Recommendations

We Too Recommend JCFN!

Takashi Onuma
Pastor at Natori New Life Christ Church

It is said that about 1600 Japanese become believers or start seeking faith every year in North America but that only about 20 to 30% of them get settled in Japanese churches when they return. JCFN is an organization that knows the pain of this reality and fills the gap between these new believers overseas and Japanese churches.

At OCC, where the JCFN Japanese Office is located, one can see many young people working sacrificially and diligently in this ministry.Between the two offices in Japan and in the U.S., there are only six paid staff members of this organization, but many others are working and helping out as associate staff members and volunteers, all without pay. Their work and attitude strongly suggest that they were encouraged in their own newly found Christian faith through the work of JCFN and that they firmly believe in the critical and important work done by JCFN.

The ministry of JCFN is concentrated on helping young Christians, assisting them in finding good churches when they return to Japan and providing opportunities for them to get together, fellowship, and encourage one another.We are very much convinced that this type of ministry will help bring tremendous blessings to Japanese churches.

 

Kazuo Sekine, Former Director of OchanomizuChristianCenter
Pastor of Mission Aid Christian Fellowship

It happened almost thirty years ago.I had just returned to Japan from my three-year study course in Australia and was totally shocked to see a group of Japanese students wearing their school uniforms.I had been away for only three years, but I was completely ignorant of names of pop stars of the day; my Japanese had become somewhat strange.I was like the legendary character Taro Urashima in the folk story (Taro goes to an undersea palace for what he thought was a few days; when he returned home, he finds out that he had been gone for decades).

Fortunately for me, I was able to move into a church a month after my return as I began working as a pastor of a local church; my re-adjustment back to Japan was relatively easy and quick.The church had a lot of elderly women, and they corrected my Japanese quite a bit.Realistically speaking, however, it is virtually impossible for a person to return home from a period of studying abroad and to find a church or even Christians by himself.

It is therefore really critical and encouraging that JCFN has an office inside the OchanomizuChristianCenter, where someone is always there to give assistance.This is a very crucial presence here.

Please take advantage of the JCFN office in Tokyo.Please tell other Japanese people around you about this office and its ministries—including those who are not believers.It is my desire that this office will continue to provide an open door to Japanese returnees and play an active role in their lives.

 

Hidenori Takahashi
Pastor of Tachikawa Evangelical Free Church
Plenary Speaker of Equipper Conference 2001

It is said that as many Japanese are becoming Christians in America as those who are getting baptized in Japan every year; however, the reality is that many of them do not get settled in Japanese churches after they return home.

About 30 years ago now, I too went to the U.S. to study for about 10 months, during which time I was led to profess the name of Jesus as my Lord.Thankfully, for about three months after my return home, I received one-on-one spiritual discipleship from an American missionary, who in turn prayed repeatedly and weekly for my job, marriage, and church.

As a result, although there was a period of time when I hopped from church to church because I could not get used to my first one, I got baptized at the church where I first met a woman who is now my wife. Later, while staying in Germany for my job, we held Japanese fellowship meetings at our home, and the Lord led me to become a full-time minister.

I am convinced that it is extremely important to fellowship with and pray with mature believers before turning to Japan, to have personal fellowship at a church in Japan, and to continue having fellowship with Japanese believers overseas.I also believe that the mission of JCFN is to build such a network. Those who are led to faith overseas are given an opportunity to believe within a relatively short period of time after their release to freedom from the Japanese culture and personal barriers. The root of their faith is, therefore, surprisingly weak.However, there is great treasure hidden there.If only they are accepted with that understanding, they are the ones, I believe, who will be God-sent vessels that will bring fresh air to Japanese churches.

Even now, I sometimes feel a gap with those who became believers in Japan and grew spiritually only in Japan.But I also believe that this is exactly where God has given a unique point of view and mission.