Voices from the Field Shan Reed Get to know Shan

Little by Little

Published on November 15, 2023

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In a podcast devotional I listened to a few weeks ago, the host read the above verse from Exodus and challenged us to be aware that God often works this way, little by little. When he brought the Israelites to the edge of the Promised Land, he did not drive out all the nations immediately. He drove them out little by little. The second half of the verse tells us why. We often see what God is calling us to do, where he is calling us to go, but our character is not ready to handle it yet. So, God walks with us little by little, preparing us to take possession of the land, to step into the calling to which he has been guiding us. What a loving, attentive Father and Creator we have!

This quarter I want to share with you a few places where I see God working little by little, accomplishing his goals in his way and his time.


Since the pandemic started in 2020, our Japan Baptist Conference (JBC) youth gatherings have been online, and finally, recently, in person again. However, we have not had an overnight gathering since our summer camp in 2019. This August, we were finally able to meet again for an overnight camp. The students were thrilled to be together again after the little-by-little return of in-person gatherings. For many of the students, it was their first time meeting some of the people from other churches.

We had a BBQ and talked about God’s love for us and how to love each other well. It was fun to see the students rebuild and build new relationships. After one of the times of fellowship, a high school girl said that she was happy to find that other people have similar struggles. “I am not alone!” That was a highlight for me as a leader.

Fall Day of Prayer

The missionary community here in Japan knows the truth of working little by little. Meeting together for encouragement, prayer, and fellowship is an important way that God helps us grow our character and endurance. In October, the Kansai region of the Women in Ministry (WIM) arm of the missionary community gathered for a day of prayer. It was our second day of prayer since we started this gathering earlier this year. What an encouragement to hear stories of God’s faithfulness in the lives of missionaries, our Japanese friends, and the church in Japan.

Being part of the leadership team gives me the bonus of fellowship while planning the day of prayer. I am grateful to know God is working little by little in all our lives. I can say with the high school girl, “I am not alone!”

Komyo Christian Church

March 2020 brought Komyo Christian Church a Japanese pastor after we had just made the move within the JBC from church plant to established church. It seemed like life in the church was speeding along. A week later, the entire world shut down due to the pandemic. (I wonder what little by little things we all learned during those days!) As Paul Ewing and Pastor Saijo worked together in the beginning months, little by little God has been enlarging the leadership of Pastor Saijo.

As with any transition, Komyo Christian Church has also been learning little by little how to walk with our new pastor. We are learning to notice God’s guidance together as we shine the light of Jesus brightly in our neighborhood.

We are looking forward to the Christmas season to see where God is at work and to join him in sharing about the beautiful gift he gave the world in Jesus.

Thank you for walking with me in this little-by-little ministry of sharing the love and light of Jesus in Japan. I pray that your celebrations of our Savior’s birth may be filled with the light and peace only he brings.

Shan Reed