As a kid I, Dan, used to drink from the hose quite a bit. My friends and I would mess around with each other, turning it low and then blasting it on high when our mouths got close. This would usually result with us soaking our faces. But could you imagine for a minute trying to drink from a firehose?!? The force and power of it would be quite painful to say the least! This past week we returned from a retreat, with everyone in the Asian Access family, it felt as if I was drinking from a firehose.
Living in Japan and not understanding most of what is being said is difficult. It is so important for me to make sure that I am taking care of my soul. I love our church and God definitely refreshes me there. Many times during worship I truly do encounter God and the Spirit moves, even when I do not understand the words that I am singing or the Word being preached. I often listen to worship music on iTunes and am blessed to be able to listen to pastors via podcasts, but this past week was different, way different.
Going into the retreat I was praying that God would show up and refresh my soul. The theme for the retreat was "Responding to God's Voice" and that is something that I was looking forward to doing. I didn't know how God was going to speak or move, I just expected Him to. As we all gathered and starting praising God in English, singing worship songs and getting fed the word from Pastor Cory of Evergreen Baptist Church, something happened. I couldn't get enough! It was really like I was drinking from a firehose! There is something about worshipping God with others around you that are like-minded and on the same journey. It also helped that I understood every word of the songs being sung and of the Word being preached! I really did not realize what I had been missing. Sure I sing songs to iTunes and listen to pastors on podcasts, but being there with my missionary family was such a huge blessing and refreshment.
By the end of our time together God had showed up, but it was in bigger and mightier ways than I could have ever expected. He had met a desire that I did not even know was there. I love where I am at and I am excited for the day that I can worship God and fully understand the Word in the Japanese language.
Another blessing was being able to stop by a Costco on our way home! Costco holds a special place in our hearts as we spent many family days eating there. This Costco is about a 5 hour drive away, so it was definitely a special treat. We left the retreat with our souls refreshed and our stomachs and car full!