While still in Japan God showed me the amazing opportunities He has brought to our doorstep here in Canada to reach internationals. About 40% of Japanese students make some kind of faith decision while overseas. But less that 2% actually follow through on their return to Japan. My heart cries out for these students. At OMF we have a ministry called Diaspora Returnee Ministry which reaches out to these young people and we’re committed to evangelize, disciple and help them in their adjustment as they return.
I have 2 main areas of involvement. The first is with Japanese students who’ve come to Winnipeg to study at both U of M and U of W. God works in amazing ways to bring these folks into my path - like a student doing a home-stay with a Christian family I know. Or through a student who has already experienced the Friday night Japanese meals I make for them and so it goes out by word-of-mouth. They can relax in a home environment. We eat and talk and end the evening with a short Bible time. Every student also receives a New Testament from me. For many it’s the first time ever to hold a Bible in their own hands. When a student returns to Japan we have a debriefing time to help them in their adjustments.
I am also involved with the Japanese Church which meets every Sunday afternoon at 2:00 at Trinity Baptist Church. We worship in Japanese and always have a time of fellowship afterward. I preach at this church once or twice a month. About 15-20 people come together weekly. Some of these folks have immigrated to Canada, some are in the process of getting permanent residency and others are here for work or study. One of the young Christian girls helps me with the student get-togethers on Friday nights at my home. I’m also translating for a young mother, Yurika and her daughter who are hoping to stay in Canada on humanitarian grounds. The young daughter is half Japanese and half Kenyan which can be a cause for prejudice in Japan when people don’t fit into the usual patterns.
Thank you for the opportunity to share the ministry God has led me to after 42 years of church-planting in Japan.