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, September 07, 2016

Prayer updates for 2nd half of 2016.

Time flies... I have moved to Akita for almost 3 years now. :-)

quick updates:

Things to do:
1) a friend came here for two weeks to rest, and she just flew back home tonight.

2) we are having our first hand massage service in a public space this Thursday, by one of our staff. She had been in social withdrawal condition for about ten years, and struggling with schizophrenia and self-harm. She had been attending our service for about a year and a half now, she is leading the hand massage service. 

3) I am having a talk on this Saturday afternoon in Akita city, mainly to introduce our work, and some of my thoughts, as well as answering the questions from the hikikomori parents. This is another group of hikikomori who are still in isolation mode. 

4) I am leaving to Canada for a presentation on Sep 16, will leave Akita at probably 10:00, leave Japan at 17:00, and reach Calgary on the same day at 15:00. A long journey. I will share with a church, Crossover Japanese Church  on Sep 18, make a poster presentation on Sep 21 (Wed), and an oral presentation for 20 minutes on Sep 22 (Thu). Please pray for attentive ears and audiences. :-) After that, I will visit a indigenous church in Vancouver for two days. I'll take off on Sep 25, and will reach Akita on Sep 27. 

5) I am giving a talk on Oct 10, as an invited speaker for the North East Lutheran Pastoral Conference, the theme is "Family Reconciliation". 

6) The next day, Oct 11, I will have a class to teach, and I haven't prepare... hahaha

7) The following day, Oct 12, I will have a Australian visitor, who is also a Christian, to stay with us and work in the cafe as a volunteer staff for about a week. He will share about his recovery from depression and his hard time living like a hikikomori. He will take shelter in the Lutheran Church where I serve at present. Please pray for the presence of the Holy Spirit, and the influence of Christ. 

8) I have a poster presentation in the National Public Health Conference in Osaka from Oct 26-38. 

9) Have a teaching session on Nov 1.

10) Leaving to Malaysia from Nov 11 to 25 to attend my sister wedding. :-) Two Japanese elderly ladies are coming back with me. Both of them are sincere and faithful servants of God that had always take care of me like my mom. I do hope that you can meet them. I will speak in FGA KD on Nov 13, and probably will share in the Chinese in the afternoon too. I felt that the Lord is preparing me to give back, a blessing to the church that had sent me in the beginning. Three Malaysian missionaries came to visit me in June, and they told me they came to the field after me, and they heard a lot about me from others when they were praying and preparing for their services. I realized that I have been speaking and encouraging many who are willing to listen, and I felt that I haven't done enough in a church where I had received my vision. My time back home had always been very limited, in the recent past visits, I tend to give more time to individuals and churches who have committed to  pray for me. I felt that the Lord is telling me that, "Give back. Tell them about your story, our story, help them to see their relationship with me, help them to hear my voice." I do believe it is so, I've been sharing in many churches, but never FGA, I do agree it is time to give back. I will share with them how I discern the voices, especially at crossroads and difficult circumstances. I begin to understand that people need to see what others gone through so to picture themselves in the same situation, and the rest will between him and God. Please pray for me on this. Also, please pray for safety, peace and health for the two Japanese elderly ladies, Kuribayashi Masako (73 yrs) and Omi Reiko (76 yrs).

11) I will have attend another conference together with my hikikomori people on Nov 30 - Dec 2 in Nagano. It is the National Mental Rehabilitation Conference, they will be presenting their own cases. I am planning to introduce them to some missionary friends during the trip. Please pray for open doors. 

12) On Dec 5-9, I will have concentration classes to teach. 

13) On Dec 9-11, I will have a presentation in Tokyo, the National Mental Health Conference. 

14) We will probably prepare for a Christmas concert. We are also planning to celebrate our 3rd year anniversary!

Financial Needs:
1) We are in the final selection for a private funding about 3 million yen to support the cafe expenses and staffs salaries. I haven't hear anything from them yet. Please pray for us. 

2) I have a deadline to meet in order to submit an application for research grant in Oct 13. It's kind of tough and complicated. I failed last year, hopefully I'll get one this year. Without an official research funding, it is almost impossible to move on. 

3) The city had promised to support us in financial aid, yet they haven't decide the amount and the form to support us. This is very crucial, as once the form is decided, it will sustain for few years. We will need a sustainable funding. Please pray with us. 

