Hi, this is Lisa Zhang.
Today, the entire team went to an International Language University with about 6000 students, about an hour away from J-House. On our train ride to the campus, I started conversing with Saki*, an 18-year-old girl who travels 2.5 hours daily to go to University. She, like most of the other students at the University, was an English major and dreamed of one day coming to the US. Beyond this though, she wanted to teach English in third world countries, namely Cambodia. I was impressed by her big and specific dreams, even though she has never left Japan.
Yesterday, I personally felt convicted to take conversations deeper with the students and be upfront with sharing the gospel and my testimony. The team split up into pairs and my partner Cindy and I decided to go all out today (yes, YOLO). We went to the cafeteria, the international lounge, and the on campus McDonald’s and opened with this line “Hi, My name is Lisa, my friend and I are visiting from Chicago and we are looking to make friends, can we sit with you?” Surprisingly, it worked almost every time. Everyone we met was open to talking to two Americans and many were interested in visiting J-House Church. By the end of the day, I had run out of all of my fliers for the “Big Friday” American Party, a seeker friendly event, that we are having on June 13, our last night here. We were also able to speak to many students about Jesus, Church and the Bible. To many of them, these are completely foreign concepts so even speaking to them briefly about who Jesus was an important starting point.
At night, we helped clean up the church sanctuary, common areas and bathrooms to prepare for “Power Worship”, a night similar to our FNL, which is primarily to encourage and strengthen the regular church members. The church members were SO excited to have us there and those who could were eager to converse with us in their native language, including Mandarin and Korean. We were so encouraged by their welcome!
Through talking with the students, hearing their life story and their dreams, God is teaching me how valuable each individual soul is. He is showing me His compassion and love for everyone. Though I may be discouraged by the number of steps it takes for one person to believe in Christ (i.e. the effort and time it takes to befriend a stranger and genuinely love them) I am challenged because God went the distance to help us know him. We were all once completely closed off to God, but He never stopped pursuing us and brought the right people into our lives so that we could know him. We are so thankful for our relationship with God and are excited to share Him with others.