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!!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

August Trip in the States

With the network in Heart4Japan, I am in the States for the whole month of August. (Aug 3 - 25)

Aim: Share about my work on Hikikomori, and the missions of Heart4Japan.
i. Raise awareness on how to further research and cooperate in the work of social withdrawn youth and people who suffer with poor mental health.
ii. Raise warriors in spiritual warfare for the work in Japan.
iii. Raise missions partners in terms of financial giving, forming local intercession groups, and mobilize missions to Japan.
iv. Explore and locate the possible hikikomori cases in the States.

Updates so far, thanks for your prayers! The presentation in DC went well, I myself had learned a lot through the preparation of the presentation itself.
As for the answers to these prayers in DC,
1. the voices of the hikikomori to be heard! yes! It had... though I'm not sure how effective it was, and the implications of it. Not many audience turned up that morning, probably due to the first day when people still adjusting to the jetlack, probably due to too many symposiums going on at the same time, most probably the main reason was that the topic of hikikomori was still very much unheard of, and therefore less attractive. Overall, the mental health issues were lack of focus in this Congress of Behavioral Medicine meeting.
2. the possibility in finding Christians researchers to work together in this area. Not at the moment, I haven't identify one yet. Only a few namecards were distributed, and hopefully they will look for me based on the clues of the scripture line printed at the back of the namecard.
3. the possibility in meeting other potential hikikomori workers. Met one, Amy Borovoy, who maybe coming to International Christians University in Tokyo next year. But I'm not sure if she is the key that I will be working with later. Cultural Anthropologist and Mental Health Public Health workers have very different ways in seeing things.
Well, the above have not ended, for there are still two weeks for me in the States. Will continue to share with the churches that I visit. I do hope the Lord will constantly bring the people from item 2 and 3 to me, either on the plane, at the airport, restaurant, or perhaps hopefully with the church!
4. raise hikikomori gatekeepers and watchers!
and finally,
5. raise Heart4Japan supporters in giving, interceding and going!
Have a sharing engagement in another 28 hours later in a local Chinese church in Atlanta, and probably another time of sharing on hikikomori too. Will travel from Atlanta to Pennsylvania on Aug 18, and meet up with the Zellners.

Let's pray that item 4 and 5 will be answered in following sharing sessions! And may the Lord bless me with all His wisdom, and may I be so sensitive to His voice, that I will put aside my will and put main focus on His will in ministering to His people. Thank you!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Another Perspective to Matsuri 祭り

While you were worshiping on Sunday (July 25), I joint the Kashiwa Festival with one of their marching parade in the city, representing Tokyo University, my country, and most thrill was to represent the Body of Christ!

As I was invited to join the festival, I made some research: The Kashiwa Dance 柏踊り is a traditional Japanese dance with rich meaning that resembles the Kashiwa City depicting the life of the Kashiwa people. The Kashiwa Matsuri (Festival) 柏祭り is more of a city celebration that try to bring people closer rather than an act of worship to any God. Temples and shrines took parts in different time slots of the festival, just as how churches in the States take parts in their national parade. Community network spreads through these connections.

Although the matsuri 祭り was organized in conjunction with Bon盆、but there was also a clear separation of religion and culture in this festival. For example, the march that I joint, 柏踊り and 輪踊り, the people who organized it didn't want anything to do with the religion practices. The traditional dance stood alone without any influence or connections to Bon 盆 .

柏おどり The Lyrics of Kashiwa Dance

柏おどりはヨー 春来てひらくヨー
利根の舟歌 曙山の
花にいななく 放れ駒
若い柏の芽が育つ ソレ

シャン、シャン、シャン と打って かしわで シャン
シャン シャン シャン と打って かしわで シャン

柏おどりはヨー 夏来てひらくヨー
かわいあの娘が 合いの手いれりゃ
紅のたすきに 桔梗笠 ソレ

柏おどりはヨー 秋来てひらくヨー
ビルに 工場に 二人の家に
夢がひろがる 小金原
映せ未来を 手賀の月 ソレ

柏おどりはヨー 冬でもひらくヨー
愛の豊四季 メトロでつなぐ
雪の眺めの筑波山 ソレ

It become a fine line of how we could differentiate culture and believes and religions. As being Japanese, there is always full of thanksgiving to the creation and the "gods" seem to be exist in everywhere. The culture itself is rich of thanksgiving, which is good! The Lord had revealed himself in His creation, that no one could deny His glory.

The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. Romans 8:19

How could this come to past, if we, the sons of God continue to refrain our steps in stepping into the common lives of these people?

Many people that I work with in Kashiwa city are people in their 50's to 70's. What an urgent need to witness to them who Christ is! At least an open window to Christian Faith!