(July 25 — August 17)
“God isn’t looking for people of great faith, but for individuals ready to follow Him.” — Hudson Taylor
Facts (Source: Wikipedia/CIA — The World Factbook)
Japan (?? Nihon or Nippon, officially ??? Nippon-koku or Nihon-koku) is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of China, Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea in the south. The characters that make up Japan’s name mean “sun-origin”, which is why Japan is sometimes identified as the “Land of the Rising Sun”.
Japan comprises over 3,000 islands making it an archipelago. The largest islands are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku, together accounting for 97% of Japan’s land area. Most of the islands are mountainous, many volcanic; for example, Japan’s highest peak, Mount Fuji, is a volcano. Japan has the world’s tenth largest population, with about 128 million people. The Greater Tokyo Area, which includes the de facto capital city of Tokyo and several surrounding prefectures, is the largest metropolitan area in the world, with over 30 million residents.
A major economic power, Japan has the world’s second largest economy by nominal GDP. It is a member of the United Nations, G8, G4, OECD and APEC, with the world’s fifth largest defense budget. It is also the world’s fourth largest exporter and sixth largest importer and a world leader in technology and machinery.
Spiritually, the population is largely Buddhist/Shinto (84%) with less than 1% of the population being Christian. Culturally, Japan is a mixture of openness and unresponsiveness. Many are willing to hear the gospel out of politeness and courtesy, but the majority are too busy to heed the gospel’s message and fewer still truly understand the meaning of sin, what is right and wrong.
This year will be the 10th year that we’ll be sending short-term missionaries to Japan. We will be ministering alongside two different churches: 1) Izumisano Bible Church and 2) Inochi no Izumi Christ Church.
We will be involved in English VBS-type ministries with both churches. Because many Japanese find it difficult to attend a Sunday morning worship or are intimidated by Christianity in general, these English classes often provide an access point for children and their families to become more familiar with the church, Christianity, and the truths of the Gospel.
Our team members will also be fellowshipping with the respective members of the churches for mutual encouragement in the Lord.
Please consider the following prayer requests for the team during their stay in Japan:
- For God to work in the hearts and minds of the Japanese people and bring them to a saving knowledge of Himself
- For opportunities to share the gospel
- For the spiritual growth of our brothers and sisters at Izumisano Bible Church and Inochi no Izumi Christ Church
- For the safety, unity, and health of the team
- For God to be glorified in all things
Ray and Shelley Kwan, Gabriel Oh, Fabian and Tamara Saucedo, and Matt Yrizzary. Our own Pastor Nam and family will be going on the trip as well. This will be the second time that the whole family will be going. The first time being shortly after Chloe was born, almost eight years ago.