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.