The King of Grace calls and enables ordinary people like us to take up and do extraordinary Kingdom work. He does this because it magnifies his grace, power and glory… and, shows us how dependant we are on him as his people.
Most of the time we can only read his wonderful providential leading and enabling strength backwards, through reflection on our personal journeys of faith. We look back and see how close he has been and how he has helped us. Conversely, we can, in the present, take word-based faith action steps that give us assurance we are moving in his eternal purpose and mission as we journey. We have found that God is not so much looking for talents, gifts and abilities as he is a willing and surrendered heart that sees him as “my all”.
When you see a turtle on a fence post, a question comes to mind…’How did it get there?’ It is impossible for a turtle to do that…of course, the answer is SOMEBODY has to put it there. Honestly, we don’t really know how we are given significant Kingdom ministry opportunities. Grace picks us up and establishes us in places we could never have gotten to on our own.
Thank you for asking us to share some of the ways the Lord has shown himself to us over the past 30 years. Who would have imagined that a young woman born and raised in a Michigan farming community (Population: 300) and a young man brought up in a lakeside town near Canada would travel the world as cross cultural workers? By the Lord’s good hand that nurse and schoolteacher along with their two young children were transported and transplanted to Tokyo, Japan as first time cross cultural workers!
Walk with us a bit along this amazing journey…you will visualize through these remembrances His extravagant faithfulness…how he has placed two ‘turtles on an amazing fencepost’ of his choosing.
- Interviewed and accepted by One Challenge as career cross cultural workers (1985)
- David ordained as Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) minister…accepted as World Outreach (EPC) career cross cultural workers (1986)
- Equipped for cross cultural work through three-month long Internship Training (1986)
- Faith partnerships developed with churches and individuals across America…which culminated in the Walkers moving to Tokyo, Japan (1988)
- Ongoing (continuing today) lessons in trust learned…enculturation, language learning, relationship building…and in the process, gladly witnessed Japanese colleague’s husband trust Jesus through Billy Graham Crusade in Tokyo
- David and Debbie involved in developing Prayer Ministry in Kanto region (Concerts of Prayer…Prayer Summits…International School Parent Prayer Group)
- Promise: “Treasures in the Darkness” (Isaiah 45:3 ‘I will give you the treasures of darkness and the hoards in secret places, that you may know that it is I, the LORD, the God of Israel, who call you by your name.’)
Reflection Questions as you consider your place in Kingdom purpsoes:
- Would you be willing to ask him to give you a promise that connects your heart with the word of God to move forward in kingdom purposes…even when the road may seem dimly lit?
- How might you take faith steps toward becoming a cross cultural witness and worker? (One week, one month, and one year ministry opportunities)
- Debbie used her professional training in the cross cultural setting: English Camp Nursing venue—Joy Bible Camp, International School Nurse, Kindergarten Teacher’s Assistant, and Tutor for primary school student
- David invited and joined editorial staff of Operation Japan
- Debbie’s friend and swimming coach, Reiko-san becomes a Jesus follower (after years of gospel interactions)
- David and Debbie team teach at Church Planting Institute in Tokyo, Japan
- Debbie developed and facilitated Women’s Prayer Events in Japan, Michigan and Singapore
- Resident OC Japan ministry concluded (2002)… identified as, “Kuroko”… ‘a hidden ministry that moves key components in the drama’… by Japanese colleagues
- David and Debbie led a group of college students to Urbana Conference (2003)
- They transitioned and transplanted to OC Resources-Singapore (2004)
- Began resourcing Great Commission Kids Academy in Dimapur, India (Education Resourcing and Library development)
- They were invited to be part of the training team for OC Internship Lifeworkx/Core (Training for new cross cultural workers) as mentors (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2013)
- Asia Cross Cultural Training Institute (ACTI) Gospel in Life and Ministry Lecturers/Trainers (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015)
- Promise: “Rest Under The Shadow of His Wings” (Psalm 36:7 ‘How precious is Your steadfast love, O GOD! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.’)
Reflection Questions as you consider your place in Kingdom purposes:
- How would you want to make yourself available or pursue “resourcing” Kingdom opportunities?
- What would it look like for you to take refuge in the shadow of His wings as you move forward in cross cultural work?
- David and Debbie facilitated Short Term Teams to India and Cambodia (2006, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2013)
- David and Debbie lectured, along with OC Global Alliance members, at Korean workers gathering in Thailand (2010)
- David, with the Singapore Board of Directors, facilitated ‘ministry adjustment’ in Singapore…OC Resources (Singapore) and OC Global Alliance have been instrumental in the expansion of work in Cambodia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand…”tent pegs are being expanded” …Singapore continues to a strategic connecting place in Asia…’a pearl of great partnering’… (2009—present)
- Debbie led the planning and orchestration of the first OC Asia Area Women’s Conference (2012) “Hearts Connected” which was held in Kota Kinabalu
- Rejoiced as Singaporean colleagues joined OC Resources-Singapore (2012)
- Promise: “He holds us safely and strongly” (Isaiah 41:10 ‘Fear not, for I AM with you; be not dismayed, for I AM your GOD; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’)
Reflection Questions as you consider your place in missions:
- How have you seen him hold you securely and safely as a “turtle on a fencepost”?
- As you reflect upon your life, how have you seen God move and use you in his Kingdom…in unexpected ways? Consider these as his invitations to trust him in new ways…cross culturally.
We enjoy deep and enlivening relationships here in Singapore! Our hearts connect with and we are challenged and encouraged by each of you at LPPC. Together we have seen His handprint in southeast Asia.
As turtles on a fencepost for thirty years, might we suggest three things that you will want to rehearse moment by moment…even consider finding good friends who will remind you of these truths regularly:
- You are dearly loved and cherished…most lavishly, by the Creator of the Universe…who holds your very breath in His hands.
- You are never alone—He is most close…He promised.
- When mistakes happen, errors occur and doubts assail…there is no shame because He has already taken that shame for you on the cross…you are free to risk take for Him…explore ideas that no one has tried before…go to places that you’ve never been before.
We invite your interaction with us about the things that are in this article…approach us…ask questions…let’s ask him together how to move forward in Kingdom movements…for His glory. We would love to process life with you.