2015 Japan – Daniel Kim

The Intimate God

I had the privilege of leading 12 wonderful brothers and sisters to the nation of Japan for a week. When I heard early on that Japan would be our outreach destination, I was very excited to go. I used to be a full time missionary with YWAM and have been on over 30 outreaches in my life, but I knew that this one would be different. Through YWAM and New Philly outreaches, I had become accustomed to seeing a sea of healings and salvations on the field and coming back with amazing testimonies and great numbers for my supporters as an inheritance. This is what I wanted for our Japan trip, and for four months this is what my team prepared for. Apart from all the missions training, work, church-related activities, and personal responsibilities, I watched my team sacrifice the precious little free time they had to meet up two or more times a week for dance rehearsals. Some members had to travel from as far as two hours away. Despite that, my team had a great attitude… most of the time. As the leader, I felt the responsibility to bring my team back triumphantly with loot from the enemy’s camp- the kind of loot that I was used to seeing from past missions trips.

A couple months ago, I was laying in bed late at night. I asked God if He loved me just to see what He would say. Of course I’m His favorite, so He said “Yes” but then He continued with, “Stop praying for man’s agenda but pray for my agenda on the missions field.” He didn’t speak in a sweet still voice, but rather in a tone that brought conviction and the fear of the Lord. I shared it with my team, and we began to pray that all doors would remain shut except the ones that He wanted to open. For months we had prayed as I tried to establish partnerships with different churches and ministries in order to set up powerful outreaches in schools and revival services in churches. Most doors had remained shut. Others seemed like they were beginning to open only to shut again. Two weeks before we would leave for missions, we finally had a church to partner with and a place to sleep. We were notified however that the church leaders were extremely busy. No school event, evangelistic dance event, or revival services were set up.

However, despite the lack of confirmed ministry opportunities, this Japan missions trip ended up becoming one of my favorite outreaches that I’ve ever been on. We didn’t see a sea of hands raised in surrender to God, nor did we see the deaf hear or the lame walk. But what I experienced on this trip was very special and different from any other trip I’ve been on. Every morning, rather than going to an outreach mapped out for us, we gathered together for an incredible time of devotions where we would worship, meditate on the Word, share and pray for one another, and seek the Lord for what was on His heart for that day or week. The Lord would answer with clear, prophetic words and give us direction for the rest of the day. Every step we took, every dance move, every conversation, every prayer, felt full of purpose and perfectly orchestrated by God. Looking back on past mission trips, I was like Martha, full of zeal to serve God with my strength and giftings, which definitely is important to God. We did have powerful times of serving on this trip as well, but this was the first outreach that I felt like Mary who sat so intimately at the feet of Jesus. I’ve never experienced such intimacy during a missions trip as I did in Japan. And I’ve never returned from one so in love with God. When I think about past trips, I remember masses of people raising their hands to God- people who I never had a conversation with or had the opportunity to connect with. However, after coming back from this trip, I was able to remember the faces of people that God divinely led us to, the memories of our conversations, and the beautiful look on their faces when God brought incredible revelation of His beauty and love for them that resulted in their transformation. Some of these moments were with the local Japanese, some with church members, and others with my team members. It truly was a missions trip marked with sweet intimacy. I’d like to end my testimony with a story about a boy named Ryo.

One evening, our main Tokyo contacts, Vicente and Janine, led us to a subway station where many street dancers gather to dance nightly. Vicente is a b-boy, and so he immediately connected with a local b-boy named Ryo. Ryo is 15, but he looked like he was 20. We performed one of our dances for some of the dancers there and got to connect with the locals. Vicente and Ryo formed a b-boy circle and took turns dancing. I was determined not to dance in the circle because of a knee injury. My team, not knowing about my knee injury, kept pressuring me to dance, especially one member named Daisy. She kept telling me to dance, and every time I would go near the circle I saw her pointing her cell phone at me. Despite having a knee injury, I eventually gave in. I began to dance but after a few seconds stopped, got up and started limping. Immediately, my team rushed to me. It was like the moment you dip your feet in water full of Dr. Fish. They laid their hands on my knee, and unashamedly began praying loudly in tongues, declaring healing over my knee. I noticed Ryo watching with a very surprised and curious look on his face. Vicente noticed as well and began to explain what was happening. Shortly after the team finished praying, I approached Ryo, and I was able to share my testimony with him. One thing I shared was that God loves to speak to us. I asked him if he had ever experienced hearing the voice of God before. Immediately, he said that there was one time in his life that he heard God’s voice.

Ryo loves soccer and had lived in the U.K. for some years. During that time, he wanted to join a soccer club, but unfortunately he did not make it. It was a difficult time for him, but he explained how in his frustration, he felt like God spoke to him to learn how to breakdance. When I heard that, I was in awe at how God would use Ryo’s disappointment to lead him to learn something that he would become even more passionate about, which would eventually lead him to be at the very station we were ministering at to hear about God’s love from a handsome b-boy named Danny. I continued to share the Gospel with Ryo and asked him if he wanted to surrender his whole life to God. Immediately, he responded with a yes. I had the honor of leading him in a prayer of repentance and surrender that day. After praying I asked him if he happened to feel anything during the prayer. He said yes and that during the prayer he had felt a warmth enter his chest. The next day Ryo came to church and had dinner with us. A few days later he joined a cell group where I was able to give him a Bible filled with encouraging words from the team. In contrast to his hard b-boy demeanor, his face softened as he was visibly touched and said that he had never experienced something like this before. Vicente is now taking good care of him, and I am looking forward to seeing him grow into a mighty man of God.

There are many other stories of how God led us each day during our time in Japan. Whether it rained or snowed, we had powerful times of releasing the anointing through dance and prayer in key places in Japan. Many lives were touched and transformed through our conversations, evangelism outreaches, devotions, and times we were able to pour into the local church. The Holy Spirit moved, not so much upon the masses, but in the lives of the few individuals we encountered at a time, which happens to be the best way to reach the Japanese people. It was clear that our outreach was marked with intimacy, and in those times of intimacy, the Kingdom was being built. For the four months leading up to missions, we were incredibly busy and oftentimes worn out as we worked hard in our preparations only to get to Japan and hear God say, “Now will you sit at my feet?” Seeking God daily and following His leading moment by moment led to some of the most exciting times I’ve had on the field, and it has awakened a new zeal in me that is burning strong today.

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