My arriving from South Korea brought me into a complete assurance that I was meant to serve in Japan, I was sent to this specific nation from among other nations at the moment, in this course of my life. You might be wondering why I am saying this… maybe you are thinking that I had such a bad experience in South Korea and that’s how I realized it. Well, before you start imagining tons of things, let me tell you how I found out.
Seoul, South Korea, such a great city to visit, you will find for sure Great Food (they provide lots of side dishes and the prices are really reasonable), great transportation system and nice entertainment. In my opinion staying in a guesthouse is completely fine because you just wake up really early in the morning, do your plans of the day and then come back late at night just to go straight to sleep. Maybe for some of you, you might find it difficult to stay in a place where you have to share room with strangers, especially if you don’t really know if it is a clean and safe place to stay. However if you take time and look carefully for a good guesthouse I think you will not have a major drawback. In my trip to Seoul, I was able to see many Christian churches around, many crosses and many Buddhist temples as well. Although Buddhism is one of the predominant religions in these two countries, South Korea is known as a country where Christianity has been growing in the last couple of years. In contrast of Japan where less than 1% of the Japanese population is Christian; In South Korea 29.2% of the population is Christian. South Korea currently provides the world’s second largest number of Christian missionaries, surpassed by the United States.
I was reading an article that came out like four years ago about why there are a few Christians in Japan. According to a mission leader, one of the reasons is that Japanese mentality itself is hindering people from coming to Christ, how? for Japanese one of the most important things is harmony, therefore Japanese people value human relationships more than truth and principle. They are afraid of disturbing human relationships of their families or neighborhood even though they know that Christianity is confronting them with the truth. Bullying in Japan is a very sensitive issue, eventually because the teacher would not like to disturb people, they would rather avoid the problem, like nothing is happening. If a school comes out with stories of bullying, it may attract fewer students the following year and again what they try to do is to maintain the harmony. (You can know more at: http://thisjapaneselife.org/2013/06/12/japan-ijime-bullies/). On the other side we have China and South Korea, where the Christian population has been increasing amazingly in the last couple of years. They have chosen the truth instead of the human relationship. Anthropologists have described Japan as a “human relationship oriented society,” but China and South Korea as “principle-oriented” societies. (You can know more at: http://www.christianpost.com/news/mission-leaderwhy-so-few-christians-in-japan-45217/). Some people may feel discouraged when they don’t see any fruit coming from Japan. People might think that their efforts were in vain. However I’ve learned that serving in this country requires Faith, Hope and Patience. Even though I’ve been here for almost one year, I can tell that I’ve seen many good things being displayed in this country from God, who is not only impacting people’s lives in Japan but also around the whole world! It’s God’s timing ya know, we have to keep planting seeds, that’s why I want to keep serving faithfully God in this country.
Just a few days ago came a mission team from the U.S to serve at J-house for a while, actually there are other three mission teams coming here. They are a great encouragement for us and when I say “us” means the people that are serving right now in J-house. Just when we were doing street mission, you could feel the power that came from us. Literally people stopped and paid attention at what we were saying and doing. When we work together for the Kingdom, I believe we will get great results. You know that for the mission team sounds sad when they realize that in here many people have never heard about the Gospel before. Where they work, they don’t usually share the gospel directly, but here they have had the chance to do so. I think what they have learned during this time is that sharing the gospel in not only when you go and get involve in a short-term mission trip but anywhere you are, that’s your mission field, either in work, college, etc…
“If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land”
Please pray so that the Japanese people will be able to confront the truth, that they will be able to surrender to Jesus Christ, that they will allow God to work in their lives and the people that are already Christians, that they will not be afraid of being rejected by sharing the gospel. We need Boldness and Wisdom