The busyness of life seems to plague every aspect of our modern existence, and this is not limited to those in the urban centres of East Asia. Everywhere you look, people are in the rat race, rarely resting and never stopping to consider the weightier questions of life. Recently I was struck with this very simple truth. We can fill our lives up doing a lot of things, but there is only one thing that has an everlasting impact, and that is to involve ourselves in the mission of God. We might only be sowing and watering, but the lives that are touched by our obedience become our legacy.
It has now been six years since Camilsa and I first felt a call to serve in Japan. We don’t know why we haven’t gone yet, and at this point we aren’t concerned. We realise that the best thing that we can do during this time is prepare for what’s ahead. Part of this preparation has involved me returning to university full-time, where I am studying toward a Masters in Applied Linguistics. This has provided a great deal of opportunities to interact with the Japanese students on campus, and we feel that it will become the vehicle that allows us to begin working in Japan.
Our journey has not followed the path that we anticipated, yet we’ve cherished the time that we have had to connect with our community and church family while we remain in South Hamilton. We’ve learned to rely on God’s faithful provision of all our needs. Perhaps even more importantly, we’ve learned that when we make ourselves available and listen to the Spirit of God, He uses us to touch people’s lives in amazing ways. Most of the time this has been represented through simple acts of love and kindness. But, never does this happen when we are caught up in life’s busyness.
It’s safe to say that Camilsa and I have made some pretty poor decisions in the eyes of this world when it comes to where and how we have spent our time and money. But the way we see it is that we have been investing in a legacy that looks beyond our finite existence. The wealth we seek is an abundance of stories that speak of lives that have been changed as we reach out with the Gospel.
Story from Phil
Phil and his wife Camilsa have been preparing for cross-cultural work in Japan with OMF for a number of years. Recently the decision was made to focus on life in NZ.