This morning I said "good bye" to my twin brother, Mark. We had a great time together, but it was very hard to hug him and then watch him drive away. As many of you know, Mark, and his wife Maki, are missionaries in Japan. They have a son named Noah and are now on furlough for a few more weeks in the States.
Last night they spoke at my church about what God is doing in their lives and ministry. One of the big things I continue to learn from Mark is the power of relationships in evangelism. Both he and Maki make it a priority to open up their home and their hearts to the lost. Most Japanese feel unaccepted and unloved so Mark and Maki try to build friendships of care and trust that often grow into conversations about Jesus. They also believe that true discipleship happens best in smaller environments (one to one, small groups, inviting families over for dinner, etc.) Ironically, I share a similar passion--hence the title of this blog--Life Together so that others may live.
Though we often hear missionaries tell their amazing stories of what God is doing, it was also refreshing to hear that Mark and Maki have their struggles too. Both of them admitted their weakness and dependence on God in reaching the Japanese people.
All in all, I'm so glad we got to see them again. Mark and I had fun remembering our younger years. It's amazing how much we shared together. From silly little songs and shows we watched on T.V., to our similar stories in how God brought us to himself, we share a lot of memories.
One person in our church asked me, "It must be tough to have a twin brother that lives so far away." I agreed. It is tough. In fact, I don't know the next time I'll see him again. But I thank God for my twin brother and fellow partner in the gospel. After all, there is coming a day when we can hang out forever together with no time restraints, but until that day we must be about building Christ's kingdom.