Monday, April 18, 2011

Long time no post

It's been more than a month since my last post, and there was so much change in my world happening.

From the last month since the very bad disaster of tsunami, earthquake and radioactive leaks, I was forced to return home to my hometown in Makassar. I was very sad to leave Japan, and seems like all my plan for the future has been dashed.

Anyway, I'm still very grateful to the Lord for still letting me alive, and blessed me with a wonderful family that really cares for my well-being. I don't know what He stored for me in the future, but looks like I won't be back in Japan until May now.

So well while I am still in Indonesia, I decided to make the best of this opportunity and met some of my old friends in Jakarta, some are from my high school friends and some from my previous university in Jakarta before I went to Japan. We had quite a time, and I was glad to see my friends that was married several months ago. Wish the best for them and their future too!

After four days in Jakarta, I arrived in Makassar. My mother was sick because she worried about me, and she was still coughing when I met her. I brought her to the doctor and thank God gradually her health gets better again, now she doesn't cough anymore. Still I don't know if I ever allowed to return to Japan permanently, as long as the radiation leaks don't get controlled I won't get permission to stay in Japan.

So I'm in the middle of pathways now, should I return to Japan in spite of the resistance from my family, and risk repeating the same problem in the future, or staying in Makassar?

Of course there is no easy way, and once I've decided it will affect my future from now on.

Decision, decision..

Monday, March 7, 2011

Feels like...

Wanna shout out really haaaard!!!

I often feel soooo lonely during all my daily busyness.. but don't have the time to chat or play around...

Weeelll, this is life, so just enjoy it with all its hardships^^

now back to work!!!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Ski trip

Finally, got back from the ski trip!

What a blasting three days! Went into onsen and rotenburo (spa), skiing, playing cards until night, half-sleeping through the discussion about politics and conflicts (which a definite someone in the church, ms. ALG, would have so much thrill to hear about, I guess), and more skiing!

My body is still aching from the sore muscles, but it was a very nice vacation!
And in the end we only have to pay about 12,500 yen, so that was quite a big discount!

Also met some new friends, chida-kun, yon in-san, wong ju-san, ryu-chan, kazi-kun and shan-kun, we talked about many things. I also shared a few of my experiences walking with Jesus with some of them, hope it can become a blessing for them! Especially chida-kun, he was such a good child^^

Also learned a bit of korean language there, hmm,, let me remember a few bits...

Kansamunida - thank you
chael bo goku sumida - thank you for the food
kaccha - lie
chincha - truth

seems like an interesting language to learn, and because the grammar is very similar to japanese, I think I'll have a blast learning them!

Now if only I have time to spare ;)

Oh, forgot to say to myself : Happy birthday^^ This year was so hectic and busy that I didn't have any time to properly celebrate myself and giving thanks to God.
Thank you God for these 27 years on this earth, and please let me serve you more until the time You are calling me back home.
Oh, and also thank you for letting me starting this blog. When I re-read them again, I can see how much You work in my life through my darkness moments, and how much my joys amplified by Your blessings.Thank you for walking with me everyday. Love you^^

Monday, February 28, 2011

Mission trip in Shinshiro

After all the hectic times last week during which I submitted a paper, finished my VISA application submission (which has to be resubmitted because of a mistake >_<), preparing for conference and attending mission trip, finally I returned back to Chiba!

The mission trip was really a blessing for me. I was really feeling the presence of God through his church. I realized how important it is to pray for revival, to free people from satan's bind, and to crush the control of the demon. And I experienced how Holy Spirit gave me the courage to go and tell other people about Jesus.

It is really encouraging to see a church that is really full of Japanese people, as other churches in Japan have so few people, much less young people in there. But in this Shinshiro church, not only there are all kinds of people from children to old people, but in the Sunday service there are 300 people worshiping there!

What is different about this church is that this church has the vision for Japan's revival, and all the staff are one in heart. Like many other churches in Japan, they also had times where they were stagnant and experienced how hard it is to reach Japanese people and tell them the gospel. But they learn from many churches, and also from missionaries from Indonesia, including from our head pastor that once served as a missionary in Kalimantan.

In July 9, 1992, they were told by God to start a spiritual warfare, although they didn't understand at that time. But they started to pray to break the bond of idolatry and spirit worshiping in Japan. Then they found out that their region was the place where once a huge war happened, and in 6 hours around hundred thousands of people were killed, and since then people started to worship the dead spirit, afraid that they will receive curses from those dead spirits. They then told by Holy Spirit that this is the veil that blinds the eyes of people, that caused them to not be able to see the light of the gospel. So after they started praying to break the bind and to lift the veil that blinds people, God starts to guide people towards the church.

