What Keeps us Afloat

It has been an exciting week as we have moved in the new Nozomi house next door to our new home!  Asian Access leaders, some awesome carpenters, many volunteers and others have helped to make this a reality.  There have been some bumps in the road in moving in, which I guess should be expected. You can pray that God will give us wisdom in settling things and helping each staff feel comfortable and figure out what they need to make the new location a good place for them to be.  (And would you pray that God would provide parking for us?  We haven’t been able to find a nearby parking lot that we can rent, which has caused a lot of anxiety for some of the staff).

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Recently I have been interviewed for magazine articles about the Nozomi Project.  If I am honest it was fun, and it makes me excited for what God is wanting to do at NP.  But I have also felt really uncomfortable.  Really.  I wanted those writers – and you who are reading this — to know my thoughts.  This is similar to what I shared  with them in writing after the interview:

I want to be really honest as I think about your writing an article about the NP.  I have felt this week  -and numerous other times this past year — like an utter failure as a leader.  For serious. Yesterday I made two blunders in my role  there that left me feeling blue all evening – and sad that I will need to wait until Tuesday to apologize to everyone.  I have learned a lot of new Japanese language for saying “I’m sorry”  this past year!
While it is an awesome thing that God entrusted His vision for the NP to me – and I thank him for that frequently — it is even more amazing that He has brought around me a team of people much more capable than me, and able to fill in many of the gaps – to keep this thing going.  Chad and Jennifer have been amazing behind-the-scenes-supports — they have spent hundreds of hours working on the accounting and finances for the Project – in large part because me and the others involved at the beginning did such a poor job keeping helpful records.  My husband Eric and Chad have been frequent advisors and “guest speakers” at the NP, able to speak into the womens’ lives in ways that we women are not able to.  Eric has covered for me often in our home  so that I could meet with women, lead staff meetings, work on reports, etc.  God has given us an amazing Advisory Team of Jennifer, Lora, Eric, and Lisa (the jewelry designer and now doing all our ordering).  Yuko our manager I think has had to compensate for my weaknesses many, many times. Lora is a gifted counselor and much more gifted at being “present” with the women than I am.  Michiko has brought wisdom and perspective at just the right times;  Beth has brought laughter and joy when it has been most needed.   In some ways I continue to be amazed that God is at work despite me – I believe it is only because He has brought this great team together.  I hope this doesn’t sound self-deprecating.  Truly I feel that if the NP is effective at transforming beauty from brokenness on different levels it is not because I started this thing but because many people have worked so hard to keep it afloat.  They are the heroes in this story.  It is God’s thing and what is so beautiful about it is that He has brought together such a great team, and used broken and human vessels like myself.

3 thoughts on “What Keeps us Afloat

  1. Hi Sue
    Thank you once again for finding time to update those of us on the outside as to how Nozomi is progressings and especially for your being so candid about how you are feeling and your experiences. It has been a Joy to watch as God has brought just the right combination of people (which by the way INCLUDES YOU! ) and resources to make this amazing thing called NOZOMI to pass. And you can bet HE is in-no-way finished with it at this time. 🙂


  2. God is such an amazing Father, isn’t He? Only He can take broken vessels (like all of us)…and turn them into beautiful pieces…just like the women at Nozomi are doing with the shards of pottery…none of which would have been possible if you had not been obedient to the call! And more important than the wonderful business opportunity that has been offered to the women of Ishinomaki, is the work He is doing in their lives and hearts, through the love and caring of the BeOne Team. Thank you so much for everything that you ALL do!!! (And for allowing us to have the privilege of sharing…even in a small way…the opportunity to serve and partner with you for a very short while.)

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