Monday, May 3, 2010

Last Full Day

Well, it's my last full day in Japan. Today's plans include going to the park to take pictures together, going out for Indian curry one last time, making cookies together for our Good-bye party tonight, having our Good-bye party, and then having lots of girl time all night.
It's so hard to believe that I'm only going to be here just over another 24 hours. Japan has become my home. I love it here. (Yes, there are definately things I'll be glad not to have to deal with when I get home too, but for the most part I love it here.) I am really going to miss my friends and family here. We all really have become a family. It's so hard to think about not seeing Debbie, Kengo, Tatsu, Mark, Yuiko, Tim, Christine, and Hana-chan every week.
It's weird to think that I can't call up Debbie when something huge happens here...or when just the normal every day stuff happens. I'll really miss Debbie. She and I became really great friends while I was here. She is such an amazing woman of God and it has been a blessing to be able to not only work with her, but confide in her and talk with her and laugh with her.
Kengo and Tatsu have become my brothers. They are funny, annoying, and supportive. We all joke around together, have our own inside jokes, pray for each other when we're struggling, and stick by each other no matter what. I have loved seeing them grow in their walks with God, and I can't wait to see how God uses them next.
Mark, Yuiko, and Hana-chan are some of the most important people in my life now. I have learned so much from them and I have loved being able to get to know them. I've learned how to be a strong servant leader and worship leader. They are amazing examples of doing what God wants them to do and having the faith that it takes to keep pressing on even when things get really really hard.
Tim and Christine are such blessings. They are always willing to give up their personal time to help others out. God has used them to touch so many lives here in Japan and I know He'll continue to use them to touch even more lives in the future.
I'm going to miss my family in Japan, but I'm also happy to be going home. It'll be good to be with my family and friends in the States again. I can't wait to see you all!

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Beauty of New life

Not My Will But Yours....

Most of you (if not all of you) know about Tony or know him personally. You've seen him run, play, laugh, talk, love, and be loved. You also probably have heard about his court hearing and how it went, whether you heard directly from my parents or through Facebook or from me.

I'll admit I'm crying while writing this blog. I feel like my heart is breaking. But I'm crying more I think right now because I feel so bad for my parents. I know this is hard on me, but I can't even imagine what's like on them, especially my mom. My heart just aches for them. I'll also admit I'm worried about Tony, and about how he'll handle it emotionally and mentally when he realizes he's not coming home anymore.

But all that being said I know that God is in control. And honestly, yesterday God filled me with a peace that I don't know how I had. In the whole time before court I only seriously worried once, and I was very blessed by a close friend who prayed with me then and helped me kind of regain my composure a bit. I still have this peace. I know again that it's only by God's grace that I do.

Since I first got here I knew there was a very good chance that I wouldn't see Tony again, that he would leave before I got home. Within the first two weeks of getting here Tony had a court hearing and we were all so hopeful for that one and that it would go well and that possibly things would all be over even then and we would have Tony. But it didn't go the way we had hoped. The judge said to really start pushing for him to go home and soon.

I didn't understand why God would let it happen. I mean, come on!, we'd been praying for months that God would show the judge that Tony should stay with us. Why hadn't He listened to our prayers. But I knew that wasn't true. That was just me being frustrated and angry with the situation.

We all knew the judge then was a little biased in his judgment.(Tony's mom is beautiful!) So we started praying for a judge that would not be biased, one that would finish all of this quickly so that Tony and the girls wouldn't be in the system for a long time.

In January we got a new judge. He was exactly what we had been praying for. He was known for finishing cases that day at court. He's fast, efficient, and unbiased. He scared me in a way. Would he make the right call? Would he do what was right and send Tony home with my family?

At one point (I'm not sure exactly when it was), God really started to challenge me in what I was praying. I was praying for Tony to come home with my family because that's what I thought was the right thing. I was praying for what I wanted basically saying that what I wanted was the right choice and that any other plans God had weren't the right choice.

Like I said, he really challenged me. He asked me why I was praying the things that I was praying. Why was what I wanted to "only right choice" in the matter? Did it matter to me what He wanted to do in the situation?

If God knows everything and is in control of everything then why is it so hard for me to believe that even if worst comes to worst and Tony goes home with his mom that that's not part of God's plan. He may not like the situation and some would say it's just the Devil using his control over the earth when things like this happen. But God still allows for it to happen. It's not a surprise to Him. He already knows what's going to happen after this. He already knows the final outcome and He's still going to work through the different circumstances and show His glory in the end.

