Japan Cluster Meeting Recap

Japan Cluster Meeting Recap

Japan Cluster Meeting Recap

In July, Northwood Baptist Church in North Charleston took a team of 25 volunteers to Japan where they took care of missionary children during a week of training and encouragement for missionary families.  They also spent time in the city of Fukuoka, Japan to learn about the culture, religious beliefs and to pray for the people.  Jess Archer, South Carolina Woman’s Missionary Union Executive Director/Treasurer, joined the team along with two other adults to serve and participate in the mission trip. Here are her reflections on that experience. 

I recently returned from Japan on a mission trip. The purpose of this trip was twofold. I served with International Mission Board personnel in Japan by doing childcare at a significant meeting for missionaries there. This meeting was a very appreciated blessing for the personnel since it allowed them time to pause and focus on abiding in the Lord and growing in their competencies for the work. 

In the second part of our trip, we had an opportunity to participate in a local evangelistic ministry in our city for a few days. We shared with people the reason that we Christians have hope in Christ. Japan is home to about 99% of people who do not have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ.  

Some afternoons, we decided to visit Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples. We knew people who frequented these places were desperate for hope and did not serve the only living and true God, the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. We prayed and asked God to reveal Himself to those created in His image. 

As we walked in, our hearts were stirred and broken. We saw people ringing a large bell to “wake up” the gods to listen to their pleas. We saw people clap loudly to “awaken” these false gods from their slumber. Many people gave money to submit written prayers so these gods would answer on their behalf. 

I was quickly brought back to Scripture in Psalm 115:1-8. (Read the chapter for context.)

But their idols are silver and gold, made by human hands. They have mouths but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see. 

They have ears but cannot hear, noses, but cannot smell.  They have hands but cannot feel, feet, but cannot walk,  nor can they utter a sound with their throats.

The Bible teaches that God is all-powerful and all-knowing. His perfect knowledge extends to all things, past, present, and future, including the future decisions of His free creatures. To Him, we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. God’s eternal triune reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes but without division of nature, essence, or being. He is one that we can place our hope in. He is the one who answers when we call. 

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