If you know Danielle or me even a little, you’ve probably heard us talk about Japan.
Well, the season is quickly approaching! Our Seattle apartment is a testament to that!
That answer has been brewing for a number of years, starting back in the early 2000s.
Ever since I encountered the Holy Spirit I have always felt a call to Asia. The thought never felt foreign or forced, but instead, entirely natural. It was as if this call was implanted within my core at the moment of my first “yes” to the Lord.
Perhaps due to my relatively minimal exposure to missions, or simple naivety in my young age, I had always operated out of an assumption that my call to Asia was a call to China. I had heard of the underground churches in China and was inspired by the stories of the faithful enduring though persecution, and so I happily went along with my assumption of being called to China!
Fast forward a few years
…and I’m now in my first year at the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry in Redding, California. While in the prayer house on campus one day, I had the following vision:
I was looking at the outside of a wooden house. A tree stood just a bit away from a sliding door. It looked something similar to this…
Out from the paper, sliding door came myself, a woman who I instantly knew was my wife (she had blonde, curly hair, and her face was blurred out like they do on the news), and a group of Asian children which I knew were orphans. We all stood together, as if posing for a photo, smiling straight on towards my point of view.
Quick and simple, yet that vision re-solidified my calling to Asia (China at the time) in my heart. Ironically, I knew Danielle at the time, but we were not dating or had any interest in such. We each spent our first year in the school on ministry committed to not entering a relationship so that we could focus on the school and God. The face blur in the vision was enough to make me never even suspect her, which I’m glad for!
Another key point, which went unrealized at the time, was the paper, sliding door. Much like the blurred face of Danielle, I didn’t put much thought into it. But, I should mention that that type of sliding door is unique to Japan…
I’m convinced the Lord used my confused calling to China
Before Danielle and I had developed any romantic interest in each other, I had spent hours chatting with Danielle’s mom and grandma about missions in China. Danielle’s family, going generations back, has a rich history of missions in China, which I was eager to hear all about. After getting engaged, Danielle told me that those conversations had won me their favor before we had ever started dating! Their approval helped pave the path to my successful wooing of Danielle! Though my assumption about going to China myself was off, it led me to finding my life-long ministry partner!
The Lord speaks in Georgia
A few years into our time in Georgia, where we helped start a Bethel school a little outside of Atlanta, the Lord started speaking to us both about Japan. We had specifically heard “Osaka.” Though we weren’t that up on our Japanese geography; we knew Osaka was a real place and it wasn’t Tokyo, but that’s about it.
Birds of a Feather
That same week that Danielle and I heard “Osaka,” I had a call to catch up with my good friend, Erich. At the time, he was serving as a missionary in the Middle East. I wish I had recorded that conversation! As we were sharing, something along these lines happened:
Erich: Guess what I heard from the Lord this week?
Erich: I’m going to be going to Osaka, Japan.
Cody: What? No way.
Cody: Danielle and I also heard that same thing this past week.
Erich: Osaka, specifically?
:Mutual sounds of excitement ensue:
From then on, the confirmation hasn’t stopped
There have been so many examples of the Lord confirming the calling to Osaka over the last eight-ish years. From being prophetically given the name of a mountain in Japanese that sits outside of Osaka, to prophetic words from Japanese natives where they’ve repeated to us the exact things the Lord has told us in private that we would be doing in Japan and then giving us contacts for each of those areas.
Just in the last week we’ve met, or connected with, three couples who have felt the calling to go to Osaka as well. It just feels like all of God’s attention is pointed at Osaka!
For brevity’s sake, I will make a separate post in the near future discussing our upcoming plans in more detail, but here’s our current timeline:
- Mid-June – Leave Seattle, move to Redding, CA for sabbatical with friends currently on the mission field in Japan.
- Mid-September – Cody leaves for Osaka to find a place for us to live.
- Beginning of October – Danielle (and hopefully a cat or two) comes to our new home in Osaka.
- October, for two years – Putting our noses to the grindstone in language school, learning one of the most difficult languages in the world.
- 2021 and on – Living and ministering happily ever after in Japan.
Thanks for taking the time to read and stay connected!
Going forward we’re going to need more love and support from our friends and family than we’ve ever had. We appreciate all your kind words and encouragement. We are excited for this journey God has called us on!
- Grace on our language learning. (We’re currently finishing up a semester of Japanese classes in Seattle.)
- To successfully wrap things up in Seattle, including shipping our stuff to Japan.
- A time of spiritual re-filling while in Redding.
- To find a place in Osaka that will allow our cats to come with us.
- Divine connections!