Heart4Japan Network Ministry started in 2005 November, aiming to connect resources and raising watchmen in the field!
127 MILLION SOULS, THE LARGEST UNREACHED PEOPLE GROUP ON EARTH! Is Japan a land of foreign to Christianity?
Is Japan a land of cold and darkness?
Or is Japan, as St. France Xavier had said,
" the country in the Orient most suited to Christianity"?
Thank you for continuing praying with me! May the Lord bless you with countless blessings in the celebration of year end and new year! Below are various updates that concerned my recent activities and movement in Heart4Japan.
We went to the hospital again on Dec 23, the bone marrow results ruled out the possibility of CML, the platelet count dropped to 290 and blood pressure was 110.
The doctor repeated the same medication course for my mom, and reschedule another visit on Dec 30. The doctor said they need to check the blood sample again to rule out the possibility of BCR-ABL induced CML.
In the afternoon, the hospital called up mom to cancel the appointment on Dec 30, and reschedule it on Jan 21 to a normal clinic visitation. Hallelujah!!! Though the result of the blood test was not mentioned, the change of the date and clinic convinced us that my mom is more likely okay with the current medication. The Lord indeed had performed another true miracle, and His blood cleanse her to experience a new Christmas!!!
The long-felt tense released, and the muscles began to feel its sore, I rested and slept like a baby that evening..... God is truly amazing.
Please do continue to keep my mom in your prayers... for speedy recovery, re-installation of health and confidence, most of all, the continue rise in faith and goodness of the Lord!
On Jan 21, I will not be with her to the clinic visitation, but I will be in Tokyo, and we will have Hikikomori Study Group in the evening at my department. For more details, see the last item.
It had been 10 days for Yokun to be in Malaysia now. He joined me for most activities, and stayed home sometimes to stay in his own pace. Initially, I was kind of worried if the tense schedules would overwhelmed him, yet on another hand, learning from previous experience, being busy is a form of taking a break from hikikomori, that might excite him too. True enough, the unique services and people group that I serve kept him excite, and everything that he was introduced open his eyes and challenged him for deeper thought about his own country, people and situation.
As I keep rules in not mentioning his situation to people, and allow him to express and explain himself in his own freedom, he was being thrown a lot of questions. As they found out he is not working, nor studying, many had shown an unbelieving face, and thought that he was joking or he was taking a break. Yokun is interesting, he keeps thinking of different sets of answer to this point. So far, the answer that he given were: he is in long vacation, he is studying about God and church (which is not a lie, because this is basically what this mission is about), he is studying about life (which again is not a lie, because he keeps reading books and internet to find out more about life), he does volunteer jobs (which is not a lie too, because he does volunteer sometimes, to help out in a very passionate and unique restaurant in Akita on and off that he came into contact 3 years back, and now I have also recruited him for the mission team and helping with housework too ^^)
He had so much in these 10 days, and he described it as "濃いkoi" (thick).
he learned to eat hot and spicy food,
he learned sign language from the deaf,
he performed solo with my brother's friends when they came and visit my mom,
he learned Japanese Traditional dance with us,
he led the dance team to practice when I am busy with something else,
he stepped to the front in the performance before the crowd because there is a need in the dance team for the deaf need to see people in order to follow the rhythm because of short of practice,
he joined Christmas parties, and sang and danced with the youths,
he led the origami workshop session in Christmas Carnival, teaching the children to fold origami and giving out papers to the children,
he communicate with others with self-created signs and writing on papers... etc.
^^ although it is quite fun to see how he fit himself in the crowd, but there are a several things that I pray that you can pray with me.
This is a great breakthrough for Yokun to
-i. fly overseas alone,
-ii. be in a completely new and strange environment,
-iii. from homogeneous to heterogeneous people group and culture,
-iv. from a loner to a team worker,
-v. from one who prefer my pace to accommodate to others' pace.
