God works in amazing ways! Today, He reminded me that He has a perfect plan for everything. He is so good! Club went better today, much more smoothly. I have one specific prayer request for today and I have a story to go along with it:
This week at Intercession, two of the high school girls taking our class are Japanese exchange students. Ayaka and Saori have only been in the country for 3 months and are leaving for Japan in about 2 weeks. These girls told me today that they took English in junior high and don't really understand a lot of what's going on. They also have not found anyone in the school or area (besides the other 2 exchange students) who speak Japanese. I can imagine that things must be really hard for them. Yesterday, I made a point of going and talking to them, using a few phrases I remembered in Japanese. I took Japanese class for the last year at Bellevue College, but I'm a little rusty on it, since I haven't had a class since December. These girls obviously missed home a lot. Their faces lit up whenever I said a simple phrase or even just one word in Japanese. They sit alone together and are separated from the group a lot because of the language barrier, but they are incredibly sweet and friendly girls.
Last night I was trying to think of some way to help them understand the gospel message we've been teaching. I looked through my Japanese books and found one titled, "Conversational Japanese for the Christian Worker." I seemed to recall that my mom bought this book for me a while back and I had never read it. Thank you, God! I thought as I snatched it off the shelf and started copying down phrases that outlined the message of Salvation. Today, I told Deborah, one of our other leaders, what I had found and she prayed for me. At lunch time I sat down next to the girls and brought a wordless book. I started out by asking if it was confusing. Ayaka and Saori looked as if they somewhat understood. Muzukashii?(Difficult?) I asked. They both smiled and nodded their heads and, as most Japanese girls I've met, clapped their hands in excitement.
So for the next 30 minutes, I pointed to the colors and used the hand motions they had been learning the last few days, along with the Japanese phrases, to explain what it was exactly they were learning, and that we were teaching the kids. The book even had questions like, "Would you like to ask Jesus to be your savior?" And it outlined a simple salvation prayer. So, although I don't know where these girls stand in their relationship with God, I now know that at least they have heard the gospel. I saw real understanding in their faces. After I went through all my phrases Saori said that it wasn't so confusing and Ayaka nodded in agreement. I sat with them for the last 20 minutes of lunch time and we had a mixed conversation of Japanese and English as we talked about our grades, ages, favorite Japanese movies, where they lived in Japan, etc... It was so great to be able to make them feel welcome and just be a friend to them. It really was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. God worked it out so well! I have a new readiness to take Japanese for another year starting in the Fall. I wasn't sure if I should take any more Japanese classes, because it wasn't very useful. Perhaps it's more useful than I had thought!
-Please pray for Ayaka and Saori that they would come to a saving knowledge of Christ, if they have not already received Him. And if they have, that they would be able to use what we have taught them, to share His love with others.
-Please pray that I would be able to reach out to them more this week and that vocab and grammar would come easily to my mind.
-And you can Praise the Lord that I took those language classes!
-Continue to pray for the clubs and the kids attending them.
-And pray for the students as they give their time and energy for God.