Pastor Christopher Brock, Coria Brock, Michelle Yarwood, William Hunt, and Jake Mudger
September 30, 2023
Matthew 28:18-20, New International Translation
“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
In 2023 the Lord led us to go to Japan. This was our first mission trip to Japan, and we were gone for a total of ten days. We had a team of 5 people go to Japan which is one of the least Christian countries in the entire world with less than 1% of the total population professing Christ as their savior. We were excited to see how the Lord moved and invite you to read each team members testimonies:
Pastor Christopher Brock:Before we even left for this trip I already knew that it was going to be a challenging trip for me. One of the main activities that we were going to be doing was to go out and do street evangelism. This was something that was totally outside of my comfort zone and I felt anxiety about going to do it. Once we were there and we began to meet the people and go out to do this work my thoughts were realized. I found it really hard to step out of my comfort zone and approach people that may not even be able to speak the same language. But, with the help of the Holy Spirit and the encouragement of my wife I finally approached several people and engaged in conversations with them. I know that this was something that the Lord used to grow me and challenge me and it reminded me that I can do all things through Christ.
Another aspect of this trip was how physically challenging it was. This was by far the most physically demanding trip that we have ever taken due to the tremendous amount of walking that was required. I experienced knee pain and swelling, but I also experienced God's grace when my knee was healed halfway through the trip. A brother from the church we attended on Sunday morning prayed for my knee and I no longer had any pain for the rest of the trip! God is good all the time!
Coria Brock:This was not the first time I had been to Tokyo. Actually I had gone four times before for vacation, but this was the first time that I went as a Christian. Before we went I had a vision of standing on the street in Tokyo. When people would ask me what we would be doing in Tokyo I would say "I don't know" but God already knew. When we went to Tokyo and met up with the church we served with, we went out to do street evangelism. As I watched the way that these brothers and sisters did this work I kept wondering what the Lord wanted me to do. I realized that the work they were doing there was different from the work that we needed to do back at home. What God has called us to do is to rebuild and equip those people who might not know their identity or have rejected a relationship with Jesus. One thing that is the same though is the love they have for people is the same as the love that I have for people. So even though the work and mission that God had for us was different and done in a different way, the motivation was still the same, to love people just like Jesus loves them.
Michelle Yarwood:On the morning that I was supposed to lead praise and worship for the team, I still needed to prepare what I was going to say. When I opened my Bible Study app the verse of the day happened to be Psalms 105:1 "Give praise to the Lord, proclaim His name; make known among the nations what He has done." The wonderful thing about this verse is that my plan was to speak about how all I could hear was "say my name, say Jesus" as we walked around the Buddhist Temples. And then on Sunday when we attended church service at Awakening Tokyo, Pastor Steve spoke about how the most wonderful and meaningful word in the world in any language is God.
I walked away from this mission trip knowing that God loves us all so much. He willingly gave us His only Son to die for our transgressions. He wants us to go out daily and make Jesus' name known among the nations and among our children. God wants nothing more than to hear all of us speaking the name of Jesus everywhere we go, because He desires a relationship with us. We must not only reach out to our younger generation, but to every generation. Everyone needs to know the astronomical amount of love our Father has for us. We must also remember to do all of this with love, and forgiveness. I mean; after all of the love, and forgiveness we've been shown by our Father, shouldn't we do the same for them? If you take anything away from this message just know that Jesus is real, Jesus is Alive and Jesus is very active.
William Hunt:It was an absolutely wonderful trip. It was my very first overseas mission and my first time out of the country. I made lots of Amazing friends there in Japan and I hope to go back one day. I feel God's presence there, although the people do not know him I believe soon many will know Christ. God has big plans for Japan, I can feel it!!
Jake Mudger:My faith was strengthened even before we started on this amazing trip. To rely on God to provide the funds, time, and details of the trip required me to trust that He would provide and provide He did! God showed me that going on faith that He not only provides but rewards those who seek Him. See Hebrews 11:6. I was thankful for the confirmation that He provided to ensure that this was His will for me.
A major highlight of the trip was the personal testimonies of our good friends from the church in Japan. Their dedication to reaching lost souls for Jesus was amazing and their dedication to outreach was a powerful lesson for me. They modeled John 13:34 (ESV) “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Their lives demonstrated that people will truly come to know Christ by just loving them as Jesus loves us.