-vi. from one who believes everything is God, and God exist within self (more of Buddhism believes) to the exposure to ONE God - Jesus is the only way,
-vii. from one who more of self-centered, to lifestyle that make others as center (working revolving others).
Therefore, there are a lot of readjusting, a lot of challenging new ideas, physically and mentally. He sometimes feel that it would be better to be alone, and sometimes he is eager to join the others. I can't think of any prayer points, but I urge you to pray with me for Yokun with the above points. Pray as the Lord challenge you.
More points about Yokun:
He is more open to Christianity now, and he is planning to visit churches in Akita.
He has many questions, good ones.
He will bow and pray to all gods like a common Japanese, I notice that he bows to the altar that set outside and inside the houses of non-believers.
We find a lot of good talents in him, very rhythmic, love music, good vocal, sociable when necessary, kind to people, great observation, thinker and so on...
Mission with the Deaf
Preaching on Dec 18 in SOL (Sign of Love) service went well. I shared about how we could serve as a missionary at the same time in the occasions that God calls us to, on the verse of Matthew 25:21-23. The message became very clear, that we can be a missionary on where we are called to be.
The Holy Spirit worked with us, and we had an altar call for the people who are called to be a missionary, but yet they are unsure and with fear, and hoping to have a clearer instruction from God. Three came out for the prayers, and two were slain by the spirit. Another few person came out to ask for healing, and one was slain. Sometimes, somehow I am worried, as the deaf in their communication with the doctors could be very vague, as they shared their symptoms with me, I can't help to be worry with my little knowledge in medical background. I will advice them to see doctor even after the prayers, but some have really great faith, and they felt prayers would be enough to help them to feel better. I am not sure if my faith is too little, but certainly my trust increased as I see their faith, and see how God works within them.
The traditional Japanese dance involving using 鳴子naruko, it is a musical instrument like a clapper that would make clear and crisp sound. This is difficult especially when they can't hear the music. Instead of making sense of the sound of the clappers, they have to sense the movement, and feel the beat in their hearts. The original scheduled 3 hours workshop on Dec 17 was not enough for us to grasp the essence, we continued the practice for another 2 hours on Dec 18 after the service. More people joined in the dance, and we scheduled another 2 hours to practice on Dec 21. On Dec 26, we had our first performance, the Lord had given us great success! I was very proud of the team! :-) It proved that deaf are not limited in the areas that they can serve by the fact that they can't hear!
Below are the schedules for more mission opportunities with the deaf:
Workshop : Jan 8 5pm - 9pm FGA KL
2nd performance: Jan 9 7.30am - 9am First Service (Youth) FGA KL;
3rd performance: Jan 9 11am- 12.30pm 2nd Service (Youth) Combine with SOL, FGA KL
4th performance: Jan 13 6pm - 9pm Japan Missions Evening
Me and Yokun would dance with them again for the 2nd performance, but I am planning to let the deaf take the lead for the 3rd and 4th performance.
This will help them to build their confidence in further outreach after I leave to Tokyo. We will see how the Lord will use this dance in reaching out the local deaf congregation in Malaysia! :-)
Please pray for strength and boldness for the dance team!!!
We may have new members to join the performance, please pray for the Lord's wisdom and strength on the new members!
Coming Heart4Japan Activities that needs your prayers! I would need His strength, His wisdom, His words. Please pray for me the sensitiveness towards the Holy Spirit, and speak only the words that He puts on my lips. Please pray that a Japanese/English or Japanese/Chinese bilingual speaker would step to the front and volunteer to translate the messages for Yokun.
Jan 2 Q&A Session about Heart4Japan in Full Gospel Assembly Kota Damansara
Jan 5 Sharing in Full Gospel Assembly Kuala Lumpur Chinese Prayer Meeting
Jan 9 Preaching in 1st and 2nd service in Full Gospel Assembly Kuala Lumpur Youth Service
Jan 13 Hosting Japan Mission Evening in Full Gospel Assembly Kuala Lumpur
On Jan 13, I am also planning to show a part of the God's Fingerprints in Japan pt. 1 about the Tea ceremony, and I will demonstrate a simple version of Tea ceremony. I have also invited brother Adrian to share about the overview of missions need in Japan, and Yokun to share. Please pray for Adrian, Yokun and me. Thank you!
