On April 9, I came to Nara to work with Robin Adam. A beautiful American lady, 75 years old, laboring with love and care, spending her last pension penny in this beautiful place.
Robin Adams works in two places in Nara, Antioch in Nara city and Haibara Prayer House.
After 20 minutes of walking from the train station with the heavy luggage, we were welcomed by Ako’s warm hospitality in Antioch.
The next day, we headed back to Haibara, went back and forth Osaka and Nara in next few days, visiting different churches, and also some sightseeing with a couple of friends that Robin wishes to reach out to: a Jewish family and a Japanese family.
Syncretism or Redemptive Analogy?
Robin teaches English, and through friendship building she aimed to reach out to the neighborhood and she has a strong passion in reaching out to buddhist monks and shinto priests.
For this she is convinced to use a lot of tools about Keikyo, Nestorian Influence of early Buddhism and Shintoism, the meaning of Kanji. If you wish to work with Robin Adams, please contact her via this email: email@example.com
The argument of syncretism and redemptive analogy still remain controversial and I believe it always will.
I will carefully record what I’ve seen and learn in this trip, and also share with you what I sense in the embrace of the Holy Spirit.
I have no doubt that God had put a great desire in the heart of the Japanese to worship Him, the creator of Heaven and earth. That could be observed in e every single effort to seek harmony with the nature that turned out to be the way of life of the Japanese. Though not much putting into practice now, ikebana, cha-do, bushi-do still serve as the root of the culture and the way of life that one honor.
The similarity in Kojiki and Genesis could be the very clue that God had left on this land of the evidence of His existence. In the search of the creator Heaven and earth, Amenominakanushi seemed to have substitute the name of Yahweh. This finding is exiting yet, it is a huge challenge ahead in pointing them to Jesus with this redemptive analogy, not to syncretize but to reveal the absolute truth.
Easter celebration - an unbelievable night
It was an unbelievable Easter dinner on Sunday evening.
Gill wanted to have Easter Hot Cross Bun with raisins in it. So we worked on it! Of course we can’t find that in the store, so I tried to make a chocolate marble cake, and Robin worked to put a cross on top of it with icing sugar. And then we get everyone to take one raisin in their hand, to symbolize the risen Christ. When we shared the meaning of the raisins, everyone started to raise their hands and shouted, “Bansai, Bansai!” So, they did know about the story of the risen King.
Yet a knowledge about the resurrection of Christ had not brought them to the meeting place with Jesus. Perhaps knowing the truth does not necessarily prompt people to make the decision to follow Christ. There are something else in their mind that serves as bondage that we need to break.
It was kind of strange Easter Sunday to me, that we had different people of different religions sitting around the table, celebrating the resurrection of Christ, at the same time watching a record of buddhist funeral. Then we kind of formed different groups discussing about different things: strange things happened in church, stories of hikikomori, and then a time of quiet prayers to comfort those who are in sorrow.
A strange and thoughtful evening......
Left to right: Keiko, Miyatani's wife, Miyatani, Shinobu, Kazuhiko, Laurel Fooks, Robin Adams, Gill Fooks, Roseline
Kei Takikita ~ Takamatsu, Kagawa. firstname.lastname@example.org
Nara fukuin kyoukai
Calligraphy Outreach. It allows people to come and learn calligraphy for rehabilitation purpose as well as to learn more about Jesus. Wed: 1.30pm Tel: (0742)26-4680
Antioch Church cafe
A creative cafe outreach which serves free coffee and casual snacks for the people who stays in the neighborhood. Ako - 090-9980-6832
One thing that I notice is that almost all famous tera and jinja would have beautiful flowers or natures. In this observation, perhaps I’m not too far if I say the Japanese are attracted to the beauty of the His creations rather than the worship of tera or jinja itself.
This beautiful Sakura tree is the largest and oldest in Nara located in 仏隆寺Butsuryuji. It branched out 2 meters off the ground, and each branch blooms into beautiful flowers. It was a full bloom while we reached Butsuryuji. People streamed to the temple to
honor the beauty of the sakura. Indeed, it was amazing.
Perhaps there is one thing that we can do, that is to pray that the Lord will awakened His people that the power of creation and the source of life is more important than anything else on earth, and it is worth to after it.
~For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. ~ Romans 1: 20
Pray for LIGHT!!!