Voices from the Field Shan Reed Get to know Shan

Be Still

Published on May 14, 2024

Click here to view this newsletter as a PDF.

The last week of April, Yuri and I were able to attend a retreat for missionaries serving in Japan entitled “Still Waters.” We have both had an opportunity to join the retreat in the past and have appreciated the time. It was refreshing to step away from our day-to-day lives and gaze upon the beauty of the Lord.

The retreat is held near Mount Fuji, next to one of the five lakes surrounding the mountain. Because of the many days of rain in the spring, seeing the mountain is a special treat. The final morning during our coffee/tea break, the clouds finally broke, and we were able to see the mountain for a few minutes. We all mentioned how waiting for days for the clouds to dissipate so that we could gaze upon the beauty of creation reminded us of the importance of being still and waiting on God so that we can gaze upon his beauty.

Celebrating the resurrection with our church family at Komyo Christian Church was a special time. We were able to have our traditional sushi lunch, not socially distanced this year, enjoying fellowship as brothers and sisters in Christ. Because of a meeting required by the Japanese government, Paul Ewing was in the country and was able to celebrate with us as well. The church members appreciated catching up with him and the time of mutual encouragement and fellowship.

March began and ended for me with gatherings for fellowship and praise. At the beginning of March, we had our annual Kansai Christian Women’s Conference. I have the privilege of being on the leadership team for this conference. We were delighted to see around 60 women gather in person this year after several years of online and hybrid conferences. Our speaker was a former missionary and part of the leadership in the past. We were encouraged through her teachings on Moses’ life and leadership.

KCWC leadership team, minus the lady who had a baby two days later!

The end of March found me at our Japan Baptist Conference spring youth camp. Our theme this year was praise. We heard teaching about praise, what it is and why it is important, and then we had an opportunity to try an instrument we have not tried before as we all learned a song together. What fun to see the students learning to praise God together!

I have been encouraged by God’s guidance as I have walked through the Christmas Eve fire, renovations, and beginning the finishing-well-in-Japan stage of ministry. I am learning to be still and wait for his guidance. As we sat waiting for the clouds to dissipate so that we could see Mount Fuji, we were reminded that we have absolutely no control over the clouds! We could place ourselves in the right place. We knew there was a mountain behind the clouds. But all we could do was wait.

Picking out wallpaper with our helpful contractor.

The renovation contractor has been walking with us since Christmas Day when he came to assess the damage and provided plywood to cover the windows. In my rush to get renovations completed, I assumed we could be done by the end of January. April 30, Yuri and I went for the final walk-through. God reminded me that I am not in control and cannot move clouds.

As I begin finishing areas of ministry, I have a timeline of how I think that should happen. Through the events of the past few months, I am reminded to stop trying to move clouds, to be still, and to wait on the Lord. He will be exalted.

Shan Reed