In August as usual I had a birthday. This year I turned 65. This is the age that one traditionaly retires and becomes an official old age pensioner with lots of senior privileges. However, the word retire is not in the Bible nor in the great commission. Except in Numbers 8:25.
“The Lord said to Moses, “This applies to the Levites: Men twenty-five years old or more shall come to take part in the work at the tent of meeting, but at the age of fifty, they must retire from their regular service and work no longer. They may assist their brothers in performing their duties at the tent of meeting, but they themselves must not do the work. This, then, is how you are to assign the responsibilities of the Levites.””
Numbers 8:23-26 NIV.
Having reached the age of 65, I am needing to see how to adjust my lifestyle, because forever 21 is just the name of a store and not an obtainable reality, not even in my dreams. As I am considering this thoughtfully I am feeling to step back from those visions that I have been carrying and some that I have held in my heart and focus on supporting others to carry out the visions God has given them.
Top on the list, and to get the ball rolling will be my involvement in the World Cup Rugby games (2019) and the Tokyo Olympics (2020). Also I will regretfully be laying down the “Ship4Japan” vision. Although dear to my heart, it is not in a place where I can pass it on to anyone.
Probably the one that I have carried the longest in my heart is to see Tokyo reached from an Urban Missions perspective, coupled with a deep desire to see Japanese Christians take their place in the arena of world missions.
Laying these things down does not mean that they are not meant to be, nor that they will never happen. Even now YWAM staff are involved in ministries which connect with 2019/2020 and YWAM Tokyo DTS continues to raise up Japanese missionaries. I will continue to support these ministries as well as look for people with vision to pick up the other visions, seeking to support them as they do.
All this to say that due to my current age, it is time for me to quit being a frontline person in starting a new vision or project and get behind the new leaders that are being raised up. New works are starting in Northeast Japan, Hokkaido, and Southwest Japan – all from YWAM Tokyo base. It’s a privilege to support these young leaders, standing alongside them as they move out to carry out the vision God has placed on their hearts.