Sometimes, staff at Global travel in order to meet with those working in our overseas offices. That usually includes National Directors, pastors, and perhaps a government official or two. All of these people play an integral part of Global’s success overseas, but every once in a while, we get to meet people who we never intended to and are reminded just how blessed Global University is to work with these amazing servants.
Ted Heaston, our National Office Relations Director, traveled to Japan earlier in 2015 to meet with Susan Ricketts, former National Director for Global University; Pastor Katsuhiro Honda, General Secretary of the Japan Assemblies of God; and Brian and Sally Snider, Assemblies of God missionaries to Japan. “I also had the privilege to preach at the International Christian Assembly in Yokoama, which is a suburb of Tokyo,” Ted explained. “Two individuals made decisions to follow Christ and I was also able to make connections with members of a nearby US Air Force base about studying through GU.”
His itinerary complete, Ted was preparing to leave when he stumbled into Mishiko. Mishiko is a small, elderly Japanese woman who is nearly 80 years old. She had been working in Global’s Japan office for over 40 years, diligently helping run the office and keeping Global University alive in Japan. For four decades, this humble woman helped bring Christ to the people of Japan and had never been formally recognized.
As Ted spoke with her and heard her amazing story, he discovered that she intended to retire soon. Ted was able to obtain a certificate of recognition and presented it to her before he left. “When I gave her the certificate,” Ted shared, “she turned to me and said very softly, in almost a whisper, ‘You have encouraged me.’ After 40 years of silent service, her servant heart still shines.”
Let Mishiko be a reminder to all of us that our service to God is not about accolades, fame, or recognition from others. We serve to bring about God’s kingdom on earth because he has asked us to and it is his approval and recognition that we should strive after.
“Whatever you are doing, work at it with enthusiasm, as to the Lord and not for people, because you know that you will receive your inheritance from the Lord as the reward. Serve the Lord Christ.” – Colossians 3:23-24