The Persecuted Church
When Japan ended its isolationist policies and opened the country to foreigners many came to Japan including the first missionaries. During this period Christianity grew and there was a revival happening in the hearts of the Japanese. After two generations the new emperor did not like how Christianity taught that men were equal and God was above men as it opposed his desire to be supreme over all men. He banned Christianity in Japan and the brutal persecution of the Christian Church began. If Christians would not step on the face of Jesus (you can see a picture in the previous post.) and renounce their faith they were tortured and eventually killed.
This past week a Japanese friend took us to the Buddhist temple in Nagoya where many of the Christians in Japan at this time were executed. Today there is a small museum with artifacts from this era showing how Christians hid symbols of the faith in everyday items. All those who wished to abolish Christ are long dead with only artifacts and markers to remember them yet Christ is still alive and His church grows in Japan. We witnessed first-hand the growth of God’s church in Japan as two people were baptized in our church here in Okazaki. It was great to hear their stories of how the Lord worked in their lives to bring them to a saving faith. Please pray for the continued growth of the church in Japan and for many to know Jesus as their Savior.
Relief Work Update
Our team took a week long trip to northern Japan in late June. Unfortunately it was during exam week and I was unable to participate. Instead of trying to recap the trip we thought it better to send you to our team leader’s blog to see the comprehensive overview of the trip. http://newsomesinjapan.blogspot.com
Exams and Rest
This past month I completed my first quarter in language school. Praise God I passed all my exams and will start my next quarter tomorrow. (Cathalain will be starting in the beginner class.)
One of the first outings we had during the quarter break was to visit our team leaders in Nagoya. I was able to sit in on a Japanese Bible Study and then Cathalain and I were able to discuss our future in Japan with our team leaders and better know how to prepare for life after language school. In addition to meeting with our team leaders we were able to fellowship with other teammates (who we really just met upon our arrival) and continue our weekly Bible Studies.
The highlight of our break was spending a few days with the Japanese family we are closest with. They were able to get a discount to a traditional Japanese hotel in a nearby town so we went to spend a day there with them. This was a great time of fellowship and building of relationships. We also were able to tour a famous Shinto shrine and could see this huge Buddhist statue looking down upon us from a hill overlooking our hotel. It is really overwhelming to see such large structures of idolatry all around. (We’ll discuss this more in another letter.) Please pray for the millions of Japanese who pray to many gods but don’t know the ONE, TRUE, LIVING God.
Prayers and Praise to God
Thank you for your faithful prayers. New requests are below.
As we studied in 3 John tonight by partnering through prayers and finances you are with us and you are specifically ministering to the Japanese. Please be encouraged by God’s work and know your sacrifice and partnership are eternal!
July Prayer Requests
- Pray for the beginning of our new language school term. Pray especially for the transition of Tobin into “day school” and Cathalain as she transitions to a fuller and more intense schedule.
- Pray as Michael prepares to preach in September. Pray also for the hearts of those who will be there to be open and challenged by the Gospel.
- Pray for God to raise up a Japanese national pastor to work with upon finishing language school. Pray for wisdom in where God desires for us to plant a church. The need is great everywhere so pray this decision would be clear!