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Spiritual Fruit at its BEST!

This morning, I felt like I stepped off a time machine as I watched this young man approach the pulpit at a church near my house in Higashi Kurume. He had told me in his email that he would be at that church, and would be giving a talk about his upcoming missions career into Thailand. An opportunity to see this kid that I had known since he was in preschool? At a church only a 10-minute bike ride away? I would not have missed it for the world.


My heart about exploded with joy as I heard him speak. Such confidence. Such conviction. The skinny little quiet boy that hardly spoke during Sunday school was on stage, passionately pouring out his heart about sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ through soccer ministry. He told us about his organization called Ambassadors in Sports (AIS), which will allow him to share with kids and adults who may never attend church, but would always be ready for a game of soccer out in the field. He spoke of opportunities that he'll have to teach the children that they are valuable in the sight of Jesus. And opportunities to touch the lives of orphaned kids.

I was grinning from ear to ear as I listened. I wish you could understand how exciting it actually is to see a young Japanese man who loves Jesus and is totally sold out for Him. I see Japanese kids who have nothing to live for other than listening to the latest music on their ipod, or getting drunk with their buddies after school or work. And here's Yohei, at 29 years old, learning a new language, and ready to give his life for the work of spreading the Kingdom in Asia.

I also smiled, because God is so amazing. He placed a burden upon my mom and dad's heart to start a Japanese Church in Atlanta in 1976. And then a Japanese mom was saved. She was faithful in praying for her children, and teaching them about the Lord. And now in 2009, her son will be commissioned to go out into Thailand (and the surrounding areas) to spread the Good News. And imagine the work that will continue as a result of Yohei's ministry. I believe that a little boy or girl in Asia will meet Jesus on the soccer field. And that child will grow with a passion to reach others, and so on, and so on...


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Jeff's column offers a mix of reflections on leadership and fatherhood, as well as news from Asian Access.


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