In rural area such as Shinshiro, people's bond are very strong, and it is very hard to become a Christian because of that. Especially because the custom of praying for the ancestor's spirit is very strong in Japan. Before, even if one person become a Christian, other 10 people will harden their heart because of that. And somehow people didn't stay for long in the church, one week they were attending and the next week they stopped coming suddenly. But after they started the spiritual warfare, mysteriously people started to go to church and asked them to break down the butsudan (place to put the picture of ancestor or buddha statue) for them! After they are praying for the veil to be lifted, God opened the eyes of the people, and those that are sensitive spiritually can see that real form of what they are worshipping, are evil spirits! And they want to be freed from them! After people become Christians, their problems (which are caused by evil spirit summoning and worshiping) are vanishing, and other people that see the change that happened in those people are attracted to church as well. People are now staying in church, and influence their surroundings, just as God want us to be.

Almost 20 years has passed since the spiritual warfare started, and Shinshiro church is still growing healthily with a vision for Japan revival through spiritual warfare. Later God opened their eye that Japan spiritual realm is based from the Jomon era, and people from Jomon era are the sailor tribes that came from Indonesia! After that Yayoi era came, where people from Korea came to Japan and eradicated Jomon people. And they found out that the Buddhist culture in Japan is a mixbreed from shamanism (which was rooted from the Jomon period) and confucianism (which came from Yayoi people from Korea). In Buddhism they believe the reincarnation, so there should be no need for grave nor ancestor worshipping, because they will be reincarnated. But what is taught in Buddhism in Japan (and in China or Korea) is that they should worship their ancestor spirit, which is taught in confucianism. And one of their worshipped god, inari, which is a fox ridden by a god named Dakini, is the name of a god in Hinduism, which can still be found in Bali.

So they slowly uncover the hidden truth behind the history, where most Japanese people wouldn't even stop to think about. Most Japanese people would think that Japanese were originated in Japan and they are special people selected by their god Amaterasu, but in reality the custom to worship Amaterasu and the emperor was started in Meiji area, and there are no such thing as pure Japanese because they are originated from Jomon and Yayoi people, which were moving from Indonesia and Korea!

So during the mission trip, we as representation from Indonesia, prayed for the revival in Japan and for breaking the chain that binds the people in Japan, especially in Shinshiro. The spiritual realm in Japan and Indonesia is strongly linked, and victory in Indonesia will mean victory in Japan and vice versa. We were also doing home visit, and telling people about Jesus and the gospel, although we were mostly rejected by people there. But we learned from this experience not to depend on our own strength or wisdom, but to ask for God's power and Holy Spirit's blessings to empower us to spread his Words. I myself experienced how Holy Spirit turned my fear into joy and the willingness to reach out to people.

Returning back here in Chiba, I wonder if the people here in Tokyo is also bound by the evil spirits, in different shape. Most people in Japan still worship their ancestor or go to temple wishing for good luck even though they would say that they don't believe in the spiritual world. I hope God would give me wisdom to find out the truth about the reign of evil spirit in this area and Tokyo, too.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sooo many things to do this week...

Just heard from my professor that I have to make a hard cover for my thesis, and that would require two weeks to finish. Also I would need to start writing my VISA application as well.

Why would things go everything at once in this busy week?
I'll need superhuman strength to do this all...

God, you know me, and I know that all things I'm facing right now is not out of your will. If you allow me to go through this, I know you will give me enough grace to face them all.

Your will be done....

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Busy days...

My final graduation defense is over, well, that means that busy days has ended, right?

That's not the case it seems. Other than preparing for next week mission trip, I have to finish a paper to submit to a journal that is due on Thursday, and make a presentation slide for 28th's symposium on Saturday. Oh did I mention that I'll have to attend our lab's undergraduate defense and farewell party on Thursday and Friday?

Thank God that He helped me though. I was so deeply immersed in the thought of preparing the paper that I entirely forgot today is the day for our usual lab meeting, and I have to present today! But somehow the lab meeting got canceled and I was able to get away today, and have more time to prepare my paper.

