Hope Blossoming in a Dry Land – Lee Update February 2024

“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

1 CORINTHIANS 13:13

Hello family, friends, and partners in the Gospel,

Since I last updated you all, I have finished out my time in South Asia, as well as traveled to Japan and spent 2 weeks with a team there. I am eager to share all that I experienced in that time and as always, I am beyond blessed by your constant love and support. It is truly surreal to be in this season of my life that I have been in prayer over for some time now. It would not be possible without the backing of the Body and the Spirit of God! All glory to Him. 

Calvary Chapel Abide ~ Osaka, Japan

The team and I spent one week in Tokyo and one week in Osaka visiting different ministries, leaders, and missionaries. We also spent lots of time in prayer for this country as we saw and experienced the deep needs of the people. Another exciting aspect of this part of the vision tour was accompanying a couple on our team as they take a step of faith and move here. It was such an honor to get to be a part of this moment in their lives and see God working through it all. 

Going from the South Asian culture to Japan was a bit shocking and took some adjustment. I couldn’t get over how quiet and clean everything was. I felt like I was in an alternate reality. However, it is a great lesson I have been learning in adapting from place to place and becoming “all things to all people” as Paul says in 1 Corinthians. 

On the surface, this country and the people seem to appear neat and put together. Upon further inspection, you come to see that there are so many societal pressures, hopelessness, and lost Japanese souls. The people are so polite and respectful, but my heart aches at the fact that the majority of them don’t know about Jesus and the eternal hope He provides. I have been learning that religion is so deeply rooted in the cultures of these areas of the world. It can be very difficult for people to break away from something that might not be benefitting them, yet they feel it is a part of who they are. Especially in a shame/honor society, decisions made by an individual doesn’t just reflect them, but their whole family as well. I’m sure you can imagine how the pressure just builds and builds. Not to mention, the devastating suicide rates of Japan. Many in this country are culturally Buddhist or Shintos, yet not in practice, which leave almost half to have an atheistic worldview. Many view Christianity as a western religion and while they respect that, they don’t want to have anything to do with it…

It doesn’t end there though! We have also gotten to hear beautiful testimonies from a few Japanese Christians. A common thread that God seems to use is bringing Christians to these people to correctly share what having a relationship with Jesus means and then displaying that abundant life and love for them. The harvest is truly plentiful in this land, but sadly, the laborers are few. This means there is a great need for more workers and servants of God to plow the hard soil here. Please join me in prayer for this to become a reality and praise God that we are seeing more move to this mission field and committing their lives to pouring out their hearts to the Japanese. 

Women’s Study at Calvary Chapel Abide

Though this is a spiritually dead and dark place, I see beautiful pockets of His light throughout. I believe by faith that hope is blossoming in this dry land. God gave me an encouraging picture of this truth as we went up a tall building one afternoon to overlook the city and pray for the people. It was as if Japan was a dry and dead flowerbed that was full of weeds, but the Lord desired to bring the gardeners there to pour the Water of Life on the soil, so life and color could bloom and fill the whole space. The work is far from over and I pray that you all are stirred to seek the Lord with me on how we can see His will and plans accomplished not only in our communities, but around the world because He is worthy! Isn’t He? 

I am excited for what the future holds for Japan and grateful I got to witness God’s hand moving throughout two of the biggest cities in the world. As I am here seeking God as to where my long-term mission field is, I can definitely hear Him speaking, but it is hard not to fall in love with every place I visit. I am confident and at peace that He will make the decision clear to me. My job is to simply remain faithful, as well as serve and seek Him with all my heart.

A scripture God has constantly been putting on my heart is Ephesians 3:20-21, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” The Lord has constantly proved this to be true in my life and my time overseas has been no different. God is continuously blowing me away with all that He has and is allowing me to do for His kingdom. I am so grateful and in awe of what He is doing around the world. I hope this stirs your heart towards action in pursuing the Great Commission if it hasn’t already.

Currently, I am in Indonesia joining another team as we visit two islands in this country and pray if the Lord would have us to start a new work here. As of now, there are no missionaries sent out through SGWM in this country. Shortly, I will also be making my way to the Philippines to be with the CBI there and attend a conference. Please stay updated for my next newsletter where I will be sharing about my time in Indonesia and the Philippines.

Praise Reports:

  • My friends have moved to Japan as missionaries after 6 years of waiting on the Lord
  • Getting to meet with the pastors, leaders, and missionaries in Japan was so encouraging, humbling, and sobering
  • Being a part of the ministry there and getting to share my testimony at the women’s study, help in English class, and serve in children’s ministry was such a blessing.
  • Praise the Lord for all He is allowing me to do in this season of my life as I seek to serve Him amongst the most unreached places of the world

Prayer Requests:

  • Please pray for my friends, Jeff and Alishia as they have moved to Japan to serve the Lord, but are still looking for an apartment and they also have some other details to work out
  • Please pray for all those the Lord has in Japan seeking to further His kingdom for strength, endurance, and boldness through His Spirit
  • Please pray for all the unreached people in Japan who do not know the name of Jesus, for the depression and suicide in this country, and that the works of the enemy would cease
  • Please pray that God would send more laborers out to minister to the Japanese people
  • Please pray that He would continue leading and showing me His will as to where He would have me serve Him long-term

Thank you for taking the time to read this update and for joining in on the work that God has called me to! It is such a beautiful gift to realize that the Lord doesn’t need our help in fulfilling His plans, but because of His love, He wants us to take part in spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth! I would greatly appreciate your continued partnership with me in prayer as the Lord continues to prepare me for long-term, cross-cultural ministry, as well as through financial support, if you feel led to give. Any amount of a one-time or monthly donation is an absolute blessing for my vision tour expenses, future mission trips, and eventually for being sent out long-term on the field.

It means so much to me. God bless and thank you all!

For His glory,

Macey