Feb Update 2

So I return to work tomorrow and I’m definably going to say something to my union rep. Boy how time goes by so fast.

I e-mailed someone by the name of Justin and Amy who are on their way to returning to Japan for Missions. I just thought I share my first e-mail.

<<< --- Start of E-mail --- >>>

Dear Justin & Amy Perry

My name is Joel Greene and I am 23 years old and currently live in the South Chicago Suburbs. I first heard of you guys though some friends of mine and it is great to hear what you guys have been doing in Japan and admire you for it. For the last 5 years I have had a strong burden on my heart to help spread Christianity in Japan. I have prayed hard since then and have decided that I would like to take a short trip to Japan to help me find out if this is what God is calling me to do. I have had some contact with Christian Japaneses involved in the ministry and Missionaries over the last couple years but the disappointment is that every time I make contact they either past the buck to some else or forget about me all together.

My family and I have been attending Believers Church in Matteson, Illinois for more than 17 years. I have had a youth pastor who is very involved in missions and would have guest missionaries quite often. In fact my father has even been of mission trips to Guatemala. I know this must be God because when I was about 12 years old I would sit in my Youth Group and listen to my Youth Pastor and be scared of God calling me into the ministry or a place like the 10/40 window but now I have a peace about this. I have committed myself to God for whatever he wants me to do even if that includes relocating to Japan and going full time into the ministry.

The reason I’m contacting you is to ask if at all possible you can get me in contact with ANYBODY that can help me on my quest. I may finally have the opportunity to visit Japan coming this June if the right connections are made. I work for AT&T and I have saved half of my goal of $5000 and about 3 to 4 weeks of vacation time. (which is only available to me in whole in the month of June) The only bummer at the moment is my work blacks out the last two weeks of June and any other time is already taken. My Union Rep said he might be able to get me special consideration if I can provide a letter from a missions organization proving that I’m requesting the time off to do what I really am doing.

I am really just in love with Japan, I love the people, their culture and location and I just feel extremely burdened to help. I’ve attended Japanese Events, Been to conferences, Eaten their food (a lot) plus I’ve even worn a Kimonos. yes, I have even come realize that there is still a lot to work to do and It might not even work this year (again) but this is closes I have ever come to it possibly happening.

Mental support is one of the things I need. Thank you for reading my e-mail and please help me out. I’m behind you and I pray for you.

Sayonara,
ジョエル グリイン (Joel Greene)

<<< --- His Reply --- >>>

Joel,

It sounds like the Lord has definitely put Japan on your heart! We are actually not leaving for Japan until August. We start our term at the beginning of the school year in Japan.
My advice is just to remain patient. When I returned to the USA after my first mission term when I was 23, I was prepared to get ready and go back right away! Well, this is 2010 and the Lord has delayed my returning to the field for six years! It doesn’t sound like you’ll be delayed for nearly that long with the time you’ve spent raising funds and accumulating time off. Let me tell you from experience, when the Lord allows you to go, the door will open wide for you. He probably has a time and a place for you to serve the Japanese people and it’s just not here yet. From experience again, let me tell you that while you are waiting, get as immersed in the Japanese culture in Chicago as possible. Especially, get to know Japanese people; build relationships. Make friends with some guys at the sushi shops, at the markets, etc. We found a nice, intimate Japanese restaurant in Wicker Park when we were in Chicago in 2006 and it’s a place like that where some great relationships could start.
Keep in touch and we might have a lot better connections for you after we move. I will definitely pray for you and your desire to go to Japan in His service.

-JustinP-

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I will be sure to continue to talk with him.