So I started to change what I was praying. I stopped praying for what I wanted and I started praying for God's will to be done. That God would work in a mighty way and that lives would be changed from all of this. I started even more seriously praying for his mom and dad's salvation.

And do you know what happened because of that? God started to give me peace about the court hearing. I could believe that God was in control, that He would take care of things, that He saw the big picture when I could only see a little bit of it.

Court started at 1:30pm Peoria time, 3:30am my time. Debbie and Amy stayed the night with me and both of them woke up to pray with me at 3:30. I had decided last week that I was going to wake up and pray through the court hearing. I'm so glad that Amy and Debbie were with me. I also knew the people all around the world were lifting up prayers for this court hearing. People in the States, friends in Brazil, and friends and family here in Japan all united in praying for this court hearing.

I know my family wouldn't/still won't make it through the rest of this without the prayer and support of everyone back at home, just like I know I won't/wouldn't have been able to make it through everything so far if it hadn't been for my family here in Japan.

God has been preparing me spiritually for today for the past year. I've gone through things that have strengthened my faith to withstand this. I've been blessed with a family here and around the world that are committed to praying and seeing God move and work.

Ron talked on Tuesday morning at prayer about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and when they went into the fiery furnace. God could have spared them from that. He could have taken away all the issues in the problem. But He didn't, He helped them walk through the fire. He didn't spare them, he helped them through it and protected them. And because of that they came out stronger on the other side. Their faith was stronger than it had been. Just like mine is now.

God's in control. Of that I am 100% certain. I may not understand now why all this had to happen. Honestly I may never understand. But that doesn't mean I start to doubt God and His power and will in this. Something good will come from this. I don't know what yet or how it will, but it will.

My desires and my will are not always what God wants and wills. I only see one or maybe even two pieces of the puzzle, but I have no idea what the finished puzzle looks like. God does. I need to continue to strive to put aside my desires, my thoughts, my ideas, and my will and embrace, accept, pray for, and do God's will. 'Cause like I said.....He knows the end result.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A couple videos

This is the link for I'll Go, the song I wrote the lyrics for in my last blog.

This is the link for Serve.

This is the link for Your Fire.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

More Random Pictures from Japan!

Me and my beautiful roomie, Amy!!!!
Stephen, Debbie, and Nessa being weird!
This is typical of Amy and I. I ask if I can dropkick the little dogs and she always stops me and tells me how cute they are.
Me, Nessa, Caren, Debbie, and Amy. My amazing, beautiful sisters, and friends from Japan.
Nessa and Caren (and Debbie's fingers) goofing off on the train.
Tim, Amy, Nessa, and I....we get bored on the train sometimes.
My Japanese parents, Tim and Christine Huber, also the directors of PAZ Japan.
Nessa and I....she's one of my best friends now
Caren and Debbie
Joe being weird.....he stole my camera for that pic I think.
All 5 of us girls walking arm in arm down a beautiful path.
Going from youngest to oldest....Amy, myself, Debbie, Nessa, and Caren.
Some Japanese scenery.
Debbie stole my camera.....Love you Debs!
The whole team in November 2009....Kengo, Tim, Ben, Joe, Nessa, Amy, Debbie, Caren, Benny, myself, Christine, and Tim Huber.
Mt. Fuji
That's Mt. Fuji sitting across the lake.
Snorts and Giggles time at our house.
The beach where we had the team retreat in September.
Again goofing off on the train....yea we get bored...
Fuse Jesus Community.....all are welcome....even the weirdos! Just kidding! This is my family and I'm proud of them and I love them all so much!!!!


