2012 Japan – Brian Inhoe Kim

God is Moving in Japan!

Brian Inhoe Kim

“And he said to me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ And I answered, ‘O Lord God, you know.’ Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.” – Ezekiel 37:3,5,10

Most Christians say that Japan is a closed country. I had thought that, too. But what I saw and experienced through this summer’s missions trip has completely changed my perspective. God is moving in Japan in a new way, and He is calling His people to arise and shine!

This is my second missions trip to Japan. I had gone to Kyoto nine years ago and my team did similar ministry as what we did this summer: street evangelism and ministry with local churches. But during my first Japan missions trip, I felt a kind of spiritual pressure from the very first day. As I reached out to the Japanese people, I could sense the barriers and walls in their hearts. Our team didn’t see a single salvation during our trip. I came back to Korea with a great heart and desire for Japan, praying that the Japanese people would become open. I was eager to visit Japan again, and God answered my prayer by assigning me to the Japan team this summer out of the 5 different missions countries. A friend from last year’s New Philly missions team said that the 2011 tsunami had made the Japanese people open up their hearts, and that God is now moving in big ways. I couldn’t wait to go back!

In Japan, our team ministered with Noborito Ekklesia Church and another church called Fuse Jesus Community. Both churches were established by western missionaries. There are also full-time and part-time missionaries running English classes in the churches to share the Good News with the Japanese people. What we did mostly in Japan was to introduce these English classes through outreach or street evangelism. Just like in Korea, Japanese people are so interested in learning English but cannot speak English well. Therefore English classes are a very effective way to meet people and build relationships. When our team first tried to have conversations in English with people on the street, some ran away just like in Korea. But there were also many people who showed interest. For example, we were able to invite two girls from street evangelism to the English chat time at Fuse, followed by the Sunday Service. The girls attended both, and they were so blessed. Pray for them to be well-connected to Fuse Church community, and to receive Jesus as their Savior! There are testimonies of people getting connected through street outreach, receiving Jesus, then starting to serve as outreach leaders. The Lord is increasing these testimonies!

One specific expectation I had for this mission trip was seeing salvation through outreach, because I didn’t see any during my last trip. And God is faithful: we witnessed two salvations! One in particular happened at a place where I had not expected to see salvations at all. We had done outreach in typical places like downtown Tokyo, crowded train stations, and on the streets. But Pastor Mark, the head pastor of Fuse Church, arranged a time of evangelism at Enoshima Beach (the closest beach to Tokyo) because many young people gather there. I had never heard of people witnessing at the beach, and as we got there, honestly I didn’t think anything would really happen. Mark (the team praise leader) and I were worshipping while teammates were meeting people. Declaring God’s love and glory on the beach is pretty cool, so I just prayed God’s presence to be thick while we were worshipping and evangelizing. But then as I was singing, our teammate Kasi rushed to us, saying “Salvation! Salvation! We have a salvation!! I need Fuse’s flyer!!” I was BLOWN AWAY. Salvation at the beach? The beach was the last place I’d expected God to show up, but I realized once again that God is beyond our thinking and expectation, and even our plans. Nothing is impossible for Him!

Besides outreach, we also had fellowship with the Fuse and Noborito Church congregations. We had two joint prayer meetings with them and everyone was so blessed. At the second joint prayer meeting, many local Japanese Christians attended as well. We worshiped together and prayed together. We all also divided into groups and prayed for each other. As the praise leader, I was able to set the atmosphere with worship through singing and playing guitar. Even though I could not join a prayer group, I was so blessed watching people share their prayer requests, praying together, hugging, crying, and being deeply ministered to. It was heaven! People from Korea, the United States, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Japan were praying their hearts out for each other! It was so beautiful. God’s presence was so thick in that place, and I know that He was so pleased.

The Bible verse God gave me when I was preparing for this missions trip was Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones rising up to be a mighty army. And God is raising up this army. I was able to meet people of God in Japan: the missionaries who have been so faithful to His ministry for over 20 years, the Japanese sister who dreams of becoming a pastor and who commuted 4 hours to translate the sermon at Sunday worship, the Japanese brother who wants to walk a life of faith and obedience like Moses. We found a church and a Christian bookstore in the middle of Ginza, a place that is like the Manhattan of Tokyo. In ways big and small, God showed us through this trip that He is in Japan, He is moving in Japan, and He has great plans for Japan. The Lord has opened up the gates to this nation. It is time for us to all rise up and partner with Him!

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