Why Japanese?

The Largest Unreached People Group (Joshua Project, 2005)

Only 0.04% Christians!

Annual Suicide Rate: >30,000

100-300 new religion registered each year (Operation World, 2000)

The battle is fierce, Time is SHORT! Please RESPONSE, Please PRAY!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Revised Edition - H4J Prayer Book

This is the revised edition. 42 pages in total. The revised cost is RM95.

INFLUENCERS in Academic Field

I have finally met up with Linda Lauren before she leave KL this morning. It was a midnight meeting, like Nicademus meeting with Jesus... yet this time is the meeting of two disciples of Jesus that had been called to the same field in ministry.

The Lord is moving people into the campus field, not only as an outreach from outside the campus, but inside the campus as light and influencers, not only short term exchange program, but long term. First we see Scott Williams who had enrolled himself into Fremont Soka Gakkai School in California 1. It is amazing to see how he function as a plower in the field, where Soka Gakkai belongs to a stream of Nichiren Buddhism, one of the largest Buddhist sect in Japan. Then Linda Lauren who had received an offer from Ritsumeikan University with a 80% tuition deduction, and she is going to Oita next March. Next, me, now in the midst of applying for entrance exam for PhD study in Tokyo University. God is going to do something GREAT, and I believe He is going to bring more people into the academic field.

Pray for Deadline Extension for Linda Lauren
Linda Lauren has great testimony and I believe God is going to use her in the campus, reaching out to adolescents that are struggling with emotional pain. The dateline for her to submit the form and pay the rest of the bill is actually Nov 30. Let's pray for the financial provision as well as grace from the university to extend the dateline for her. Let's pray that there will be scholarship available, if not the Lord will touch our brothers and sisters to give. What is 400,000 yen to God?

Pray for my Japanese Proficiency Test (25 Nov 2009)
And I am sitting for a test tomorrow that is held by Japan Foundation.

Pray for the Printing
The printing company printed the wrong file and there is a need to reprint the books. Please pray that the printing company will admit their mistakes and reprint with no extra cost. So far, we have around 10 orders for the book. The quality of the book is amazing! But because the soft cover is made of photo paper, careful storage is recommended to prevent the pages from bending.

Of course there are also other people that I know who are prayerfully making their steps into the mission field through tent-making, or taking courses that will enable them in future ministry. One of the example is Stephen Woerner who enrolled in Calvin College, focusing on the area of Japanese and Religion. Applause to Lou Ann Woerner, his mom, that is supportive of his decision to reach out to the Japanese.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Promotions on H4J Photo Book

The printing company is having a promotion at this moment, if you order a print on/before Nov 25, you will get a 45% discount per copy of book.

The book after discount is:
RM 88 (USD 26.50/JPY 2400) not including postal charges

I still face many objections today as I share with people about the mission needs in Japan. Despite the discouragement from churches and people, I often gain encouragement as I hear and notice one new person that God had raised to pray for Japan, and even geared to move into this land. May our Lord Jesus Christ equip those who He had called, enable them to participate in His redemption plan for Japan!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

H4J Prayer Book

This photo book is specially designed for Heart4Japan members as a tool to share with others about the prayer needs in Japan, and encourage others to pray.
The size of the book is 20.32 X 27.94cm (8" X 11")

Details of the book:
CoverPremium European 300gsm / 115 lb. cover Full Colour
Paper TypePremium European 170gsm / 120 lb. gloss acid-free paper (FSC Certified)
Number of Pages40 pages
Binding TypeSide Stitched + Perfect Bind
Printing4 or 6 colours Digital Offset

Price: RM 160 / copy ( USD 48/ JPY 4300)

If you like to keep a copy of this book, please drop me a note. Thank you.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Elements that Construct the Japanese Spirit

Japanese Spirit is characterized by eleven elements:

Yuugen 幽玄 The Subtle and Profound - things unsaid is understood in a suggestive way.

Wabi.Sabi わび.さび Subtle Taste, Elegant Simplicity - quiet, clear and calmness, free from worldly concerns and annoying human relations, expressed in Sado茶道and Haiku俳句.

Mujou 無常 Transiency - a Buddhism worldview of everything is under constant change.

