So I think many (probably like 4 people) have been waiting for my response to the events of Friday in Tokyo, to hear not what I thought but of what I would do, and i hope to answer this question with this post (which should be easy except for the fact it is two in the morning, so prepare for some rambling). When I first heard about the earthquake and tsunami, my heart was not worried or saddened that my trip would be canceled. No, it was more confirmed in my mind that I needed to go. I have no intention on allowing this tragedy to prevent me from going and serving the people of Japan, for there is no greater need than now.Not that my goal is to take advantage of people in a weakened state to share the gospel with them, but I pray that God would use such an event to soften the hearts of the Japanese people to the fact that life is fleeting. It might be insensitive to say such a thing, but if any of us do not understand this universal truth, we MUST face it. Each of us, at some point, is going to die. Everyday we move closer and closer to this point. We can spend our time worshiping ourselves and our time, we can try to mask it with Botox, we can fight it with exercise, but sooner or later, our heart will stop beating.
So, what does this have to do with Japan? With such a reality striking on their doorsteps, no, on their hearts, they need to hear the good news of Jesus Christ: God descended from Heaven to take the form of man, live a life without sin and was consequently murdered, sacrificed, for it, then rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven so that ALL who believe in Him would not perish but would have eternal life! So while I reside inside this earthly tent, I pray to God that I would spend all that I am to share the love of the One who has saved me even though I am totally unworthy of it. I have nothing to offer God, yet He still wants me and longs for me to be a part of His ministry. I have nothing to offer this world except to tell them about the Savior who has saved me. And if God has called me to go to Japan, to share this message with those who are hurting, who are lost, who are perishing, then I am going to go. This was how it was before the earthquake and tsunami, and it has not changed anything on that front. What I do pray is that these people will be more receptive to the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
So for those who are worried, do not. Fear not. I pray that you will not fear for me, worry for me, but will instead rebuke your fear in the name of Jesus Christ! He calls us to not worry! If you do not believe me, then read Luke 12. I do not fear death. No, I fear the one who I will judge me after death. What would I tell Him if I did not go to Japan now? I was scared? That I was afraid to die? That I did not have enough faith? Do I not believe as Paul said in Philippians 1:21: "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." In fact, I say that if I do die that you should not mourn. No, you should be mad! That I beat all of you home! That I had the opportunity to step into the heavenly home that is being prepared for me before you! So do not fear for me, do not worry for me. If the Lord wills it, I will go to Japan. I pray that you all would turn your fear to the Lord and ask, am I in your will? Am I being the servant you call me to be?
As for some practical details beyond my personal stance and feelings, the DTS is still on schedule to be taking place on April 4th; Korean Air has removed the warning message it was displaying on Friday about flights to the two major airports in Tokyo being delayed/rescheduled/canceled; and the US State Department's travel warning for Japan is stated to end on April 1st, the day my flight is scheduled to leave.
I know that it may seem I am being naive or ignorant to some major details in all of this, but just as I am confident that the Lord will provide all of the support I need for my trip, He will also provide the means to get to where He wants me. If I can trust Him with my life, I am sure I can trust Him with not my trip, but His ministry that He has allowed me to be a part of that Isaiah 24:15 may come to life:
"Therefore in the east give glory to the Lord; exalt the name of the Lord, the God of Israel, in the islands of the sea."