Japan Ministry Update
One of the members’ hope regarding Japan churches is, “The Japan members from early days accepted the Gospel in Taiwan during the war and brought back the seed to Japan and established the church in Japan. In the Tokyo area, Elder Igarashi’s family was the center during the early days. When I was young, I never imagined that Japan will establish so many nicely built chapels. Thank the Lord for His amazing grace and the hard work of the members that there are now Tokyo Church, Tokyo Sumida Church, Yokohama Church, Chiba Church, Kawaguchi Church, and Kansai (Osaka) House of Prayer. Moving forward, through your intercession, may the Lord continue to increase the members in Japan and let us continue towards this goal.”
When the pandemic reached all parts of the world, the Japan government declared a State of Emergency three times and these affected the church worship and holy work. We don’t ask God to change the environment immediately but ask that God give us the faith to overcome the environment (II Cor 12:7-2).
The holy work goals that were set from the July 2020 meeting for council members of the coordination center and holy workers are below:
- Within a five-year time frame, each church should branch out a new church, starting in 2021.
- Establish Japan General Assembly by 2025. Actively work towards this goal and grow the holy work.
The Holy Work Symposium that was held on November 22, 2020, had the topic, “What Can I Do for the Church?” Participants included council members from each church, intern pastors, TTP students, leaders from each fellowship, and Leaders from each Family Service areas. There was a total of 120 participants that was divided into 12 groups discussing 12 topics. The Holy Spirit led everyone into collaboration and a decision.
To execute the holy work, the Coordination Center established a Holy Work Promotion Committee. This consisted of the Religious Affairs from each church and the members from the Coordination Center. Meetings are held every three months to focus on finding the lost sheep. Each church would list out the members that do not come often and truth seekers. Each family service team and fellowship would take this list to actively seek the lost sheep. At the same time, the church is promoting the family services for each region and reports the service status monthly.
There’s a footprint of the lost sheep from Shikoku, Kyushu, Kobe, Kyoto, Nagoya, Sendai, and Hokkaido. These areas are also places where we want to expand the Gospel. To increase the literary ministry, the Japanese translation team was established. This team will help with literary ministry and provide Religious Education textbooks, class materials for each seminar, and maintain the Coordination Center website to expand the work of preaching externally.
Each church established a Japanese Fellowship to create serving opportunities for the Japanese members and, at the same time, diligently training Japanese sermon speakers and interpreters. The goal is to train Japanese pastors and raise the sense of mission to preach to Japanese.
The Religious Education Teacher’s Spiritual Cultivation on February targeted towards the development of RE holy work and family altar: establishing on-line Japanese Bible reading class and Chinese Bible reading class for youth. It is planned that the Japan True Jesus Church painting conference will be held at the end of this year. In order to plan for the hymnal Gospel exchange in November 2021, the Japan True Jesus Church orchestra was established. The children and youth music camp were also held.
In response to the growth of the church, the Coordination Center officially ordained Kobayashi Reiji as a pastor. There are two second year TTP students; Brother Chang Qing Wang and Brother Wei Qing Wang. Brother Endo Toshi also passed the entrance test to become a TTP student. John Lin (Jin Lin), Mochizuki Kazu, and Dian Le Wang were ordained was Deacons the first half of this year. Jie Chang Lo and Xiu Qin Yu will be ordained as Deacons second half of the year.
The Japan churches are considered a younger church where members migrated from China, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia. Local Japanese members are the minority. However, there are many Japan born members above 20 years old. They will hold the future batons of holy workers. The youths are pushing for communications between each other in order to move the holy work and to prepare for active participation of the holy work.
The members who have established their family in Japan came to Japan with empty hands. They are now filled with the blessings of the Lord because they kept the word of God, observed the Sabbath, gave offerings, participated in holy work, and loved one another.
Currently, the church is amidst the pandemic. We deeply believe that through prayer we will be able to face all sorts of difficult situations. We will be able to experience God’s grace that is beyond our thoughts. We will continue to see the development of the church through the glorious work of God.