Ma 間 Interval in Time or Space - an empty space that leave suggestable notions and individual interpretation, expressed in Noh 能and Kabuki歌舞伎

On 恩 Debt of Gratitude - social and psychological obligation taken on with favors received from others.

Giri 義理 Moral Obligation -principle of human relations that advocates returning debts of gratitude received from others.

Ninjou 人情 Human Feelings - spontaneous expression of feeling toward others: love, sympathy, compassion, and friendship. Together with Giri, both were the two key elements, traditionally applied to human relations among the common people in Japan.

Haji 恥 Shame - putting importance on an external feeling of shame.

Nemawashi 根回し Prior Consulation - gaining consent from everyone in advance before making a decision to avoid confusion.

Honne to Tatemae 本音と建前 Honest Feelings and Official Stance - to express an official stance which is different from one's honest feeling is a result of seeking a sense of harmony and togetherness instead of self-expression.

Wa 和 Harmony - Japanese feel that wa is more important than self-assertion, argument or confrontation.

Many of these attitudes which had once dominated the characters of Japanese people are not well understood or accepted by western people, or in the world community, and it has been gradually changing as Japan internationalizes.

Reference: Yoichi Sugiura and John K. Gillespie (2004). A Bilingual Handbook of Japanese Culture. Tokyo: Natsume

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Needing PRAYERS!

Today as I questioned myself, "Am I ready?", I noticed that the people group that was scheduled for us to pray today by Joshua Project is the Japanese. Perhaps this is the day that the Lord had made for me to remember.

It had been days that I kept having this anxiety and fear for future. Having being rejected from several publications, and realizing the cost for PhD study in Tokyo is much much higher than I thought, I began to have fear.

My projection for a PhD study on hikikomori takes 3.5 year to 7 years. Yet, I only realized that even in Japan, a usual enrollment for a PhD course takes only 3 years. Shorter is better, but not if I aim to draw a cross-country comparison while trying to eliminate as much biases as possible. Sample collection and data analyzation are crucial procedures that determine what kind of result, and how much could we generalize it to the whole population, and all these are time consuming.

Competition for scholarships is fierce and availability of scholarships on this topic is scarce and limited. In Malaysia, while quota had been given to civic servants, with a mere Master degree, I am totally incompetence if not disqualified from scholarships competitions.

The entrance exam in Feb 2010, although Prof. N has faith in me, but I have no faith in myself at all. Reading the past years papers, I felt helpless. Study plans needs to be translated into Japanese for scholarship application, and all of these must be done in a month. Examination fees must be paid in January, and other administration fees occurs too. Air tickets to Japan need to be secure in this month. Accommodation during this period of time is another thing to think about. If I am accepted to the university, the tuition fees must be paid too by March.

3 years, it means I would need to examine my initial study plan in a much critical way, should I continue with that study plan, or should I draw a new study plan? I have not much time left for submission.

I also realize the time that I spend for next three years will shape the path of my future career/expertise. If all I wanted to do is just to disprove the current believe, to correct the current myth, then I remain a non expert in any field. An expert is seen as someone who can provide an answer, a solution and discussions among peers. If I wish to be an influencer in academia, then this is certainly not the way.

Even I had resigned from my job and dedicated all my time to Heart4Japan and hikikomori research, I am still lack of time. There are so much to do. As I am thinking and planning to raise leaders for Heart4Japan, it consumes time. Some of my interventions on hikikomori work, some not. For those who do not work, and for those where salvation were not received, good news were not preached, my heart breaks into pieces. When will this stop? How much longer could I stand with all these unmet demands? How much longer could I endure with this heartache?

The spirit depicted in the Japanese Shonen Manga, Jump Series: persisting for the truth or what one believes, never give up, turning stronger in defeat, etc. encouraged me. The only thing that I could hope for,
No king is saved by the size of his army;
no warrior escapes by his great strength.
A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
despite all its great strength it cannot save.
But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine (Psalm 33: 16-19)

In my nothingness, this is the promise that I can hold on with. I will wait in hope for the LORD.

I have such small faith. How could I be a leader with such little faith? How could I always have such little faith even I had witnessed myself how much my Lord could supply? I feel dismayed, what a sinner am I?

Would you pray for me? Would you pray for the salvation of the Japanese people? Would you pray for the hikikomori so that they will experience love and be free from lies of this world?