Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Testimony Tuesday: Candie

Tuesday yet again!

I say this every week, but I really love this time of the week.  I am so excited to share Candie's testimony with you today.  Candie and I met on my very first day at Southeastern.  She's a Georgia girl for real.  Don't mess with her Dawgs.  I was able to video chat with Candie recently and was just in near tears because of how special my friendship is with her and how much I miss her.  While she was holding Eliana, I was reminded of Candie's prayers and desires to be a wife, mother, and missionary -- and just how faithful God has been to answer that.  I also must recognize Candie as teaching me the basics of cooking.  And that my friends goes a long way!

Meet Candie...

So when Erin asked me if I wanted to write up my testimony for her blog, I was thrilled. Since then I have been pondering on what I should write about because I can give praises to The Lord for so many things. How he saved me, how he has shown me his grace and mercy while in seminary, teaching me how to love when it's difficult and teaching me what it means to forgive. Showing me what love is and what true community looks like. I mean the list can keep on going, but I thought I would share with you what he has been doing in my life recently.

It started out in January of 2012. I was unhappy with my job at the optical shop in Walmart and was looking for a new one on the seminary ministry referral website. I kept seeing a job opening for Japan and never thought twice about it. Finally towards the end of January I decided to see what the job offer was. I clicked on the link and saw that a Christian International school in Nagoya, Japan was looking for a high school Bible teacher. There was no way that I wanted to do this job but I thought this would be perfect for my husband Jesse.  His undergrad and seminary degree was in Bible. We both wanted to move overseas to share the gospel to those who haven't heard. We had been praying and seeking The Lord to direct us
where he wanted us to go and specifically were praying about going to India, China or Indonesia. When we looked at this job offer for Japan, we weren't sure but decided to pray about it and do some research on Japan, because serving The Lord in Japan never crossed our minds.

As we prayed and researched we decided to go ahead and fill out the application for the Bible teacher position and signed up for the job fair that was two weeks away. While researching we found out that Japan has 1% of Christians in the country and Christianity has been made known to this country for over 400 years. We were in disbelief with this information. We didn't believe that there was so much darkness and little fruit in a country that has heard about Christ in over 400 years. We realized that Satan had such a stronghold in Japan and we wanted to be a part of God's work to bring the Gospel to this lost nation. We prayed, did the interview and didn't think we would get the job but a few weeks after the initial interview, the school offered Jesse the bible teacher position. We continued to pray and knew this is where The Lord had us for a season of time.

Now fast forward to today. Our decision to come here was almost two years ago. We are in our second year here in Nagoya, Japan and I can't believe all of what The Lord has done since our time here. He has shown me his great mercy and kindness. We have had so many prayers answered because of our prayer warriors in America and across the world praying for us. We have seen new believers baptize and grow in their faith and take a leap of faith to follow Christ.  God has provided many ministry opportunities and friendships have been formed. God  provided Jesse and I a beautiful, healthy, sweet girl who provides great ministry opportunities.  God has provided us Christian community, when at first I didn't think we would have any.
Since our time here there are so many stories of how God has made himself real to me, so many that I
could write a book about. So many I want to share with each of you but I think what I want to share is the different prayers that have been prayed about while in Japan and the answers to those prayers. I want to give praise to our Father, the God who sees and hears and answers. The God who loves his children no matter where they are in the world and takes care of each of their needs and wants.

The list could be extremely long but I'll just give you a few of the answered prayers. They weren't all yes at first but still God answered them in his timing, I'm truly grateful that we have a living God who hears his children's prayers and answers them. Psalm 121:1-2, 1 I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? 2 My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.

Prayer: Lord where do you want us to be after Jesse graduates from Seminary?
Answer: In Nagoya, Japan, serving with NICS at ICAN teaching secondary Bible

Prayer: Provide all of the support money we need before we left for Japan in August 2012
Answer: God provided all plus some support money by September 2012.

Prayer: Provide friendships with non-believing Japanese neighbors and those in the community
Answer: It took several months before I (Candie) had any Japanese friends. It started out slowly but God answered my prayers of many months and provided my first set of many friends now with Yoko and Yuki.

Prayer: Provide friendship and community with the believers here in Japan.
Answer: He did, again it took several months and not right away like I wanted, but God did with a few of the ICAN teachers and with our local church here.

Prayer: Help us to learn the language well so we can share your truth in Japanese.
Answer: Didn't happen the first year we were here, but we have started taking a Japanese class in September of 2013 that meets for an hour once a week. Still pray for us to learn the language well enough to share the gospel in Japanese. I've been told recently that Japanese is one of the top 5 hardest languages to learn in the world.

Prayer: Our school was in such hardship and we needed change immediately with staff.
Answer: Some of the old staff left at the end of the school year 2012 and new staff has come and the school is in a much better state now. Not where it needs to be but better.

Prayer: Jesse to have opportunities to minister to the students
Answer: Jesse has started a soccer club and has had one of the male students help him out with planning for spiritual emphasis week.

Prayer: Provide Candie opportunities to share the gospel with her friend Yoko
Answer: God has provided many opportunities for Candie to share the gospel with Yoko.  Continue to pray for her to believe in the one triune God.

Prayer: God provide a quick safe delivery for our child.
Answer: God did provide a quick and safe delivery of our sweet Eliana Karis Rose. If you want to hear more about that then you can read about it on therosesreadallover.wordpress.com

Prayer: Please calm Eliana's heart from crying, I don't know what's wrong with her or how to comfort her.
Answer: God calms her heart immediately and she stops crying and falls asleep.

Candie currently lives in Japan (in case you didn't figure that out) with her husband Jesse and sweet baby girl Eliana.  She graduated from Valdosta and Southeastern.  

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