Konnichiwa (hi!) I’m Sabrina, just your average Californian, a (former) Disneyland passholder that loves the beach and Mexican food, with one resolve: to follow the Holy Spirit as Jesus did wherever He leads…whether it’s to the desert or Oasis, to the mountain or valley, to the workforce or churchforce, to the city or countyside, or to LA or Tokyo. In this season, God is leading me to a foreign land filled with public transportation, flashy lights, sushi, and more people per square footage than anywhere else in the world…yes indeed, it is Tokyo, Japan.
In the Summer of 2009, I had the opportunity of going to Kyoto, Japan with Cru. We were probably not the most culturally sensitive bunch and often were scolded by the Japanese grandmas for being too loud, but we did have amazing blocks of three-hour quiet times. During one of those times, I remember sitting and staring off into space, and God just started flashing in my mind’s eye different faces of of Japanese people. Some were people I met, some I saw on trains, and some I never met before, and as I saw this, I began to cry. As I started to cry, it started to rain, then I cried harder, and it rained harder as though I was weeping with God for these people. I saw that God was taking His heart for Japan and placing it onto mine. I know that it is just a tiny glimpse of God’s heart, but it was so overwhelming and clear that this is a burden He was placing before me. So this seemingly drastic move is really very simple: stewarding God’s heart for His beloved people.
Ever since I made the decision to follow the Holy Spirit to Japan, He’s been revealing to me some different areas that have grown heavy on my heart. This includes the very high depression and suicide rate, the low birth (and therefore, probably high abortion) rate in Japan, and most emphatically, Japan’s invasive sex industry. With specific hotels available for the sole purpose of Sex, to pornographic manga(cartoons), and porn even present in the public newspaper, it’s shocking the depths this industry has reached in the culture. In a shame-based culture, this industry is rarely discussed, but socially accepted. In Japan, the sex industry stretches across all generations and has even impacted other nations. With all of this overwhelming information, my heart breaks not only for victims of human trafficking and high school girls selling themselves for status, but also the tragic men and women who are addicted and confused. But God has promised freedom for the captives through his Son, Jesus. Our God is a big God, and my dream is to see individuals and families restored, starting with the church in Japan… God’s family.
The (current) Plan
“How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of who they have not heard?” …and how then shall they ever hear unless Sabrina learns Japanese? Yup, I’m going to Japanese language school! Even though I could make a good buck teaching English to the many Japanese people who love American pop-culture, instead, I’m going to be studying Japanese for the first 1-2 years of my term. In order to encourage my language studies, I plan to live with a Japanese roommate or family at least initially, and I will also be partnering part-time with a Japanese church. I hope to soak in and learn as much as I can the first year or two about language, culture, church dynamics, families, etc… and as far as a specific ministry, I do not have a set plan yet. Though I do have a few leads into specific justice organizations and ministries, my plan is to just network and learn about what’s already been established, then later to discern partnership if God so leads.