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- Summer Volunteer Akane from Japan Smart Team
It all started from the summer program in Smart Team. Akane, flying from Japan to Hong Kong in May, had three goals in mind. But God rewarded her more than she had asked for during these three months.
Speaking up in English
"The summer program was a good training because I needed to share myself a lot!"
Akane felt uncomfortable to speak in English at the beginning of her stay but amazed at what she had done so far. During every team time in Smart Team, training sessions, training camp and STM, sometimes only 5-minute notice before going on stage to share, all these trained her up in public speaking in English. “Now I understand how important to share our weaknesses to others because we can pray for one another,” said Akane grabbing the key of communication.
“Jesus is over there, not with me,” Akane gave a comment while pointing to an image drawn beforehand to depict her long-time relationship with Jesus. Jesus was behind her door and she could not see Him. However, in the Mission Night at the training camp, a hymn I Have Decided to Follow Jesus stroke out. “At this song, I finally decided to follow Jesus. By the time, the image in my mind about Jesus changed. Jesus is with me side by side.”
In front of the Cross, Akane asked God a question: “What is the purpose in my life?” God answered her: “Be a fisherman for men.” It surprised her for she did not know the way. But encouragement came in time. Before departure for Bangladesh in STM, she received a scripture, Isaiah 30:21, from a bookmark given by a Smart Team member. It enlightened Akane’s mind very much. “Even I walked to a wrong direction, Jesus guides me through," she explained in a deeper faith.
A Bag of Emotions Gone
At the STM in Bangladesh, Akane experienced her physical and emotional healing from God for the first time. Her heaviness of neck got healed after a prayer. She used to think “it is only the great faith can pray for healing”. Disturbed by her family matter back home and the disappointment on herself at the STM, she could not withhold her emotions any longer and cried herself out one morning after a devotional time with her team.
Through a prayer, she saw a picture that Jesus was holding a small white plastic bag in front of her. It gave her an idea of speaking things out. Thus, she obediently poured her heart out with her prayer partner whom she did not feel quite comfortable to talk to. “After sharing, I could throw away my negative emotions into Jesus' plastic bag.” It soothed her heart. Now she is confident enough even to pray for God’s healing to anyone.
She thanked God for giving her opportunity to come to Hong Kong and she could bring back home with heaps of blessings from her many newly-made Christian friends around the world.