Hikikomori Study Group
The Lord had granted me favor, and my professor and colleagues supported me in organizing Hikikomori Study group in our department. The study group serve as a platform to connect people with similar interest to share ideas and to learn more about hikikomori. In the last hikikomori study group meeting, 15 had gathered togehter, the presenter gave a long lecture. However the audience found it interesting with his comment and presentation style. The long lecture focused on the background of WMHJ research, a lot of comparison about mental health status with overseas. At first I was very worried if he had pulled away too much from hikikomori. But then, the audience found it very informative, even many of them had not any academic/research background. I think it was a good start to set up a base for the following discussions. :-)
Now, many of them are looking forward for next meeting, and I woud need to draw out a table to summarize the definition of DSM-IV mental illness diagnosis that was mentioned in the WMHJ study so that the audience is able to follow and have a better idea of what these things are....
There were also discussion about why developmental disorder was not being measured in WMHJ, my friend done a great job in explaining this and challenged them to think beyond.
Because this meeting focused heavily on lecture and information... I feel that is necessary to give the participants enough time to reflect and study the materials again, and have time for discussion in next study. Therefore, next study is planned to focus mainly on sharing and discussions, based on what they learned on Dec 10 in connection to what they personal experience are. Quite a number of people had registered for the 2nd meeting on Jan 21.
The Lord has bless the wok in his hand that this study group brings Christians and non-Christians together in exchanging their experience on a similar social issues, and perhaps to work on the issues together and learn about each other more in future. The news that Rev. Makita being elected as the new president of Mental Health Care Association in Oomagari was certainly a great news as we begin to see interactions between church and community, as well as the light begin to shine in the local area where the Lord puts it in. The members are eager to meet Rev. Makita and his friends from Akita in next study (Jan 21).
Please pray that the Lord will continue to use the department as a platform for outreach!
Please pray that the Lord's light will shine in this department!
Please pray that the study group members will be benefited and be honest and open to each other, ready to share, and always be comfortable in the presence of each others!
Please pray that the study group members will discover the true values of life in these meetings!
Reaching Out Japanese for Christ (RJC) Conference in Seattle
I am leading a workshop on hikikomori in this conference that runs from Feb 17 -19. Again, I will spend my birthday in the States. Good that this time is not on the plane, I had a real long birthday in 2009 when I went to Castro Valley.
Please pray for the conference, the network of the people, and the awakening of the spirit!
Please pray for me that I will be able to share what is practical on the field, and how we can work with the Lord together to reach out the hikikomori.
Please pray that the Lord will open our eyes and remove the blindness in us, restore what is right, and chase away the darkness and midst that clouds over the issue of hikikomori and suicide.
Please pray that the Lord will help us to learn about the Japanese and the social phenomenon in God's perspective!
May the meekness of the Lord and his humbleness inflict us!
Assignments to be finish!!!
Beyond all these excitements of ministries... I need your prayers to uphold me in finishing the tasks that piled up high enough on my desk!!!
Assignments for the coursework to be due on Jan 17.
The first draft on social phobia that should be completed before I leave to Tokyo.
The rewrite of hikikomori paper to be submitted to the journal, and that should be done within January itself.
The analysis of the data on school refusal and other social issues in Tokyo.
Drafting of the proposal for research to be completed before I leave to Tokyo.
Drafting of the application for ethical approval.
To finish the above task as I run together with missions stated above,I need the Good Lord's mercy and strength for my back, my hands and my mind. :-)
Your love and prayers do sustain me in the race!!! :-)
You are a part of this Great Commission!!!
May the Lord bless you richly!!! and may your ministry flourish!!!