It all started in early 2017 when we were longing for more spiritual depth in our lives and were tired of the constant ups and downs in our relationship with Jesus. We listened to various sermons and talks, including the Pineapple Story by Otto Koning, who worked as a missionary in the jungles of New Guinea.
This story touched us very much and made very clear to us what Jesus taught in Luke 14:33. We really wanted to be His disciples and so that very evening we prayerfully renounced everything we had and put it under Jesus’ authority and responsibility. This included our house, possessions, money, time, jobs, futures, dreams, relationships, reputations, preferences, rights – just everything we put in Jesus’ hands because He can take care of it much better anyway.
I (Julian) also just had big problems with my PhD thesis. I wasn’t getting anywhere and didn’t even understand the most basic elements of my research topic, which caused me a lot of worry and anxiety about my future. As a logical step, I also gave that thesis and any responsibility for its outcome and my further professional future to Jesus. We were able to experience that Jesus proved to be absolutely faithful. After a few weeks I really began to understand things and within a year the research work was completed. Thank God for this miracle!
During this time, it was the 24th of July 2017, we listened to another sermon by Otto Koning. He spoke about the weapons of our spiritual warfare from 2 Corinthians 10 that we have to tear down the spiritual strongholds of our time. He said these weapons include characteristics of people in whom Jesus lives that are contrary to natural human behavior, such as loving one’s enemies or rejoicing in tribulation. At the end of the sermon, he said, “We have all these “weapons” to win people. We can go to any country and plant churches there with what God has given us.
At that moment Karolina suddenly paused the video and said that all of a sudden the word “Japan” had appeared in burning letters in her mind’s eye and she thinks that Jesus is sending us to Japan. I myself immediately had the freedom to say: If Jesus wants us to go, then we will go. We immediately began to pray that Jesus would take the lead in this matter and show us the next steps.