The Unreached of Japan
A group of SCBaptists embarked on a mission trip to Japan to learn and experience mission work alongside IMB missionaries and national partners.
While there, these leaders journeyed to Tokyo to form partnerships with International Mission Board (IMB) missionaries and lead teams in engaging the lost in Japan.
Sharing Light in Spiritual Lostness
In 2019, SCBaptists established a five-year partnership between our Convention of churches and International Mission Board personnel serving within the Asia-Pacific Rim Peoples Affinity Group. Donn Broeker, Cluster Leader of Japan for the IMB, said, “There is a huge need here in Japan. There are 125 million people, and less than 1% are believers.”
Broeker and his family have lived in Japan for almost eight years, and when they first moved to Japan, they heard stories of how difficult Japanese people were to reach. “But what we discovered after we got here was, with 99% lost Japanese, the majority of those have never heard the Gospel,” he said. He explained that less than 5% of Japanese had actually heard the Gospel preached. “Without those opportunities, how would we be surprised that more people haven’t come to faith?” he said.
A City in Need
Charles Westbrook, pastor of Pelion Baptist Church, echoed Broeker, saying that the need in Japan is overwhelming. “Part of our reason for being here is to learn how they do missions in Japan so that we can bring it back to SCBaptists to help them understand it and consider the possibility that God might want them to come and be part of the work here,” he said. He emphasized that, at the very least, SCBaptists can be praying for Japan but that he hoped they would consider being part of the work there, saying that there are lots of opportunities to serve.
Marietta First Baptist Church had been praying for Yokohama, a city in Japan, well before the trip to Japan was even planned. Pastor Brian Spearman said, “To actually meet missionaries that are here in Yokohama and to meet the team that’s working here has been an incredible thing.” The group was able to work directly with missionaries, even missionaries they had seen commissioned and sent out by SCBaptists. “It has been amazing to be able to be here and work with our missionaries side by side,” Spearman said.
Awakening in Japan
Although the task at hand seemed great, the team was convinced that the Lord is at work in Japan. “The greatest need is more churches. In order to plant more churches, we need more missionaries to be sent,” Tim Rice, SCBaptist Mission Partnership Director, said. “We’d like to see a prayer movement initiate among South Carolina Baptists that would spread so that there could be spiritual revival and awakening in Japan.”