New Yr, new optimism for Japan. – Mission Community Information

Japan (MNN) In his New Yr tackle, Japan’s emperor Naruhito greeted his topics, wished them properly, hoped for a disaster-free yr, and tried to set a tone of optimism.

Emperor of Japan, Naruhito (Picture courtesy Wikimedia/CC)

It was a message that resonated with individuals now struggling on a number of fronts. Joe Handley, president of Asian Entry, stated there are numerous layers on the social points. “The people are not happy, and even the economy has been dropping. The depression part of its impacted by the fact that we’re no longer number two in the world. Because people aren’t getting married, there’s nobody’s having children. And so the aging of society is hitting them.”

Distinctive challenges of ministry in Japan

It reveals one of many the reason why some missiologists think about Japan house to a big section of unreached individuals teams. Additionally, as soon as known as ‘the graveyard of missionaries,’ it appeared out of alignment with the technologically- superior nation. Unbelievable vitality invested into evangelistic packages yielded little harvest. Handley explains, “They’re the most difficult people to reach in that part of the world. Not difficult because of poverty. Not difficult because of economic challenges or problems of humankind, but difficult because people have everything they need.”

(Picture courtesy Asian Entry)

Nonetheless, that each one modified with the triple disasters that struck Japan in 2011. Christian ministries mobilized with the physique of Christ in Japan and noticed the response charges to Christ rise drastically. “Not on the front end, (but) just because people kept serving day after day, month after month, year after year. So now, we have some momentum building. Pastors and mission leaders and Christian leaders have incredible optimism about going forward in the country.”

Huge goals of development

(Picture courtesy Asian Entry)

The momentum led to huge targets, he observes. “Ten years ago, if I were to ask leaders’ what’s your vision for this next year?’ They’d say, ‘Maybe we’ll baptize one person this year.’ Now we’re having these pastors with massive vision, not just one person in the next year, but doubling the Christian population or multiplying it in incredible ways.” Handley goes on to say that these identical leaders have set a long-term imaginative and prescient, “to plant 50,000 churches in the country, which is unheard of. Today, there are 8000 churches in Japan. So to get to 50,000, would be astronomical. But the optimism is incredible.”

God will make a approach

(Picture courtesy Olympic.org)

A technique they see that come to go is thru a coordinated effort. There’s now collaboration between ministries like Asian Entry, Campus Campaign for Christ, Alpha Japan, and others. That’s particularly essential with main sporting occasions coming into Japan this yr. First, “Japan held the Rugby World Cup. And this coming summer time 2020 is the Summer time Olympic Video games and the Paralympics, and people current distinctive alternatives for the Gospel.”

For example, with the Rugby World Cup, teams of Japanese Christians and overseas employees organized sports activities festivals. The purpose is 500 sports activities festivals in each province of Japan, beginning with the Rugby World Cup. These are phenomenal alternatives to achieve out to communities, a lot of enjoyable, video games, and loads of Gospel alternatives. Handley explains that “The response rates to Christ during those events were incredible. There’s momentum building leading into the year 2020, and these festivals will continue up until the time of the Games.”

Summer time 2020 is a novel alternative for the physique of Christ. It’s an opportunity to see as soon as unattainable goals develop into a actuality. Deal with points this invitation: pray. Come alongside, give or think about a go to to Japan. “If there are believers out there churches out there that want to get involved, there’s an opportunity to serve before, during, and after the games, on short term opportunities to come and share your faith built around the Olympic Games.”

(Headline picture courtesy Asian Entry)

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