2011 Japan – Ahreum Kim

Kindness to Repentance

 

On July 10, the day before our mission team left for Japan, our New Philly church family prayed for us during Sunday service, and I cried harder than I had ever cried in a long time. I was surprised at myself. Why was I crying? I didn’t know it then, but the Holy Spirit was giving me a glimpse of the Father’s heart for Japan.

A few days later, on the mission field, our team leader Lydia began to pray about repentance during a group prayer. I started crying again, just as I had before. Through the gasping and choking sobs, I realized the Lord was speaking to me about the relationship between Korea and Japan. As most people know, the relationship between the two countries has been strained ever since the Japanese occupation in the early 1900s. Many Koreans actually have a deep hatred towards Japan because of this time. My grandfather is one of them.

Ever since being imprisoned during the Japanese occupation of Korea, my grandfather has maintained a strong bitterness that continues today. Although it has been about one hundred years since the occupation, I sensed that God was calling Korea to repent and forgive. I felt God was calling Korea to repent for holding onto so much hatred for so long. I began to repent on behalf of my family and the nation of Korea. I began to speak life, restoration, and blessing over Japan. Since the occupation, the Word of the Lord has blossomed in Korea, but has struggled to infiltrate Japan. I felt God speaking Romans 2:4 – do you show contempt for the riches of His kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance? God is stirring in Japan at this hour. He wants to pour out His Spirit into Japan. And we have the power to ignite this by first demonstrating God’s kindness in repentance, and then leading Japan repent for their sins as well before Him.

Having repented for this strained relationship, I felt lighter the next day as our mission team joined the Fuse Church missionaries in street music evangelism. This was the highlight of the trip for me. Ordinarily, the Fuse missionaries praise in the streets and hand out church flyers for about one hour. We were there for 3.5 hours. There was so much joy as we sang praises outside the busy Tami Center subway station. Surprisingly, the Japanese people were so open! Pedestrians of all ages stopped to see the unusual (and technically illegal) sight of people playing music in the streets. One of our team members, Kate, even got to pray for several people. She was fluent in Japanese and had clearly gained a boldness anointing from the Lord. A few young people even came to Sunday service that weekend. Hallelujah for the openness that allowed seeds to be planted in their hearts!

Japan continued to be a surprise. Even when we went to Fukushima, we were surprised that we didn’t feel devastated by all of the damage we saw from the tsunami and earthquake. Of course, we were saddened to see people suffering, but there was a hope that permeated the air. Even as our team weeded lawns and fixed homes, many of the team members felt that God was bringing restoration that superseded simply the physical restoration of Japan’s cities and towns. He was bringing a supernatural, spiritual restoration that would surprise all nations!

The Father’s heart for Japan was revealed to me through 1 Peter 2:9 – But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. The Lord loves Japan so much, but they have been far from Him. In His goodness and perfect timing, God has started to call His people to Japan with a greater urgency in their hearts.

When I visited Japan 7 years ago, I remember being surprised by how comfortable I felt there. This time around, I also noted the comfort and familiarity I felt. Japan is Korea’s sister nation. And as Korea has started to walk strongly in “His wonderful light,” I feel that the Lord is using Korea to build up this sister nation, to make it a “holy nation” indeed. Many members of our team including myself have caught this glimpse of the Father’s heart, and we are willing and eager to be sent out into Japan if and when He calls us. Thank you Lord for showing us your heart! May Your will be done in Japan, as it is in Heaven!

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