrews’ summary of his Summer, 2013 Mission Trip to Japan. Living Faith Fellowship was excited to support Beau’s effort and time in Japan. This summary can also be downloaded here. Pictures taken by Beau can be viewed <a href="
“>here or downloaded here.src=”https://lffkearney.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/japan-4.jpg?w=112″ alt=”Japan 4″ width=”112″ height=”150″ class=”alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-1129″ />
It is hard to believe that it has almost been a month since I have been back home from Japan. I am glad to be back and ready for the next year of college, yet still miss all my friends back in Japan. I want to thank everyone for all your support and prayers. I could not have had this experience without your help.
Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. Philippians 4:17
The following is the summary of the experience I gained from this summer.
If may ask one more prayer request. Please pray for the missionaries in Japan and for the students that I have created friendships with. That we will remain in contact and that they will come to know Jesus as their personal Savior.
Where should one begin when telling a life-changing journey? How does one answer the repetitive question relating to how the trip transpired. After deep contemplation I was still unable to fully develop a way to encompass my trip. No matter what I communicate or how delicately I choose my words. There is purely no way to effectively communicate the experience that I gained from this trip. Therefore, the only way to attempt to answer any questions in regards to my trip is with the most influential and memorable moments. Until arriving in Japan and being submerged in the mission work that was being done there I was operating on unanswered assumptions. No matter how the message was relayed I could not fully fathom how preeminent the need was for missionaries and how desperately there is a need for the gospel in Japan. There was no delay on being fully embraced in the culture and seeing how alone I was even though everywhere I was people were present. Even though I had minor moments of anxiety the adrenaline of pure excitement rushing through my vanes was too much to bare. Every time I met a student there the look on their face when I met them for the first time is one I will never forget. I feel that each student was more anxious and excited then I was. Day by day I was able to interact with students. Which allowed for seemingly unending opportunities to allow Christ to show His love through my life. It is such an honor and joy to be able to have that impact in someone’s life. Until the first time we had bible discussion I did not know really what was going on or how this trip was even considered a missions trip. Shortly after beginning bible discussion my eyes were opened and my heart began to break. As time progressed the opportunities I had to read and discuss the bible became more and more bittersweet. The more my heart broke yet the more I saw Gods work at hand. I would at times want to just cry for the dear friends of mine who have, until that summer, never read the bible. I wrestled with how do you reach the lost who have no idea they are even lost? I recalled the famous saying actions speak louder than words. I knew that by the life I lived was the most effective way to preach the gospel. However, the challenge to live a god honoring life continually is a challenge man has faced since creation. The struggles I wrestled with became more prominent. The life I didn’t want to live seemed easier and the life I wanted to live seemed unattainable. I earnestly prayed from Psalms 51 for God to renew my heart and give me strength. After a few days of praying God showed me that I was lacking in constantly showing genuine love. I knew that to begin to live a God honoring life one needs to have unending love. ‘Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:7 ESV) Love is the strongest and most powerful emotion an individual can show. For out of a loving heart comes humility, thanksgiving, joy, hope, peace, and the list goes on. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love never ends.’ (1 Corinthians 13:4-6, 8a ESV)
I am so grateful for how God changed me. How he took me to a foreign country to deepen my relationship with Him. However, there was still a problem I was facing and even a bigger problem I was going to encounter. My friends still did not know Jesus as their personal savior. The second problem was I had created a home in Japan and was wondering how I could leave this place. My thoughts were, what if I go to another region of the world would I be torn to leave from there as well? Then I recalled how our citizenship is in heaven. ‘But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,’ (Philippians 3:20 ESV) Therefore, the same God who brought me to Japan is the same God who will be with me when I return. It was not I who provided the money for the trip, it was not I who created the opportunities to share the gospel. Nor was it I who would make them fully understand the gospel. All things good are provided by God to glorify God. I am thankful God chose to use me as a stepping stone to share the gospel. This trip was not merely a two month journey that would end after I returned. However, this was merely another stepping stone for me to continue in growing in my walk with Christ. Becoming the man of god that I was created to be. Now it is onto the next stage and to continue this abundant growth. “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.’ (John 15:1, 2, 4, 5 ESV) We are called to bear fruit. No matter where we go in life we are to fully rely on Christ and fulfill the great commission while living a life honoring to Him. ‘Thus says the Lord : “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:5-8 ESV) I again cannot express the amazement of how great our God is. The God of Jacob, the God of Moses, is the same God then, today and forever. ‘And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, “The Lord, he is God; the Lord, he is God.” (1 Kings 18:39 ESV) ‘God said to Moses, ” I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ” I am has sent me to you.” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, “The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.” This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations. (Exodus 3:14, 15 ESV)
This summer had convictions and realizations. The combination allowed for growth and maturity. The outcome is a desire to continually serve Christ in everything I do. ‘And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.’ (Colossians 3:17 ESV). If I may encourage you to take one thing away from my experience is to never loose faith in God the Father and our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus.
‘if we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.’ (2 Timothy 2:13 ESV)
May the grace of God be with you.
Your brother in Christ,