Friday, August 28, 2009

Why Tokyo??

When God led us to Japan and specifically to this trip in Tokyo we asked the same question, "Why Tokyo?" Japan has one of the largest unchurched people groups in the world. With over 127 million people living in a country smaller than the state of California, only a handful profess Christ as their Savior. The city of Tokyo has over 33.5 million people living in it and of those only .05% know Jesus Christ. Japan is known as the land of 8 million gods however the Japanese find themselves in twined in humanism and materialism more so than other main stream religions such as Buddhism or Shintoism. The job that is facing Christian missionaries serving in Japan is tremendous. With roughly only 30-35 full time missionaries in the Tokyo area, that leaves each missionary to reach about 1 million people each. One of the most difficult aspects of this task is that the Japanese equate becoming a Christian with forsaking their heritage. With Tokyo boasting a high suicide rate of approximately 100 per day, many Japanese have a feeling of hopelessness. These are just some of the facts about the lostness that exists in Japan and specifically in Tokyo. To get a better understanding of this, I encourage you to visit IMB Tokyo's website and view this video:

We invite you all to not only pray for us to bodly proclaim the Gospel message to the Japanese, but that the Japanese begin to respond to offer of forgiveness being presented to them.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

How we got here

At the request of many of our friends and family who are following our trip to Japan, we figured it would be a good idea to give you all an idea of how we got to this point. As many of you may know Japan is the country that God has laid upon our hearts to be the one where we go as career missionaries in the future. God has burdened both of our hearts for the lost Japanese people. Since God never gives any of His followers the whole plan all at once (lest we mess it up completely), He gave us small portions and pieces to this puzzle over time. As we are obedient to His Will He reveals more of it to us.

We began this journey once God directed me to get into seminary. We of course assumed that God wanted me to get into the ministry, so we figured that I would become a pastor somewhere. Well God had other plans and directed us to the international mission field. This was interesting in that this wasn't what we had planned on, notice I said we (we were trying to inject our thoughts and feelings onto God's Will). So once we accepted this new plan for our lives from God, we naturally went to work planning the rest of it (we never learn). God later began to burden our heart for the Asian people, no one people group in particular but just Asia in general. We of course assumed that it would be East Asia, (I can't say where), and as usual we were dead wrong! As time went on, God began to finally reveal the country to us, Japan. Once God said Japan to us, we were kind of surprised by this, we had long assumed that Japan did not need anymore missionaries because they were at the magical 3% Christian number. Once we began to investigate further through the International Mission Board, we realized that Japan as a whole was very far from this number. In fact in Tokyo the estimated number of Christians sits at approximately 0.0005% of the population, by the way that's a population of 33.5 million people. And in this number they (the Japanese) have also included Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, and other similar religions who are not Christians. So the work ahead of IMB Tokyo is tremendous. We realized that we still had a few years before we could go full time into the mission field yet we wanted to do something, we wanted to help. As we prayed God led us to the short term project mission trips, available through IMB's website. We began to look at a number of different trips available and then finally stumbled onto a family mission trip, the trip was for families who wanted to experience international missions as well as do some great work in Japan for God. This trip required us going for 30+ days, so we were at first kind of taken back by this. Our first thoughts were, we couldn't go for that long could we. Once we began to pray about it and seek God's Will, He led us to this trip. We then began to pray for others to join us, we had a few names in mind but wanted God to call them and not us call them. We were so blessed and excited once Chris and Erin were led by God to join us on the trip.

That's our story so far, we're excited to learn what God is going to do in and through us during this trip. Our prayers are that we are able to boldly proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ to the lost Japanese people. That God grows us and matures us as followers of His Son, Jesus Christ. That we continue to seek Him and surrender to Him.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Getting started

We're just getting our blog set-up in prepartion for our mission trip to Japan. We'll be putting more updates on as we get closer I promise. We're getting excited as the date for our departure draws closer. It's humbling to think God would use us in this way.