Crises on the Mission Field

Discussion in 'Missions / Witnessing / eVangelism' started by John of Japan, Dec 18, 2007.

  1. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    I hope you other missionaries and anyone connected with or just interested in missions would share some crisis that has occurred on a mission field. Please describe what the crisis was (or is) and how it was resolved. Or, if it is ongoing tell us the possibilities.

    We have a kind of crisis-opportunity going right now. This morning I picked up Mr. H. for dendo (evangelism). He's a 55 year old life-long bachelor. After getting in the car he couldn't wait to share his news. He wasn't in church Sunday because he had a miai (me-ai-ee--omiai with the honorific). Now, the miai is the traditional Japanese method of getting married. (Many couples now have "love" marriages like the typical American romance.) This is when responsible parties help out single people by matching them up, then setting up an official meeting between the two young (or in this case, middle aged!) people. The two meet each other then, have a chaperoned meal together, talk a lot and see if they like each other.

    Mr. H. was so excited he has already said yes to the folks that set up the meeting! But though he himself talked the whole time, he forgot to tell her he was a Christian! So we know very little about the lady and her religion. He expects to hear sometime this week if she likes him enough to continue seeing him.

    This brings up lots of possibilites if she does say yes. (Mr. H. does have some negatives as well as some solid positives.) How much does she want to get married? Enough to start coming to church? Will she be willing to trust Christ as Savior? Will I be asked to marry an unequally yoked couple? If I then refuse, will this hurt him deeply enough so that he quits church?

    I'll keep you posted. :type:

    P. S. Please pray for Mr. H.
     
    #1 John of Japan, Dec 18, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 18, 2007
  2. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    Sounds like you got that right John, a crisis, but also an opportunity. I will pray for Mr. H, his girl, and you to make the right decisions in this situation.

    I will through this out for what it is worth, I have had to really evaluate my standards for who I will and will not marry. I was a hardline case before about unequal unions and everything else. I refused a couple a few years ago because they were living together. I see that couple today and they are totally out of church and I feel that I really missed an opportunity to minister to them. I think some of the rules we make for ourselves and call standards need to be evaluated from time to time through prayer and in light of God's word. Does God really hold us accountable for a union just because we do the ceremony? How far does our responsibility go? I never want my actions to drive someone away from the gospel.

    May God's wisdom fill you and lead you.
     
  3. John of Japan

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    Thanks much for your response, NCT. Good thoughts here.

    Compassion is a must in this case. Mr. H. told me once that he would like to get married but had never found anyone. But in this case I think I see a long time dream he has had, not just wishful thinking. If I trample on that dream it may hurt him deeply.

    I'm thinking two thoughts here. (1) My impression is that if he got married next week it would be none too soon for him! :p So, urge him to date her awhile first, so they can get to know each other. (2) Use that time to counsel them together every week, and by God's grace win her to Christ!
     
  4. John of Japan

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    Well, Mr. H. was turned down by the lady in question. So I asked him if he wanted me to become his "go-between" and set up a meeting with a Christian lady from one of our sister churches here in Hokkaido. He said no thanks, the company who is doing this has guaranteed they will keep finding him possible mates until he gets married! Oh, and by the way, he paid them 315,000 yen ($2864) for this service!! (Why is the pastor the last to know?) :tonofbricks:

    So, I counseled him some about how to handle this in the future: ask questions of the lady to find out what she is like, take flowers or chocolates or something similar, and of course let her know right from the start that you are a Christian! This could be a long process for him, bless his heart.
     
  5. Mexdeaf

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    Be praying for you, John. I am going through several crises (not a mis-spelling, that is plural for crisis) right now. Just found out my mother has cancer, plus seeking the Lord's will for the next step in our lives after turning the church over to a national, moving out of our rented house, son sick, etc.

    Truth be told sometimes I think we missionaries move from crisis to crisis. :laugh:

    Keep us posted.
     
  6. John of Japan

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    Brother, you do need prayer right now, no doubt more than we do! May God be with you in every crisis, large and small. :praying:

    Often these crises are magnified by the cultural differences. Since we Americans don't do miai (meeting to discuss a possible "arranged marriage"), I have had to learn to think differently to try to help Mr. H.

    Mexico has a similar culture to the US in some ways, but it is very different in others. That is why until an American believer has actually visited a cross-cultural mission field, we missionaries feel that they don't understand what we sometimes go through.
     
  7. chariot

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    Mr. H. was so excited

    Mr. H. was so excited he has already said yes to the folks that set up the meeting! But though he himself talked the whole time, he forgot to tell her he was a Christian! So we know very little about the lady and her religion. He expects to hear sometime this week if she likes him enough to continue seeing him.

    This brings up lots of possibilites if she does say yes. (Mr. H. does have some negatives as well as some solid positives.) How much does she want to get married? Enough to start coming to church? Will she be willing to trust Christ as Savior? Will I be asked to marry an unequally yoked couple? If I then refuse, will this hurt him deeply enough so that he quits church?

