Monday, April 19, 2010

A change

(This is a photo of me and my friend, Takao who i'll talk about more later in this update.)

So a new change has come here in Japen. I now have a new teammate to help me with the work on campus. His name is Anson (Hanson) Onishi and he is from Hawaii.
This is such a blessing for our team because Anson is young, outgoing, bold, and he also speaks some Japanese. Already since his arrival we have made some new friends from the universities.
In my last post i was kind of complaining about the lack of communication skills I have with the students. That has not changed much, but I can say that I have noticed my Japanese skills improving. My listening skills are decent, but speaking skills are pretty much non existent.

Another great thing about Anson- he knows how to sing and play the guitar. It really improves our worship time and sometimes he and I will just sing together. I am by no means saying that people need a guitar and a good voice to worship God. ON the contrary, worship is done by the spirit. There are deaf Christians who worship with no sound at all. But I will say that to me it is such a blessing!! Praise God for that. So our Sunday house church worship has been a little different in the past couple of weekends that Anson has been here.

The universities generally started their new school year about the same time as when Anson arrived here. So the city is now populated with students who are either new to Fukuoka, or returned from their long spring vacation. (Spring vacation here is about equivalent to a summer vacation in the states.)

We are trying to split our group up. On average we have about eight people meeting regularly for worship. The Nortons (my supervisors) have suggested that we try and split up to see what happens. So now we have about two groups of four.
Anson and I recently talked one of our friends from Fukuoka Institute of Technology to join our house church. His name is Takao and I had met him earlier this year almost immediately after my return from my brother's wedding. I was surprised when he told me that his dad was a pastor in his hometown. But Takao was not attending a church here in Fukuoka. I have seen this kid on occasion over the past few months and I can say that he is really kind, but I am not sure if he is actually saved. I have been bugging him to come to church with us, but he has been reluctant until he had both Anson and i myself on his case about. Ha ha. So there is something to be said about positive peer pressure. He doesn't speak much English but I think we spoke enough Japanese during worship last Sunday for him to retain interest. I am praying for him and that the spirit flares up in him.
I am also still praying for my other Christian friend, Kei Motomura. Sometimes I am discouraged by his decision and opinions on things. I want the Holy Spirit to really fill these guys so that they can become the lights on thier campus that I am sure God wants them to be! Please pray for the Holy Spirit to grab a hold on the hearts of Japanese Christians.
I have to admit that it is discouraging for me to see men and women over here claim that they are Christians but then show no signs of the spirit as far as their beliefs are concerned. Sometimes I feel that even the Christians over here are more in love with the idea of Christianity being a western religion and the differences it holds from their own societies than it actually being about Jesus. I KNOW that there are Japanese Christians here. I am praying that I meet some young Japanese men whose hearts are truly on fire for Christ. That is my prayer. Please pray for this with me!