My name is Wendy Marshall. I’ve been serving in Japan as a global worker with my husband since 2000 with OMF International. We are Australians and have three boys, 16, 13, & 10. I’m now the second shortest in our family, but our 10-year old has his eyes on beating me as soon as possible.
My husband teaches at a Christian international school in Tokyo, Christian Academy in Japan (CAJ) and our three boys go there too. I wear many hats, but my biggest one is as the managing editor of a magazine by global workers and for global workers in Japan called Japan Harvest. It is a quarterly 36-40-page glossy magazine. We seek to encourage, inspire, and equip the members of our parent organization, Japan Evangelical Missionary Association (a voluntary group that involves global workers from more than 40 organizations as well as many independents). Our magazine goes out to about 900 households.
I’m also a writer and have had more than 50 articles printed in magazines, ezines, and other publications. I’ve also had several stories published in book compilations. My blog is more than five years old and I write on it nearly every day about our “on the edge of ordinary” lives: www.mmuser.blogspot.com.
Here’s a story of God’s provision for our magazine:
Too often I don’t trust God when I’m praying. I pray little prayers, or prayers where it’s difficult to know if they’d been answered. Every now and then, though, I pray a big, desperate prayer and God dramatically answers.
In October 2011, in my editing job, I was rushing to put together the latest issue of the magazine Japan Harvest. One of the difficulties was that our designer, a retired global worker, wasn’t doing the quality of work that I longed for. At that point, to my surprise, God strongly impressed upon me to pray for a new one. I’m not used to God communicating with me like this, but I obeyed.
A few days later, after church I was chatting with an American friend. The conversation happened to turn to editing and I discovered that she had considerable experience as a designer. Shortly after that she joined our volunteer editing team. Her passion and drive for excellence was inspiring and we made a great team. The magazine was soon looking terrific.
However, two years later life was becoming too busy for her. She had two boys under 3 and two part-time jobs to keep their family financially afloat. She suddenly realized she could no longer design the magazine, though she loved the work.
I didn’t panic when I got her email, but I felt distinctly unsettled. However, bolstered by God’s surprising answer to my bold prayer two years earlier, I prayed.
About 10 days later I asked on Facebook if anyone knew a designer. That night I received a message from another friend from church, an Australian who’d studied design. Less than a week later I officially welcomed him to the team.
You can pray for me as I juggle several different roles: mother, wife, editor, writer, friend, Occupational Therapist, website responder, and various publishing projects. I know many of this community struggle in this area and it isn’t easy to get the balance right all the time. Pray I will know when to say “no” and when to say “yes”.