EE: “The last hope for Japan to find Jesus” posted by John Sorensen on Mar 11, 2012
Well, I’d like to give you even more detailed and recent information from Lincoln Wee, who has been working alongside Pastor Tomo, National Director of EE Japan, since the earthquake and tsunami struck the nation one year ago on March 11. That disaster, Lincoln reports, brought “a clear and abiding change in the spiritual condition of the pastors throughout Japan.” Just one percent of Japanese claim to be Christian but I believe that will change as more and more pastors and their congregations get trained and begin to share Christ using EE.
Here’s Lincoln’s report on what God is doing in Japan:
Last month (Feb), Pastor Tomo conducted a 3-day Share Your Faith workshop in Akita, which is one of the most unchurched areas of Japan. It is cold and snowy and quite remote. 26 pastors attended the workshop from different denominations and locations around that region, including from Miyagi, Sendai and Iwate (parts of the disaster area). After the workshop, they expressed a strong desire to implement EE in their local churches. They write to Pastor Tomo almost every day to ask him when he will return to help them implement EE and to do OJTs with them.
Many were so excited, they immediately shared about EE with their church elders and boards. One pastor used the Gospel presentation from the pulpit during his Sunday service and a seeker who was in the service decided to pray to receive the free gift of eternal life. This pastor is now so convinced, he exclaimed that he has finally found what he has been searching for. Another pastor and his church have asked if Pastor Tomo would be willing to receive him for 3 or 4 months in Kyoto so that he could learn from Pastor Tomo and our church how to implement EE, to train believers and to go on OJTs.
This response is even greater than the response of the pastors that Pastor Tomo trained in Chiba last year. In Chiba, the oldest clinician was 80 years old and at the 6-day clinic, he was heard regularly sighing deeply and expressing humble regret that he did not start using EE earlier in his over 50 years of ministry. However, because we could not follow-up closely with the local church implementation after the Chiba clinic, not many have started implementing. And while there is still excitement, there is also some disappointment which is not expressed, but which I can sense, because we are not able to help in the implementation.
Life for the average Japanese pastor is quite hard. They have passion for the lost, renewed with vigor because of the recent disasters. Unfortunately, like many pastors, they were not equipped for evangelism or multiplication during their years in seminary and as a consequence, have not been able to lead people to Jesus. Their churches remain small and their congregations are ageing. Most churches are not able to raise up from the younger generation leaders to take over their ministries. Many churches may have to make do without a pastor.
Last night, we met a missionary pastor who has been serving in Japan for 5 years. And he has not seen his church grow and is so anxious that he often is unable to sleep at night. That is what many pastors are now facing. They are so passionate, but all their energy and passion is lost without an effective tool.
To Pastor Tomo, EE is the last piece of this great puzzle, the last hope for Japan to find Jesus. It is the most effective tool to give the pastors in Japan. EE works very well in Japan. Since Easter, when 5 people were baptised, a further 5 were baptised at Christmas. All these people came to Christ after hearing the Gospel presentation which started with two questions and ended with a further question, “would you like to receive the free gift of eternal life today”.
This last two months alone at the 3rd local semester being conducted at Pastor Tomo’s church, 10 people have prayed to receive Jesus Christ during OJTs. My wife and I know from our own personal experience that EE works in Japan. We have both led Japanese people to our Lord and Savior since arriving in Japan in September 2011.
Francis Xavier commented before he left Japan for China that the spiritual makeup of the Japanese people was most acutely designed and conditioned for a relationship with God. Their faithfulness, loyalty and passion, and susceptibility to spiritual matters was unique to any peoples that he had visited and this led him to believe that the entire nation of Japan could be reached for Christ.
That is our fervent belief. That the entire nation can be reached for Jesus Christ through the equipping of the local church, so that every believer in every age group will be witnessing to every person.
Please remember to pray for us.
- For unity in our team, and that there will be a single mindedness of purpose and vision.
- For wisdom in how to develop and meet the demands for training with our limited resources.
- For ministry partners, people who have a heart for the lost and who want to partner with God and see His great and awesome works in Japan.