Japan is not a poor country. After the devastation of World War II, private companies, the government, and employees pulled together to create new technology and better products. By 1967, Japan’s gross domestic product was second only to America’s.
But material success (people didn’t have many physical needs) combined with long work hours (no time for church) made mission work harder. Many missionaries quit, and mission organizations began steering away from a country that took time and resources without ever producing fruit.
In 2010, an intrepid pastor planted a gospel-centered church in Tokyo, one of the most expensive cities in the world. Ten years later, the core group of 12 people has now ballooned to a network of 10 churches with a total of 500 to 600 members. Reformed evangelical churches are springing up around the country.
“Japanese people are longing for true acceptance—not based off the superficial performance or work, but rather a Father who loves them and dared to give us his only Son to bring them into his family,” one pastor said. “Japanese people soak, like sand soaks up the water, when they hear that.”
Ways to pray:
- Praise God that in one of the world’s most expensive cities, funds have been provided to support church planting
- For the goal of an additional 20 church plants by 2023
- For protection and fortitude for church-planting teams
“According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 3:10–11
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