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When God Sets You up

As a senior in high school, I had the opportunity to go to Japan with a missionary from our church who would soon be returning there. In our Christian school, we were encouraged to pray for nations and I had prayed for Japan since the 5th grade.

I had done reports on this nation and seen pictures, but as is always the case, knowledge with the addition of experience is an illuminating thing.

The second week we were there, we stayed in Osaka at a YWAM (Youth with a Mission) base where I met some incredible people. One of those incredible people was named Nathan.

He was a toddler of maybe two or three years old–shy at first, but I had always loved kids and managed to coax him out of his shell. Within just a few hours, he was my buddy. Any time I was in the room with him, he wanted me to hold him or play, and I happily obliged.

Through the course of the week, I heard from his adopted parents, the couple who oversaw this mission base. They told me how adoption was culturally unacceptable to the Japanese. They didn’t understand why Westerners would want “other peoples’ kids” when to them bloodline and family heritage was paramount. Yes, these orphans were taken care of in clean facilities and needs met, but they had no families and the family members who were involved could block efforts made by others to see adoption take place.

These words affected me, for sure; but what affected me more was this little boy. I couldn’t imagine his being raised outside the care, love, and support of a family. Every child deserves that.

At the end of the week, I held that boy in my arms once again saying good-bye. I couldn’t believe how attached I had become to him. With tears welling up in my eyes, I made a decision right then that one day I would adopt from Japan.

God set me up.

As Corrie Ten Boom watched a Jewish doctor and his family laughing and playing, she wondered where it would all lead and I believe she would agree.

How often it is a small, almost unconscious event that marks a turning point. (p. 90)

She prayed her prayer and made her vow,

Lord Jesus, I offer myself for Your people. In any way. Any place. Any time. –Corrie Ten Boom, the Hiding Place (p. 90)

Yes, God sets you up. It’s not about pain, though it will likely be painful at times. There is joy in being His hands and feet. For me, I get to be dad to a little boy named, Isaac, who every bit lives up to the meaning of his name (laughter).

mizuki-papa1It was a long road filled with hardship and roadblocks, ones that I wouldn’t have been able to overcome without the tenacity of my amazing wife. And along the way God gave me a heart and passion for all orphans, but it started with a turning point. It started with God setting me up with a little boy named, Nathan.

How about you? Have you had a small event that became a turning point for you in some way?

hiding-place1Welcome to week 5 of our discussion of the Hiding Place (disclosure) by Corrie Ten Boom. We are taking a sentence, paragraph, or passage that inspires, encourages, or challenges and writing about it. If you have a response on your blog, head over to my friend and co-facilitator, Sarah Salter’s blog for her thoughts and the widget to add your post. Whether you’ve read the chapter or not, please dive into the conversation!


  1. Wow… How cool to learn the back story and how God planted the seed to change the life of one special soul. We tend to forget how much He loves each and every soul that He creates. Awesome testimony, Jason. Awesome…

    • I appreciate that, Floyd. It is incredible how much God loves us and will plant these seeds in our hearts to love others as well. Blows me away! Thanks so much.

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