Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The LORD's Doing

Recently, I had the opportunity to visit with an unsaved young Okinawan lady. A sweet lady, Mrs Pam, and myself had gotten her visitor's card for Ladies' visitation. So, we ventured out to find her house in the maze that is Okinawa housing. What we would consider narrow back alleys in the US, are many times the front streets in major housing areas here. Bonsai sized yards, which are meticulously groomed, sit unassumingly beneath the typhoon weathered housing that appears piled one house/appt on top of the other. Houses filled with lost souls serving dead ancestors. We wound around the little streets searching.

Mrs Pam and I nearly gave up finding Makiko's house after a few wrong turns, but the Lord led us a little further down the road to discover her home on the crowded little street. As we decided where to park (parking in town is challenging), I noticed a young Okinawan coming out the front door of the house we were to visit. The expectant woman, Makiko, explained in broken English that she was on her way to an appointment, but she would be back to church. She said that her mom is a Christian and was pressuring her to be baptized. I said "Oh, so then you have already accepted Christ to be your Savior?" She looked confused. I asked for further clarification as to why she was interested in baptism as Salvation by Grace was the way to heaven not baptism- that was to be her first act of obedience and testimony to her new life in Christ. She said that her mom made it sound as if she needed to be perfect and she wasn't perfect so was afraid to get baptized. I was so excited for the opportunity to share the Gospel with her! I got my Bible open, but was reminded of her appointment. She allowed us to pray with her and she assured me she wanted to hear the truth about Salvation the following evening at church.

The next evening at church, I waited at the door for her, and she came...she went to the Japanese service and I talked to the lady in charge of that ministry. I *so wanted to be there with her as she had the Gospel explained in her native tongue...she was still saying to the ladies that she just needed/wanted to be baptized. I left the church and the ladies talking with her -as they were speaking in Japanese and I felt intrusive. I was in tears...I was so disappointed. I fretted about them not understanding that she was not saved- what if she slipped through and did not accept Christ. Oh how small my faith is. This is the LORD's doing! He is in control. He is the Good Shepherd who longs for her to join the fold more than anyone. I needed to let go. It did not occur to me that it would be BETTER for her to be shown from her own Japanese Bible so there would be no confusion. Zeal cannot overcome a language barrier ;) as much as I would like to believe it could. In my heart I even accused the other ladies of not wanting to see her saved as badly as I did...stinkin' pride. I was so set on getting the reward...the thrill of leading her MYSELF that I lost focus of what the real purpose was. This lady was lost...she needed to accept Christ as her Lord and Savior. I am nothing but a vessel...my purpose and part was met and complete in this work. I just needed to get my heart right and pray. As I drove home, I repented of my desire for personal gain...it could have resulted in devastating confusion and loss! The Lord had allowed me a tremendous undeserved blessing of being a PART of His work! He had ALLOWED ME...to be witness to HIS work. My heart issue stared me in the face...love of SELF....I felt sick, but felt God's love comforting me as I was humbled. I shook my head at my immaturity and self-guided vice God- guided zeal. I then, in a righted spirit, prayed for this dear Okinawan lady- I prayed that her soul would be saved- that was all that mattered to me at that moment.

As I got the children ready for bed, the phone rang...it could not have been more than 20 min after I had prayed in the van...the director of the Japanese ministry greeted me...he said he thought I would want to know that Makiko had just prayed with his wife and asked the Lord Jesus Christ to be her Lord and Saviour. GOD IS SO GOOD!!! My heart soared...I was floating. My heart was so happy and rejoiced just as much if I had been there and led her myself. I was so relieved and grateful for that "hug" of assurance from the Lord...His work is just indescribable-His understanding and love knows no bounds. The moment I genuinely became concerned only about Makiko's soul and not my own desires...He met me there and assured me that His new lamb was safe in the fold...led by His hand the whole way. What an amazing God we serve. Only God can turn tears of shame into joy and gratefulness within minutes. He is so good.
Psalm 119:80 Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed.
Proverbs 11:2 [When] pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly [is] wisdom.
Psalm 118:23 This is the LORD'S doing; it [is] marvellous in our eyes.

picture courtesy of allposters.com


Grafted Branch @ Restoring the Years said...

What a wonderful testimony, Heather! I'm so happy for you that you were able to rejoice in the part you played, even if it wasn't as the harvester--this time.

Free In Christ said...

God is so faithful. Thanks for sharing the story.

Sarah Tidmore said...

Heather--What a wonderful testimony! It made me cry... The Lord has been showing me the exact same prideful behavior in myself and my actions... What heartache it brings when He allows me/us to see it, but what a blessing that we have when we allow Him to reveal it to us and by His grace we can turn away!!!! Praise God for His Son and the sacrifice He made on the cross!!! What an AWESOME and GRACIOUS GOD we serve! Thank you Jesus! God bless you!
Sarah T
My friend went home to be with Jesus. So please keep praying for her Husband and children, as her husband has not made a clear decision for Jesus... Thank you so much.

Heather said...

GB- thank you for your encouragement. It is disheartening when we see our own desires can taint even soul-winning.
Melissa- yes God is so good. I miss you my friend.
Sarah- ((hug)) Oh, I am so sorry for your loss...I will pray for her husband and children. My heart hurts for the loss. Take care friend- praying for your comfort.

Happymama said...

I'm so glad Makiko is part of THE family of God. What a blessing!! I'm glad you shared that story with us. Such an encouragement.


Heather said...

Thanks for the encouragement Kristi! :) Praise the Lord!

Mishel said...

I *loved* reading this! What a blessing to know Makiko received Christ as her savior!!

Hugs to you!! : )

Mishel said...

Oh--in answer to your question about what to look for on your sitemeter--we found out where "they" were coming from by checking under "referrals".