A Missionary's Testimony: Paulo Escuro with CTI Music Ministries

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After safely coming back from a 6- week journey with CTI Music Ministries, I’m excited to share my thoughts and reflect upon my adventure in Japan. My team had an opportunity to travel to 6 different places in Japan: Gamagori, Osaka, Nagoya, Tokyo, Toyahashi, and Ofunato City (one of the areas where the tsunami hit 2 years ago). Among these places, Ofunato City was the place where I felt God uniting our team, fixing our eyes on Jesus as we learn to build relationships with the people of this city.

At a local coffee shop, our team had a chance to meet with an English speaking group called, “We Can.” As one of the first events here, our team performed a drama depicting the creation of man and the world. Right after the performance, I found myself in a conversation with a man named Yu Niinuma. I asked him, “What did you think about the drama?” He understood most of what our team performed because he carried with him a biblical portrayal of Adam and Eve. Soon after, we started discussing about how overwhelming the tsunami was. Thus, I similarly shared my story when hurricane Sandy caused power outage and floods in certain parts of New York. I told him that although the struggle and hardships of life often seem strong, we can give all our worries to God. I showed him the verse in the Bible and mentioned 1 Peter 5:7, which says “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”

Yu desired to know more about Scripture. Our conversation went even further regarding creation and how God still cares for us even when we find ourselves worrying or making mistakes. In that moment, I heard God speaking to me and telling me to do another drama. I turned around and saw Tamai, who was also listening in the conversation. I told her that it would be really awesome and encouraging if we could perform the “Everything” by Lifehouse skit. And so, our team did. By the end of the skit, we had time to converse about the meaning behind the drama, which was that even if we had all that we desired in this world, those things would never satisfy us and that God is enough for us.

The following day, Tamai, Sophie and I visited a Japanese elementary school together. We sang and taught two nursery/children’s songs in English: “BINGO” and “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.” We also played “Duck, Duck, Goose!” with the kids and ate snacks together. Although we did not mention anything about the Gospel to them, I continue to pray that the love of Christ can be seen in us after having fun and spending time with them. In John 13:34-35, Jesus tells us, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Despite the language barrier between me and the friends that I’ve made in Japan, I thank and praise God that He has placed people in my life during the trip so that they would come to know and experience the hope and life found in Jesus, because He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Moreover, I learned that ministry isn’t only just about me playing the keyboard with the CTI team, nor is it about playing the instruments and performing songs. It’s more than that! Ministry is about being able to serve no matter what the circumstances are, seeking His Kingdom first, and trusting in Jesus as we build relationships with people who are searching and continuing to seek God. No matter what situation you go through, give all your trust in Jesus because He is working in us and making a way for us! Let Jesus Christ be the center of our lives, let Him be enough for us- He is all we need.

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” –Colossians 3:17