Few months before moving to Kawasaki in August 2011, I posted this quote from Andy Stanley‘s book titled, “Visioneering: God’s Blueprint for Developing and Maintaining Vision.”
If God has birthed a vision in your heart, the day will come when you will be called upon to make a sacrifice to achieve it.
And you will have to make the sacrifice with no guarantee of success.
I talk to people all the time who have what seem to be “God ideas” but who are unwilling to commit with both hands and feet. The conversation often begins with, “If I had a million dollars.”
A well-meaning lady once said to me, “You know, I am so burdened by the problems in the inner city. If I had a million dollars, I would love to go down there and start a school for underprivileged kids.”
As sensitively as I knew how, I said, “I know people with far less than you have now who have started schools for inner-city kids. You don’t need a million dollars to start a school.” What she needed was the courage to act on her vision.
The difference between those with a burden for inner-city kids and those who actually do something is not resources. It is a willingness to take risks and make sacrifices. The people who make a difference in this world commit to what could be before they know where the money is coming from. Their vision is enough to cause them to jump in. Money usually follows vision. It rarely happens the other way around. Consequently, vision always involves sacrifice and risk-taking.
Andy is right all along. Seven months later here in Kawasaki, we’ve seen this to be true. Money usually follows vision. Provision follows when we follow God’s vision. And God has used us beyond our capabilities. His grace is truly sufficient for us. At times, it has been trying. Our faith is tested and our character is stretched. Japan is expensive, but God’s economy is different. Earlier in my post in August, I also noted of God’s faithfulness and said:
He has faithfully met & matched our needs, even when it seemed like no one would help (Phil.4: 19). We don’t need a “million dollars” to start the Kindergarten school in Noborito, Kawasaki. We don’t have the luxury of churches supporting us, like some western missionaries do. We don’t have everything figured out, although we believe in making plans. His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55: 8).
Although we believe in making plans, we don’t always have everything figured out because we’re learning to trust Him [also] for the unknown. Our societies are built upon the principles of achieving safety, security, comfort & convenience because everybody wants some kind of a utopia. A radical risk-taking for Christ is out of the question when we have learned to function only within what’s familiar. In that context, trusting God for the unknown & taking risk becomes harder, but “faith is the assurance of things hoped for.” It is the “conviction of things not seen” (Heb. 11: 1). It is a gift from God. He has shown Himself faithful in all His ways, down to the minutest details of our lives…… God has called us out of His own sufficiency & grace.
“Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10: 17). This means we have to hear the word preached more often. Preaching the Gospel is the ordinary means of God for saving people. Faith in Christ is the result of hearing the Word preached. And faith to trust in God’s promises comes to us through the hearing of the Word preached. Check this video out by Piper. It will inspire you to “walk by faith and not by sight,” in the face of seemingly hopeless and challenging circumstances.
We believe that God has given us a ministry of “5 loaves and 2 fish.” In the face of great need and recognition of our own limitations, God has used us above and beyond our capabilities. One of the ways God is doing this is by sparking a vision for our Kindergarten project…….and a growing network of people who believe in our work at Ekklesia bilingual worship service. If you sense God calling you to something more than read our newsletter and even donating, we would love to hear from you. We accept everything from “two mites.” DONATE HERE.