M-kun, the member staff that I shared with you in the previous update, had came back to us. While still waiting for getting a new vehicle, at least he is emotionally settled. Thank you for your prayers. Please continue to keep him in your prayers as the Spirit leads you. 

We know that there is a need to reach out to the parents, and the Lord had opened the door to work with the parents and together with other city workforce. We need step by step guidance, more workers that can share responsibility to serve together with us. 

As there are many needs, we are offering counselings by request as well. In opposite to the operation of the cafe, which only collects one coin, we collect a fee matching to the standard. We find that by collecting a fee, it helps to shape the client to seriously consider what they really want in their lives, and thus help them to move on faster. The fees are channeled into cafe operation cost as well as salaries for staffs. 

Staffs with shared visions and missions
When I use "we", it is more of a shared thoughts and shared decisions by the team members in the cafe, including my spiritual cover in the Lutheran church that I serve at present. I need more workers that share our visions and missions to come aboard to work with us. Please pray for the spiritual and physical recovery of my hikikomori staffs. Thank you.  

I need to publish my paper as well. I am too slow in writing, please pray that my work will be published and impact others. Your prayers are much appreciated. 

In Him, Amen.

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Some thoughts that I need to share ...

I want to express my gratitude to all of you who have been praying for the workshop where I was given a chance to share about my work with the hikikomori. I was invited for ten minutes, expecting 10 out of 200 participants, which was a fairly equal number for 20 workshops that spread across all at one time. I ended up having altogether 7 hours of solid discussions over two days, and a total of 15 people including myself.

Along the meeting, I began to understand that the meeting was organized by Tohoku (northeast) teachers union, composed mainly by elementary and middle school teachers, who were also parents as well. Many were retired, in their 60's to 70's, yet they took the trouble to travel far, just for the issues that are dear to their hearts.

Trust me, I am not exaggerating in this. I was totally stunned by the work they have done, their ambitions, their abilities to look back and see what they had lack in bringing up kids under their cares in schools. As I landed in Japan, in the ongoing work of hikikomori, I always have so many unanswered questions about education, the reports and strategies on futoko (school refusal) and hikikomori released by the government often lead me into more confusion than solution. Yet, this meeting opened my eyes.

The teachers in the union are making sense as I realized that their viewpoints sprung from the very bottom of grassroots. I was so surprised! How could it be that I had never heard these voices before with all the researches that I've done? With all the elites that I have been with? It was totally a new world for me.

It seems that their voices are silenced by the policy makers, or probably because they have a different stance from the Board of Education. They are making sense! Their observation and explanation about futoko and hikikomori make more sense that the claim of the Board of Education and the Monbu or the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. They are not just trying to cover up facts, they ARE looking into the roots of the problems! And they are struggling to put the messages across! I find this very disturbing. The education system and the policies makers need to listen to both voices from the Board and Union! For what I have witnessed in this weekend, the Union is not only fighting for themselves, they are fighting for the children! They are trying to look at facts that the Board had neglected!

Please pray with me, their voices need to be heard!!! They need to be raised to a higher level. Please pray for me, If Jesus had brought me to the meeting, and if the Lord is expanding my horizons, I need to learn more and God needs to enable me to spread these messages across. I don't know how, but I believe that this is a right thing to do. I don't want their voices to be carried to their graves, it will be a disgrace, it will be a lost for this nation that I love. Please, Pray with me, will you?

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Needing prayers for M

I need prayers for the young adults (staffs to be) in the hiki cafe. 

First, Please pray for Staff M.  

The place where he stay is about 20 minutes drive from the cafe. He had joined the cafe for two years now, and we have managed to go through some of the hardest ups and downs in his life. He was in a shock that his car had to be scrapped, because he can't afford the repair cost. As there is not much public transport option, where bus is about 1~2 hours once, he felt that he had no other option than to stay in door, until he gets a new car again. (... he planned to save money from the nenkin, which will take about 8 months at least>) I was trying to sort out options for him, but then none of the advises can go into his heart. I think I have neglected his grieve and fear for his car and future. My advises were offered at a wrong timing. 

Please pray with me few things here:
 i) for peace of God to fill his heart;
 ii) for restoration of friendship and trust between us;
 iii) peace, patience and love in my heart (when I get too busy, I don't have enough of patience); 
iv) ways to provide for his need; 
v) hope and understanding where he needs not to fear when God has a good plan for him.

 p/s: he is not yet a Christian, but he has been in church with us. May the Lord lead him to faith using this opportunity.

M is the first guy at the left.