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LoveSingapore
14 Jun, 2024

LoveJapan: Snapshots from six regions

What is God doing in Japan?

Hokkaido

The visiting team [from Singapore] gave us a very good impression of Christians. They were not self-righteous and their enthusiasm for working together with the local church was evident. Above all, I received encouragement from the Lord for their presence that they had travelled so far. – Pastor Wataru Yokotani, Nanae Evangelical Christ Church

Tohoku

Pastors JinGuk Kim and Suzuki Mardoka from Ishinomaki Oasis Church started an athlete ministry that has effectively reached children and youths in their community with the Gospel. They are looking to connect with other churches to reach more communities together.

God is bringing the churches and faith-based organisations in the city together. The Sendai and Tohoku pastors gathered expressed their hope to meet together regularly to pray and connect with each other – Pastor Ng Sor Kim, Faith Community Baptist Church, from Tohoku 

Kanto

Much has been said and felt about the Spirit’s movement in Japan, and we absolutely concur that God’s presence was with us at every point of the Vision Trip, be it at the pastors’ gathering at Shinjuku Shalom Church or at a small church like Newtown Calvary Fellowship. The Lord is not just calling harvest workers into Japan, but He’s never forgotten the people who have given their lives to Him. In fact, throughout this trip, I felt God was displaying His precious servants with pride to us. – Pastor Gavin Lu, New Life Church

There is an open door for the message of Christ. From a season of hardness, people are beginning to respond to Christ though this does not mean it is easy. The ground needs much prayer and witness. There is a new boldness amongst local and overseas churches and teams to share the Gospel. – Tom Cannon, World Revival Prayer Fellowship

I’ve never seen this before, all these young men coming to Christ. People are coming in and opening up about deep things; in the past they would never talk about deep things. I really feel we could see the harvest so we need the harvesters.  I’m really excited with the LoveJapan movement. – Pastor Scott Douma, Every Nation Church Yokohama

It’s harvest time for Japan, Pastors and leaders at the day one prayer meeting of the LoveJapan Vision Trip said.

Chubu

God is turning the hearts of people from Chinese-speaking communities back to Him, even in the midst of their own challenges. The hardness of the Japanese heart is bound by a culture that has prevailed for thousands of years. Suppressed hearts need more prayers to release and heal. God  wants to heal and restore the people of Japan. – Pastor Julia Sia, Renewal Christian Church

Kansai

This is a season for harvest in Japan. There is unity for churches local and overseas but new wineskin is needed for new wine, there is ⁠⁠breakthrough in culture as foreigners partner with locals. We are convinced the Gospel is the only way for the Japanese as many are feeling empty and purposeless. – Pastor Chris Ho, Church of Our Saviour

When we started using the Church of Our Saviour Osaka premises during Covid, there were not many people. But God started bringing people when they were touched by His love. Then they started having baptisms in some homes and people began bringing their friends to church. – Pastor Justin Lucero, The Gospel Center

We brought the church to people rather than  simply asking people to come church. We went to the park, started street preaching and saw people getting instantly healed. – Pastor Toshiki Morikawa, Enjoy Church

God is calling and gathering the global church including Singapore to pray and extend help and support to reach Japan before the door closes. We also felt that God is challenging our Japanese brothers and sisters to first be people of love, joy and hope – a reminder that we are the fifth gospel to their unbelieving family, friends and neighbours. – Pastor Bernard Yeo, Kingdom Koinonia

God is gathering the global church work together to reach Japan before the door closes, Pastor Bernard Yeo, Kingdom Koinonia.

Kyushu

LoveJapan now has a group of local Japanese pastors believing the same thing as LoveSingapore and now takes ownership. The 2019 Summit so challenged some of the Japanese Pastors they started the LoveJapan network. They had their first LoveJapan Summit this January in Nagasaki, and will hold the next one in Sapporo.  – Pastor Eugene, Living Sanctuary Brethren Church

What does the Japanese Church need?

Hokkaido

Churches in Hokkiado, especially those under the Japan Evangelical Church Association, has requested more missionaries, especially those who speak Japanese to 1. plant churches in unchurched areas, 2. train the churches in discipleship, 3. equip churches in growing the next generation of leaders and transitioning to younger leaders. – Pastor from local church in Sapporo.

Tohoku

Financial help and care for children especially after school classes because of the rising trend of divorce and single-parent families led by mothers. The homeless situation in Japan remains a real, albeit unseen, challenge. Food banks continue to be tangible platforms to meet felt needs and provide care. – Pastor Ng Sor Kim, Faith Community Baptist Church

Kansai

Churches need good translators,  robust youth and children’s programmes, raise young leaders in very aged church, and permanent locations for some churches for church services.

Singapore churches need more connection with local churches in Osaka. There many areas that need church plant and we need people to come and share resources. – Pastor Chris Ho, Church of Our Saviour

Kyushu

They need our friendship, willingness to come alongside them first as part of the kingdom of God. The biggest message on this trip is the value of friendship – both Singapore and Japanese churches are learning that is the greater value now. – Pastor Eugene Seow, Living Sanctuary Brethren Church 

The biggest message on this trip is the value of friendship, said Pastor Eugene Seow, Living Sanctuary Brethren Church.

What can Singapore churches do to lay the groundwork for church planting in Japan?

  • Send short-term mission teams for evangelism and outreach.
  • Send long-term missionaries for church planting.
  • Mobilise local churches in Japan to work and pray together.
  • Provide financial support.
  • Collaborate with para-church organisations, especially those in universities and campuses.
  • Explore and help establish family-oriented ministries including marriage preparation and enrichment programmes and parenting support.
  • Pray and connect with the Japanese believers in person or online to continue the fellowship.

While many have taken the vision of God’s work in Japan to prayer, some have taken next steps in the journey to love Japan by:

  • Sharing with church pastors, ministry leaders and church members to inspire and encourage them to join in the work.
  • Forming groups to share what God is doing, and to pray and seek God together.
  • Starting a basic Japanese language class.
  • Planning a follow-up trip to Japan to reconnect with pastors and for members to catch a vision of God’s work.
  • Conducting discipleship training conferences for pastors and leaders to help local churches grow into healthier discipleship communities and, in turn, to plant more healthy Christian communities.

Regional coordinators

Hokkaido: Covenant Evangelical Free Church
Tohoku: Faith Community Baptist Church
Kanto: Hope Church
Chubu: Renewal Christian Church
Kansai: Church of Our Saviour
Kyushu: Living Sanctuary Brethren Church

See more photos here. 

For more information on LoveJapan, please contact: [email protected]