Well, I've already stated that I'm not the best at writing in my blog frequently but one thing I have grown to love writing while being here is songs.
It all started this past summer. I wrote my first song EVER! called "I'll Go". The lyrics say:
Lord, I'll Go. Send me where you want me to be. Send me where you need me to be. O Lord, Yes I'll go.
To the ends of the earth, Lord, there is no where I won't go. To the lost and the weary, Lord, tell me where they are. Send me there. Lord, send me there. Lord, send me where they are.
I was lost, Lord, and you found me. You took me as I was. You paid the price for me. Lived and died for me. Thanks is not enough.
It took me almost 3 months to really show that song to anyone. And it wasn't until the beginning of this year that any large amount of people heard it. (I played it at a prayer meeting one day in February.)
I wrote 4 more songs last fall. Two of which have music to go with them and two of which do not. Although, the two that have music no one's really heard, mainly just cause I still want to tweak, them a bit.
In January I was faced with a semi-serious decision about what I would do with the rest of my time in Japan and the day I made the decision about what I was going to do I wrote one of my favorite songs called "Serve". It's lyrics say:
I will serve you, O Lord, for you alone are God. I will love you until the end of time.
For You are my Rock and Redeemer. For You are my Maker and Creator. For You alone are God.
For You set me free from darkness. You wrapped me in Your arms. You loved me and cared for me and told me I am Yours.
Then this past week I wrote two more songs. One of which doesn't have music to it, but the other does and it's become one of my favorites as well. This one is called "Your Fire" and it says:
Your fire burns deep inside. A passion that can't be tamed. Nothing and no one can ever take it away.
Your passion fills me, gives em strength to live every day. Your desires become mine, to do what you have for me, do what you will for me.
Your fire burns deep, kindling my heart every day. Your fire burns bold, giving me passion, giving me joy.
Your fire burns deep inside. Your fire it fills me up.
I'm not sure why I'm writing this as a blog this time, because for quite awhile I've been pretty nervous about showing people my songs. But I came the conclusion while writing my last song that God gave me these songs not just for me to sing them by myself but so that others can hear them. I want others to be able to sing these songs and have the words become the passions, promises, and desires of their hearts as they are mine.

Oh Brother!

So obviously I have seriously fallen behind in writing a blog every day. Well, let me fill everyone in on what all has been happening around here the past couple weeks.
The beginning of March we had a surprise birthday party for Mark. It turned out great! In New Zealand it's a big event for your 30th birthday, and since Mark couldn't be with his family this for his birthday this year we decided to throw him a huge party. His birthday isn't actually until March 18th, but we had the party on March 6th because we wanted to celebrate it with Joe G. here still.
We had it planned for after the Fuse. During Super Small Group time Debbie and I went in the back and frosted one of the cakes we had for him and then right when he thought we had to all start cleaning up we shut off the lights and came in with candles lit on the cake singing Happy Birthday! It was so much fun! He was totally surprised!!!!
The rest of the party included dinner at the LiveZone, games, a couple videos that Joe and I worked on, presents, and a great speech from Mark at the end of the evening. Joe and I created a video from people from the Fuse all wishing him a Happy Birthday and we received a couple videos from his family in NZ and Joe edited them into a shorter video so we could show that as well. It was the best surprise party ever!!!
The next week, on the 11th, Joe left for the States. That was a sad day for everyone. He is seriously missed here in Japan. On the 12th, Jeff and Becky Hrubik (Debbie's parents) came for a couple weeks. They came for the inauguration of the Noborito church which was on the 14th. On the 15th, Joey and Kirk Yamaguchi left, they were also here for the inauguration. They came from Grand Junction, CO, and stayed about two weeks.
Our newest missionary arrived on the 17th. Her name is Janine and she's planning on staying at least 3-5 years. We're so glad she got here safely. She'll be taking over a lot of the administrative jobs that I do for the Fuse. Such as the team online schedule, planning meetings, taking notes during meetings, things like that.
On the 24th, Joe Motter (Mochi) is heading to the States for 2 weeks and the next day (the 25th) Kengo is also going to the States for two weeks. He's going to see a friend's wedding and to spend some time with Joe G. So for the next two weeks we are down one guitar player and one drummer.
This week for Fuse it'll be more of an acoustic feel and next week we have a special group coming in to sing so the entire band will have a week off. It'll be nice.
Amy and I bought our tickets home. We will arrive back in the States on May 4th. We land in Chicago at 4pm and then my parents are driving me home (Amy's are driving her I'm assuming). I'm starting to get excited about coming home, but at the same time I'm not. I love Japan! In a way I can't hardly remember what it's like to live in the States anymore. It'll be so weird to drive places again and not have to ride my bike, walk, or take the train. It'll be weird living in a house with more than one other person. (I have grown to love the quiet and peacefulness....well when my bird isn't being a chatter box) It'll be weird being in rooms that are as big as my entire house. It'll be weird to not have my own house anymore. It'll be weird to understand everything everyone is saying.
But I'm excited about seeing my parents again, about seeing my brothers and sisters and all my friends. I'm excited to play on the worship team again. I'm excited to go to church where there is no need for a translation. I'm excited to be able to walk 10 minutes from my house and be in the woods.
There are so many things I'm excited for that sometimes I can't decide whether I want to stay here or go home. But the most exciting thing for me is to see where God is going to use me next. I have grown to have a deep love and passion for planting churches and helping churches raise up new leaders in the church. To see people grow in their walks with God and to see how God works.