    This is what I see in reading about this "Mr. H." . One is that God has put into man a desire to be married--in fact scripture said that it was not good that man be ALONE! This is not mio -Paco talking but God.
    God also made man to love a woman. That is physical and spiritural. What ever brought them together--family or what people --listen to what is going on here. Itr is a God ordained agreement. God said when two or more were meeting and discussing and agreeing via talking, breaking bread and saluting etc. is our signature of agreement.Then it is to happen. Now issue Mr. H. forgot in all this excitement-- that God placed him in a very very comfort zone as well as that female companion want to be. God also promised--That if one is not of God in Spirit that your love of Jesus Christ be in you that God (Jesus Christ) will honor and the blodd atonement will cover that female under his marrage vows. I really think God got all things for his glory lined up--but ole Lucifer the deciever some how put that apple into Mr. H's path and said surly no die? or may die? Want american way or other doubts. What is it that all forget? God ordained. It is the custom and God ordained that custom over in Asia for all to perform. Jesus is Jesus in someones heart regardless of the circumstances. Look at the Jews who married other culture women. God honored that unionship--WHY? God ordain that it is Good that man has a wife!!! So, what is the problem here!! I leave in Christ. Paco
     
  8. John of Japan

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    Hello, Chariot. Thank you for your comments and welcome to the Baptist Board! :wavey:

    I agree that God ordained that it is good for man to have a wife. I thank God often for my wife! God led us together in the Asian way, though we are Americans. Good men with our mission board introduced us to each other after I was already preparing to come to Japan, and then God gave us love for each other.

    I hope for God's will for Mr. H. He has such a good heart, and is so faithful every week to help me on evangelism. I just got back from serving God with him again. It is possible that God's will for him is not to be married, since the Apostle Paul was never married, and also Jesus said that it is possible a man need not be married in Matthew 19:12. We will see how God leads.
     
  9. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    Chariot:

    I agree with most of what you said about God wanting men to marry and all that, but what I think your missing here is that Mr. H. did not discuss his faith with the prospective bride. I think that is very important. How can a relationship succeed unless the parties know what they are getting into? In a secular nation like Japan I would think that it is an even more important issue to discuss than in the United States because Christians are such a small percentage of the population.

    You grammar is a bit difficult. When you said:
    Are you saying that the woman will be saved because of her marriage? While the relationship might lead to her accepting Christ that still needs to be an individual decision on her part. She will not be covered by the blood just because she marries a Christian.

    I think we also need to realize that Satan loves to destroy Christians. You made the statement that:
    Many times Satan uses sexual sins and sexual temptation to destroy Christians and a marriage relationship with the wrong person can be devastating. You also mentioned Jews who married women of other cultures and had unions honored by God. While that did occur (Moses, Ruth) those were cases where the non-Jewish women converted to Judaism. When those women kept their pagan culture and religion God did not honor those unions. Look at I Kings 11:4. Solomon’s wives turned his heart away from God.

    Intermarriage with heathen people is forbidden in the Old Testament. Look at Nehemiah 13:23-27, Exodus 34:14-16, Deuteronomy 7:3-4, and Ezra 9:2.
    This command continues into the New Testament with warnings not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers. (II Cor 6:14)

    These Old Testament verses have been used by racists over the years to condemn marriages that mix people of different skin color but if you look at the commands it has nothing to do with how we look and everything to do with what we believe. God does not, has not, and will not want his children to marry non believers. When those marriages do occur God may use it to lead the nonbeliever to himself but it is far more likely to destroy the Christian than save the non believer.

    JoJ, do we know the apostle Paul never married? I know that when he wrote I Corinthians he was unmarried but could he have been married before or after? Is it possible that his strict Jewish wife might have left him when he was saved? I know of no proof of this for or against.
     
  10. John of Japan

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    I kept hoping others would mention crises on the mission field, and kept meaning to get back to this thread. So here I am again! :flower: There are currently two major crises taking place on the mission fields of the world.

    First of all, many missionaries in Europe are facing a personal crisis because of the weakness of the American dollar over there against the euro. Think of it this way. Have you ever had your salary reduced by 20% in just a couple of months? If you know missionaries in Europe, please pray for them and maybe even give a little extra.

    Secondly, if you have been following the news you know that things are falling apart in Kenya. If you know missionaries to Kenya, please pray for them. They are probably all right physically, since I've heard of no reports of violence against foreigners. But the missionaries are going through major emotional shocks. The ones with our board have had to leave the field, going out on a flight to South Africa after various trials.

    Does anyone have an update on either of these crises? :type:
     
  11. John of Japan

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    NCT, I just reread your post and saw these questions to me. Sorry I didn't get back to you on this! I think the almost universal view of scholars is that Paul was single at the time of his missionary journeys, based on such passages as 1 Cor. 7:8 and 9:5.

    There has been speculation that Paul was a widower or divorced, but I know of no proof for this, except that supposedly marriage and a son were required to be a Sanhedrin member (The Life of Paul, by Benjamin Robinson, p. 35).
     
  12. Mexdeaf

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    Kenya

    John,

    The majority of our BBFI missionaries are still on the field in Kenya. A couple have left, and another two families are on furlough. There are ABWE and BIMI folks still in country. One Independent independent guy is in Nakuru and most of his people have been placed in a refugee camp.

    My missionary friend there tells me that while the politicans are politicking, the situation is eroding. He begs our prayers.

    Blessings to you.
     
  13. John of Japan

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    Thanks for the update, Mexdeaf.

    It sounds like some areas are safer than others, but that may not be true for long. They certainly need our prayers and those of their loved ones and supporters.
     

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