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!!!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Thoughts to ponder about......

Tentmakers are more of spreading God's words through relationship making, as well as life testimony. However sometimes, I can be very "preachy". Talking about Jesus and hikikomori had become my habit, sometimes it could seems nice, but sometimes these could be "noises", causing people to be defensive. Just today, a friend was angry that I kept talking about Jesus. He was sharing with me about some ideas, and as usual I related these ideas to what I believe.  He was tired, and felt bombard. He said he dislike the concept of religion, and he didn't want to have one, and many people are approaching him from different religions and backgrounds. I heard about some stories that he went through, and it was really ridiculous, and often they are "Christian brand".  He said, (also a rather fair comment also made by an experienced Japanese pastor, that I am too "noisy" with my Jesus stories, which he was surprised why I had not experienced much trouble by doing that in the laboratory), "Your life had testified much about God, and it is often that I can sense and make clear that there is God through your faith. You don't need to speak about it, its not necessary." But I also have this compulsive act/thought that I MUST talk about Jesus, which I can't help much...... and I acted more aggressively when people tell me that "I can believe in God, but not Jesus, because I don't want a religion" like emphasizing what I believe which the person may had heard more than ten times from me... :-p

SO,  I do breach the rules of being a Tent-maker unfortunately.... 

I used to take defensive acts that I encountered as a spiritual warfare.
BUT today after talking to one of my friend, I learned something...

This friend is an Austrian, and he used to be hikikomori for about 3 years. Even before his total withdrawn, he never really make any contacts with his classmates during his school time. He called himself misanthropy. I met him in his 3rd year of hikikomori, and we shared about our principles in lives and values. Soon after that, he took his first challenged. He applied for a job, went for interview and got it. I convinced him to get a bible then, we moved on to online bible study once a week, though he always claim that he wouldn't believe in God. Then, this evening I was surprised that when he told me he shared about Jesus with his colleagues and took his bible out and pointed to them for what the holiday seasons in Europe means. He said he did it for fun, but it was a real SURPRISE and encouraging change for me. The clue in all his changes, was that he said he never felt that I was pushing him, but he made his own decisions. He always took my opinions positively, and made a step ahead himself. He is now reaching out to other hikikomori friends that he meets online, and convince them that they should get out of their home and start working. His story encouraged me the best!

He told me this evening that he was attacked by his sister's hamster. 
He tried to take away the hamster's toilet, and then the hamster jumped on to his finger and bit him. He bled for 15 minutes. 

I guess he was probably trying to clean the toilet, but the hamster felt that something is going to change, and it didn't want it. OR maybe it was afraid of the change. It didn't know my friend. My friend P, was just taking care of it in his sister's absence. Though my friend fed him, but defensing what you are familiar with, is basic instinct of living creatures. 

So, what happened this evening was probably an act of defense rather. I was telling my friend A, that I believe that Jesus will take one step at a time, to replace the negative substance with positive substance in him. Then, he questioned me why must I always talk about Jesus, and why can't this take place naturally. Perhaps it was not "Jesus" that offended him, but rather the thoughts of "needing to change" that irritates him (though he himself wanted a change).... I am pondering on this now.... Yet, what he questioned was also valid, as "why can't this take place naturally?" 

There are many non-Christians that changed, and treatments, as well as other faith had released people from depression.... so "Jesus Changing Life" is a catching phrase for us who had experienced and tasted His goodness! We know no others but Him. But when there are people who are exposed to other similar phrases with other religions/faiths/treatment, being taught that religions are useless, or does more harm than good.... HOW could we distinguish Jesus from these things? THAT again is a life learning course for many missionaries in the field, I believe......

I want to invite you to ponder with me on this!!! Its' fun to think and reflect!!!

Please feel free to SHARE with me of what you think! (^_~)  OR
How would you handle this situation?

Thank you! GOD BLESS!!!


Justin said...

Roseline, thanks for sharing this. I think this is something we need to be careful about, especially with Japanese. I definitely don't have the gift of evangelism. But, I found it is much better not to try and force Jesus into a conversation. When I am open about my faith but don't try to push it onto my Japanese friends, many of them will ask me questions about it. And it is okay to ask them what they believe and why. But as soon as I try to tell them that they need Jesus or tell them why they need Jesus, or that they have to give up their beliefs from other religions if they follow Jesus, they get defensive and don't want to talk about it any more. This isn't just me - I've observed my American friends pushing Japanese people too hard. There are definitely times when you need to share the gospel message directly, but most of the time, it is better to just live out the gospel message and build relationships with people, and God will give us the words to say when the time is right. On the other hand, sometimes I feel like I'm not saying enough, or that I avoid talking about Jesus or religion in general to avoid offending my friends. Sometimes people need to be challenged so it will make them think. Even if they might get angry for a short time, what you say might cause a positive change in them. So we need to find the right balance. But it is often difficult to find that balance - it is different for each person. All we can do is rely on God to guide our relationships instead of trying to do it ourselves. Anyway, this is a very good topic to discuss, so I just wanted to share a few of my thoughts.

Roseline said...

Dear Justin, thank you so much for sharing this!!! Most thoughtful advice. Roseline