These past two weeks we have seen some of the “honeymoon” phase of the Nozomi Project wearing off and the realities of ten or twelve women working together in a small space on a daily basis rubbing in. Add to that some of the especially challenging issues that these women are facing and the cultural issues unique to Japan, and it is not surprising that we have experienced some uncomfortable kickbacks and realities. I have spent numerous hours over this weekend talking, crying, and praying with a couple of the women. There have been some issues of miscommunication, mistrust, and talking around that have been troubling.
God has been speaking to me about the need to better clarify our vision and values, and continue to not just share these but illustrate them. We are trying to do a pretty challenging thing — create a God-honoring business with staff who have no concept of a Christian worldview. It is not an easy task but I’m convinced it is a God-ordained one. And I am convicted of what I need to do differently/better. Tomorrow we will have a lunch-hour meeting with all the women and talk through some of this and some of the challenges that have come up.
This morning Jonathan Wilson (CRASH) shared on Facebook the verse that he read every morning before going into the CRASH Center during the early days after the tsunami: “Write the vision: make it plain on tablets, so that a runner may read it” (Habakkuk 2:2). Our vision and values need to clear and repeated and illustrated. I’m hoping our Be One team can more concisely write out our vision and values for the NP together so that we can hang it up in the workshop and refer to it often. I just heard a story of a server at a restaurant who was asked the restaurant’s mission statement – if they couldn’t recite it word for word to customers they were automatically fired! This is really important for us in setting the right tone and helping to ensure that we are not just making beautiful jewelry but cooperating with God in working in hearts and lives. Please pray for us!!! I have much to learn and need to keep my heart submitted to God for His leading and counsel.
In a different kind of rearranging, Jennifer and I worked a lot over the weekend in rearranging the Nozomi Project/Be One guest house. Trying to figure out a good layout that will accommodate the kinds of work that we need to do (grinding the shards into pendants; gluing the bails onto the smooth shards; making the jewelry around a table; storing the jewelry, printing cards and mailing jewelry), as well as an area for a small kitchen and coffee/hangout area that volunteers can use when they are here during the day. After a few different tries,
we came up with a plan that we hope will lend itself better to these different needs.
And one of our hopes is to have more space for the little ones who come in with moms on some days. Here is one of our favorites — I would rearrange just about anything for this little one!
Please pray for us. Pray for God to break through in areas that need to be changed. Pray that despite the language barrier that I feel daily that we would be able to communicate clearly, boldly, humbly. Pray that we would know what to say and what not to say; that each staff would leave encouraged and wanting more than ever to be a part of this community that God is creating. Thanks much.
2 thoughts on “Rearranging”
Sue, know that I continue to lift you and the ladies up daily. God put on my heart when I was there to make the Nozomi cross. I think if the mission statement is clearly posted next to that, I think the problems will be less. If we look to the cross daily, and think of how Jesus would act In a situation, then many of our actions and words would change. I know that Jesus is new to many of the ladies, sometimes our actions speak louder than our words. I think the fact that they witness the Holy Spirit in you, Eric, Chad, Jennifer and children daily, that speaks volumes!!
I know many of these ladies carry burdens and grief that we don’t know. I know there are cultural differences too, however, the love of Jesus over-rides it ALL! Just witnessing HIS love through you will open areas for the Holy Spirit to work.
Colossians 3:15-17 says “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever, you do in word or deed, do it all in the name of The Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him”.
This is a good reminder, as God has put his blessing on the Nozomi project. You are one body (in Christ Jesus), yes the ladies might not know that yet! But you are called to teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, but with gratitude in your hearts. So be encouraged my friend!! God will give you wisdom and courage for this task!! He is using you to create a community of believers in Ishinomaki!!! May God bless you and yours! Becca
Give that cute little Tae sae a kiss on the cheek for me!!