Rev. Walter Weston memorial plaque at Kamikochi in the Japanese Alps, June 2017

It’s interesting what some missionaries are remembered for.

Walter Weston was an Anglican missionary from England who helped popularize mountain climbing in Japan during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His legacy is so strong in Kamikochi that there are memorials to him, like the one pictured here, and there is even a festival in his name as well. You can read up on him HERE and HERE, or even read/download his book (Mountaineering and the Japanese Alps) for free HERE.

I find it interesting and inspiring to see missionaries throughout history not only sharing the Gospel but also having a positive influence in other areas of society as a whole. I wonder if some in Weston’s time might have seen his mountaineering and “secular” writing as a distraction from his mission. But I think it’s good for missionaries to engage with the culture of the places they are called to, and that it ultimately opens up more doors to share Jesus with people.

I don’t know what my legacy will be, or if I’ll be remembered in Japan at all. But I pray I’ll be faithful in all areas of life and ministry, and that what I leave behind be positive and lasting.