Still, with only two days to prepare and eight more pages to write, I can't really afford to waste more time. God, please help me, as I won't be able to do this with my strength alone. May your name be glorified through me^^

edit: I wasn't able to get away today >_<
Thought that today's meeting got canceled, but it wasn't.
I didn't make any preparation so I can't present anything, and the meeting was finished earlier. Still, I feel bad about not doing my presentation.

Well, hope I can do better in the new term!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Six characteristics of a servant

Taken from Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Life, day 33.

People always measure greatness by the ability to lead, to be served by others. But Jesus taught us that what God really values is the heart of servant, and he measures our greatness by how much we serve. This is so contrary to the world's idea of greatness that we have a hard time understanding it, much less practicing it. The disciples argued about who deserved the most prominent position, and 2000 years later Christian leaders still jockey for position and prominence in churches, denominations, and parachurch ministries.

God often tests our hearts by asking us to serve in ways we're not shaped. If you see a man fall into a ditch, God expects you to help him out, not say, "I don't have the gift of mercy or service." While you may not be gifted for a particular task, you may be called to do it if no one gifted at it is around.

How can you know if you have the heart of a servant? Jesus said, "You can tell what they are by what they do."

1. Real servants make themselves available to serve.
When God calls upon us for an act of service, do we grumble? Do we reject it, saying that our schedule is already filled to the brim? Real servants don't fill up their time with other pursuits that could limit their availability. Just like a soldier, a servant should be ready for duty anytime. Are we available to God anytime? Can he mess up our plans without we becoming resentful?
Let's remind ourselves at the start of each day that we are God's servant, so that interruptions won't frustrate us as much, because our agenda will be whatever God wants to bring into our life.

2. Real servants pay attention to needs.
Servants are always on the lookout for ways to help others. John Wesley, an incredible servant of God, once said, "Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the places you can, at all times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can." That is greatness.
We can begin by looking for small tasks that no one else wants to do.

3. Real servants do their best with what they have.
Servants don't make excuses, procrastinate, or wait for better circumstances. God expects you to do what you can, with what you have, wherever you are. Less-than perfect service is always better than the best intention.
One reason many people never serve is that they fear they are not good enough to serve. Well, the truth is, almost everything we do is done poorly when we first start doing it - that's how we learn.

4. Real servants do every task with equal dedication.
As servants, whatever we do, do it with all our hearts.. The size of the task is irrelevant. The only issue is, does it need to be done?
You will never arrive at the state in life where you're too important to help with menial tasks. Jesus specialized in menial tasks that everyone else tried to avoid: washing feet, helping children, fixing breakfast, and serving lepers. Nothing was beneath him, because he came to serve. It wasn't in spite of his greatness that he did these things, but because of it. And he expects us to follow his examples.

5. Real servants are faithful to their ministry.
Servants finish their tasks, fulfill their responsibilities, keep their promises, and complete their commitments. They don't leave a job half undone, and they don't quit when they get discouraged. They are trustworthy and dependable.
Faithfulness has always been a rare quality. Most people don't know the meaning of commitment. They make commitments casually, then break them for the slightest reason without any hesitation, remorse, or regret. Every week, churches and other organizations must improvise because volunteers didn't prepare, didn't show up, or didn't even call to say they weren't coming.
Can we be counted by others? Are there promises we need to keep, vows we need to fulfill, or commitments we need to honor? God is testing our faithfulness. Imagine what it will feel like one day to have God say to you, "Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let's celebrate together!"
Faithful servants never retire. They serve faithfully as long as they're alive. You can retire from your career, but you will never retire from serving God.

6. Real servants maintain a low profile.
Servants don't promote or call attention to themselves. Instead of acting to impress and dressing for success, they "put on the apron of humility, to serve one another." If recognized for their service, they humbly accept it but don't allow notoriety to distract them from their work.
Serving in order to impress people with how spiritual we are, is the sin of the Pharisees. They turned helping others, giving, and even prayer into a performance for others. Jesus hated this attitude and warned, "When you do good deeds, don't try to show off. If you do, you won't get a reward from your Father in heaven."
In our bodies, we have several prominent parts that we could live without. Most people could go on living without an arm, a leg, or even an eye, but nobody could live without a brain, or a heart. It is the hidden parts inside our bodies that are significant.
Knowing this, let's not be discouraged when our service is unnoticed or taken for granted. Keep on serving God! Even the smallest service is noticed by God and will be rewarded. Remember the words of Jesus: "If, as my representatives, you give even a cup of cold water to a little child, you will be surely be rewarded."

Which of the six characteristics of real servants offers the greatest challenge to us?