“GOD’S WORK, DONE IN GOD’S WAY WILL NEVER LACK IN SUPPLY”
Pastor Joseph Ricohermoso is one of the IT missionaries in Japan. His journey of faith in Japan was a product of years of prayer and consideration. It was a process before he got the confirmation from the Lord that he was going to Japan. When he was in Bible school, he already knew in his heart that God had called him to go on missions, but it was still indefinite where he would go. Then years later, his former classmate in the Bible school became his wife. His wife had the desire to go to Japan and it was the start of something that the Lord would spring up in his heart. His wife opened up her desire of serving in Japan and Pastor Joseph started considering it. Even when he was taking his master’s degree, he did a research study about Japan and his knowledge about it widened. One step at a time, Pastor Joseph could see that God was leading him to go to Japan.
However, their journey to Japan was not easy. Most of the mission agencies they approached said the same thing – that a missionary from a third-world country would have a hard time going to Japan because even the Westerners couldn’t sustain the expenses. Instead, they were offered to consider going to Cambodia, Thailand, or Suriname. “If it is God’s will for us to go to Japan, He will pave the way” Pastor Joseph and his wife declared. They kept praying and they waited for nine years until an opportunity in Japan opened. It was a process, and it didn’t happen right away, but the final confirmation came, and they made it to Japan!
One thing Pastor Joseph learned in his early life as a Christian worker is that Hudson Taylor said, “God’s work, done in God’s way, will never lack in supply”. Therefore, when he and his wife realized that it was really God’s will that they would go to Japan, they believed in their hearts that God would provide for them. In reality and from a human perspective, it all seemed impossible. But they waited and believed in God – and it happened! They weren’t tentmakers when they arrived in Japan, so they didn’t know how they would survive having only $200 for the four of them. Even when they were at the airport and had to pay for their excess baggage, Pastor Joseph thought “How will we survive?” But the Lord is faithful to His promise and provided for them. God opened a door for them to minister to a US Naval Base in Yokosuka City near Tokyo. Pastor Joseph was amazed at how the Lord showed His favor upon him to do a full-time ministry there. It was the Lord who made it possible for him because in the first place Pastor Joseph isn’t a US citizen nor a military. The Lord made a way for them to serve there hence, there was a house that was prepared for them as they arrived in Japan.
Things are going well for five years in the naval base in Yokosuka, although it wasn’t the ministry they had envisioned. He and his wife really had the desire to minister to the Japanese. Though they were able to do it in the naval base with a few Japanese they met there, their main focus was on the Americans. The couple saw that the Lord used it to secure their first few years in Japan. Therefore, after praying about it, they decided to move to Kyoto City which is in the west of Japan. They knew in their hearts that they were called to serve the Japanese people, so they had to leave what was secure and comfortable in Yokosuka. Since they were leaving a safe, secure, and established ministry, a lot of their acquaintances were concerned about their decision to go to Kyoto. Due to the fact that they don’t know anyone there, their children’s friends are all in Yokosuka and they don’t have any work waiting for them there. Pastor Joseph even received an offer to go to America, as tempting as it may seem, but he knew that God had called him and his family to serve in Japan.
As they moved to Kyoto City, they had to start from scratch. They had no church to attend, no school for their kids and they had to find their own house. His wife got a part-time job teaching small children, but her salary there wasn’t enough. Then they crossed paths with a Japanese man who had just retired. He found out that they are missionaries and that they wanted to put up a language school, so he partnered with them. Even though the couple didn’t receive a salary from him, he paid for some of their expenses. The couple started meeting more people and they found a church. As they attended for the first time, the church members came to know that Pastor Joseph and his wife are missionaries. They were exceedingly glad to have met him and his wife for they have been praying for missionaries to replace the missionaries who left. They were the answer to the prayers of that Japanese church! They partnered with that Japanese church, and they were also supported financially. Therefore, they were doing a full-time ministry in Kyoto.
For the 20 years that they had been staying in Japan, the Lord has blessed them tremendously. They saw God’s miracles in providing for them. There was a time when they didn’t have the money to pay for rent. A Filipino whom they met several years ago and who is living with her Japanese husband in Okinawa contacted them. She told them about her dream “God told me to send you some financial support”. She even told her non-Christian husband and he agreed to send them some money! The couple was so amazed about what God did for no one could have done that but God alone! The couple hadn’t spoken with her in years, and she sent the exact amount they needed. Not only that, but the Lord has provided a lot through different people – even the non-Christians. They would receive sacks of rice and fresh produce from students whose hobby is farming as they do their campus ministries. God is indeed amazing! They haven’t told anyone but God about their needs and they trusted Him solely. It was astonishing that support and blessings can come from anyone and anywhere.
When they went to Japan, they didn't have everything figured out, but as they committed and surrendered their plans to the Lord, He was the one who made those amazing things happen. “For whatever is offered in the altar, the Lord will bless it. Let God lead you and decide for you.” Pastor Joseph commented.
Praise be to God our Lord who still does wonders and miracles on the earth today and displays His power among the people! The God who makes all grace abound in us and generously provides all we need as we obey and trust Him!
2 Corinthians 9:8
And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
(Written by: Venus Jablo)