[Note: The object subsequent expresses a views of a particular named as a author and does not indispensably simulate a position of a WRF as a whole.]
“We sent soldiers …”
WRF Member John P. Wilson
The Presbyterian Church of Australia
“We sent soldiers, to invade; though you send missionaries, to love”. From a lips of a peaceful and common Japanese priest to a astounded Australian Presbyterian apportion … this astonishing acknowledgment got my attention.
Although roughly all those who took adult arms opposite us in that awful dispute of WW2 have upheld away, they haven’t forgotten. It’s some-more a Japanese trait than Australian, though a inhabitant corporate memory of contrition comes to a aspect each now and again, and my friend’s criticism to me reflects only that. It’s remarkable with low thankfulness that we have returned to Japan with adore in a hearts. It’s seen as a pointer of God’s beauty that we are so committed to them. And, it’s true, a Presbyterian Church of Australia loves a church in Japan, and by a true interpreting use of Tomoko Stewart we was means to communicate that to 150 ministers and elders assembly in General Assembly in Shinjuku, Tokyo.
Fifty years ago, nonetheless we had dozens of workers in places such as New Hebrides (25), Korea (12), India, Indonesia, Papua and Thailand, there were no PCA missionaries in Japan. we searched for any discuss of “Japan” in a central church annals (GAA Blue Books), and we have to snippet behind 70 years to review of any PCA work in Japan – though that was when we sent Defence Force chaplains to offer as partial of a occupying force (BCOF) portion a possess post-war infantry who were stationed there. With accounts of war-time atrocities uninformed in mind, we don’t consider a church had most suspicion of amatory a Japanese to win them for Christ.
But today, there’s a startling work of God’s beauty in Japan, and Presbyterians are during a heading corner of it.
Overall, a series of devout Christians (for this purpose, incompatible Catholics) does not even make 0.5 % of a population. Out of this, a Presbyterian Church in Japan (PCJ) consists of 6 presbyteries, 70 churches, 65 ministers and a sum of between 3 and 4 thousand worshippers.
“Who despises that day of tiny things?” asks a Lord (Zechariah 4). Not a PCJ. Consider these works of faith:
Is a 15-member church viable? What about Osaka Christian Church – where dual of a APWM missionaries (Nathan and Tomoko) are embedded? Here’s a assemblage of hardly 15 members who work tough during substantiating friends in a community, building long-term relations and demonstrating community. Though their priest is timid early subsequent year, they have, in faith, called a new priest to lead them. Viable? we fear we’d have sealed this church years ago. But there’s a honeyed work of beauty during work. Souls have been converted. The assemblage is reaching out. This is what “works” in churches in Japan: food, attribute and vocalization a Gospel.
What about 0 members – is that still a church? I’m guessing that we would have pulled a trigger on Kashiba Grace Church (Nara prefecture) – where a Korean priest and his mother serve. There are no members. They’ve served for 3 years though apparent results. But they persevere themselves to a Lord’s method in a village and in their home. With no Sunday ceremony services yet, they give themselves to love, food and liberality ministries such as Sunday afternoon children’s craft, monthly café invites, Korean denunciation class, Christmas celebrations, Easter in a park, children’s camps divided from a city and a Thursday Bible investigate to that mostly no one comes. Relationship building is a key: charity food, immature tea and love.
A 32-year Presbyterian American companion tells of wanting to quit and go home several times, generally after 4 years of tough work though even a singular convert. But now, in a Honda (Chubu) segment there is a abounding assemblage that’s already planted dual other churches and has a village bi-lingual Christian propagandize on site. The priest did consider of going home several times, though now a work has flourished.
A university campus method (very most like a AFES ministry) where a ratio is 1 workman to 20 universities. We’d be tired by this and wondering how to keep going.
My regard is that it’s generally formidable for a Japanese to comfortable to Christian faith. we don’t consider that a Japanese are quite religious. So, it’s not that worshipping Christ is an insult, to be resisted during all costs, as it is in eremite Thailand or India, rather, we consider it’s seen as essentially a Westerner’s sacrament – one that has not even a remotest tie to them.
The Japanese trust in a vast pantheon of devout beings such as spirits, ghosts of passed ancestors, energy within unfeeling objects and unbiased army such as predestine that controls their lives.
In a village where we are tangible by your organisation and by honour in success of a group, it’s no consternation that a Japanese do not straightforwardly comfortable to Christianity. we listened that a Japanese are taught from day one to conform, to conform and to conceal thoughts of particular rights, and even to scapegoat one’s possess enrichment for a good of a whole.
So, we glory that there IS scarcely 0.5 % of a race claiming to be innate again in faith in Christ Jesus. This is a spectacle of God’s grace. And we glory over a 65 Presbyterian churches that are in partnership with us. Let’s be speedy by this – a PCJ is good estimable of support by all of us in a PCA.
Are a Japanese a largest unreached republic of a world? Join in request for this good nation. Love Japan by promulgation and ancillary gospel workers and church planters. Join with us in that oft-repeated prayer: “Lord, might a people of a land of a rising object come to know and adore a risen Son.”
And for all of us who offer a Lord here, remember what we can learn from a Japanese friends who plant churches by food, attribute and vocalization a gospel.