What’s the problem?
Japan is a nation that is in dire need of the Gospel. Japan is a nation known well for its need and obsession with honor or “saving face”. Japanese do whatever they can to maintain good standing with peers or whatever social circle they are a part of. To be removed from this good standing is worse than dying and coupled with the intense work hours that normative to Japan one can begin to understand why the suicide rate is nearly the highest in the world. In Japan the predominant religions are Shinto and Buddhism and both cross over frequently. In what many would label a hyper religious culture it is easy to see the Japanese longing for explanation of purpose, “Why am I here?”. On top of all of this in a works-based, results culture the Gospel message is completely contradictory to the standard Japanese worldview. Grace and mercy are merited and to free give such a gift for eternity is very difficult for the Japanese to grasp and even harder to hold onto. Japan is known amongst missionaries as the “Missionaries Graveyard” because of all the hurdles foreigners must face why attempting minister to such a difficult culture. This is merely scratching the surface to plethora of social, psychological and spiritual problems that make up Japanese culture.
What’s the solution?
So what do we do? How do we help such a difficult culture? How do we serve Jesus and share the Gospel message with the Japanese? It starts with Jesus. When Jesus walked the earth he made disciples and taught them everything he knew. He used the 13 apostles to build the foundation for the entire church. All throughout the book of Acts we see the local churches communicating and laboring for the Kingdom and today we reap the fruits of their labor. Ultimately we can thank the apostles and the early local churches for being faithful with the mission that Jesus laid out for them in Acts 1:6-9. Jesus chooses to use the local church as his means to further and advance his Kingdom which means Japan needs the local church as their social epicenter. With a local church and Japanese leadership the means would be present for the lost in Japan to hear the Gospel message clearly without working through cultural barriers. Each of us who are Christians know the value of solid Biblical teaching and instruction, the comfort of loving friends who can share in our joys and sorrows, the need for firm yet loving accountability. We need the church Jesus established to reach the lost in Japan.
What is being done?
John Evans, an Australian pastor and Acts 29 candidate will be planting a church in Chiba City, Chiba, Japan. He is currently raising support so that he, his wife and five children can move to Japan and begin preparations for the church plant. This requires things such language studies and cultural acclimation. The task set before John and his family is no small one and Karis Community Church wants to contribute in some way to the local church in Japan. The hope is that once the plant is off the ground that the gospel will go forward and those who are saved can be discipled and eventually raised up into leadership. There is so much work to be and so many details to figure out that without support from the “universal” church, the Japanese local will struggle. It is our responsibility to give of our time, resources and finances to the church. Karis wants to do this by partnering with John and his family and the future church plant in Chiba City. Our hopes is that by enabling the local church in Japan to grow that many will come to Christ.
How can we help?
Six of us from Karis Community Church are going to Chiba City this coming May 20 – 28 on a vision trip or a “fact-finding” trip. The purpose of our trip is to meet John Evans in Japan and go over his future plans and what he anticipates will happen in coming years. We will be praying for and encouraging John as he strives to be a God fearing husband, father, church planter and pastor in Japan. We will be on base with a group called Missions to the World (MTW) who has been kind enough to offer affordable housing us and help provide transportation so that we can scope out and study Chiba City to find out how we can best aide John in his endeavors. We will be touring the city, visiting cultural hot spots where the Gospel might be most readily received. We may possibly look at local work places and try and take factory tours. We hope to study the local English school since this will be an early location to have Gospel conversation. All the while taking pictures and filming a great deal of our findings. Our aim is to bring back as much as we can about Japan and the future plant in order that we can share this with the local church in the U.S. so that they might pray for and look to support future endeavors and take on future trips to help advance the gospel in Japan.
How do you help?
The cost of our trip for all 6 of us to go is just under $13,000 total. This is a large sum in a limited time and we’re well aware of the daunting task before us but we believe in a BIG God and won’t doubt for a second that He can’t provide for us. Would you be willing to:
- PRAY for us! Do not underestimate the power of prayer. We need believers praying for us as we research and find the best way possible to advance the gospel and the growth of local church in Japan.
- GIVE financially. The cost of our trip is expensive and we cannot go without your help. Please pray about and consider giving to our trip so that we can get to work for our King!
- ENCOURAGE us and Japanese missionaries. The work set before those ministering in Japan is no easy task and it can be overwhelming at times. Please encourage us and those you know of who are serving overseas in Japan.
As always you can give at karis.onthecity.org/give and select Karis Japan as the fund you’d like to donate towards.