Voices from the Field Shan Reed Get to know Shan

Bless God

Published on February 13, 2024

Click here to view this newsletter as a PDF.


Before and after.

Christmas Eve’s fire reminded me that I have not been forsaken. Thank you for your kind words and prayers. It is quite a shock to receive a phone call in the middle of the worship service from a neighbor saying there is black smoke coming out of the windows of one’s apartment. Every time I retell the story or reflect on the event, I am filled with gratitude. Even today as my neighbor and I recalled the story, she and her daughter talked about how lucky I was. I could only respond with how grateful to God I am!

Over the past month, I have been singing Brooke Ligertwood’s song “Bless God,” especially the line “Sing if you’ve known his grace.” Lift an offering of praise with me and sing of his grace!

Christmas Events

Komyo Church members who helped decorate for Christmas.

In December, we were able to hold some Christmas events at Komyo Christian Church. Our theme for the events was “Celebrating Christmas with our friends.” (There is a fun word play in Japanese that doesn’t translate into English!) We started with an event to reach out to our community, making Christmas gifts for the nursing home across the street from the church. We had two fun mornings gluing and decorating to make colorful, craft-stick Christmas trees for each of the residents.

The next week, the event was to reach out to our friends. We had a time of singing Christmas carols and enjoying Christmas cookies. Several members of the Gospel choir I used to be part of joined us. It was wonderful to see them again!

I was also able to have an English Christmas party again this year. One of my students wrote her second bilingual picture book, so we enjoyed hearing her read the Japanese while I read the English, and then she told us the story of writing a book. We also decorated Christmas cookies and enjoyed lots of sugar and laughter!

Our final Christmas event to reach out to our friends was the Christmas Eve candle service. We enjoyed reading the Christmas story together from the Bible, singing carols, a Christmas message, and, of course, Christmas treats. Thankfully, I had taken my treats to church in the morning, so none were lost to smoke and soot. It was a joy to praise God together as a church family and with our friends.

More lyrics from the song “Bless God” come to mind: “Come on and lift up your holy hands. He’s worthy of all our praise.”

Step by Step

Last quarter, I shared about the “little by little” life as a missionary in Japan. Although the fire in my condo set me on a quick path to packing and moving, I can see how it is part of the little-by-little, step-by-step plan God has for me.

In January of 2023, God began moving in my heart. I noticed the Holy Spirit at work but wasn’t quite sure to what the stirring was leading. After several months of prayer, I shared with Yuri that God was leading me to return to the US at the end of this term in 2025: to visit my supporting churches on home assignment and then to stay in the US.

I do not know yet what God has planned for my future; however, I am grateful He has not forsaken me as I have sought Him.

Thank you for the ways you have been walking with me for over twenty years as I have had the privilege of serving Jesus here in Japan.

Sing the chorus of “Bless God” with me:
Come on and praise the Lord with me
Sing if you love His name
Come on and lift your voice with me
He’s worthy of all our praise.

Shan Reed