Iwao gives reason why he came to Gohankai
This video is all in Japanese!
This students came to Gohankai (fellowship dinner) for 2 years while he was doing his MA. His mother is a Catholic beliver and he consider himself as Christian too.
In this video, he ways, " The reason why I came to Gohankai every month was not because of the food we cook together and it is ever so tasty. Yes it was fun but more over, listening what Bible says about life made me re-direct my path and start again. This is the reason why I came!"
This was powerful for us as we were not expecting to hear this from him at all! We took this video for a fun but it become one of the great tresure!!
On Wednesday, we do JBS (Japanese Bible Study) and was praying last Wed to think of this patitucer studnet, Hitomi. I wanted to know what she is thinking now after the last JBS she came. There we spoke about who is Jesus and she said Jesus is God.
When I met her, she needed to talk, she said she could not talk what was going on with her to anybody and didn't know what to do. She said she thought through and only the person she could think of whom can listen to her was me. I listened and in the end, I said, " I think today's scriputer we are supposed to read will help. Let's read bible, shall we?" So we did. There we spoke about what is seeking God's groly. Then we carried on talking about her issue, to find what she wants to do for the future. Towards to the end of the conversation, she said, " If the life is like what you say, I would chose that." So I asked " You mean, you want Juesu to become the 'driver of life' for you?" "Yes, that is what I mean."
So we praied for the prayer of confession. Althoug the situation she is in hasn't changed at all, she said "Somehow, I feel excited!"
Yes, we had another person who decide to follow Christ this week and I must say, that excitenement of following Christ is the beginning of the adventure, called LIFE.
I just spoke with one of the returnees who are about to get married. We are talking about the wedding and he was telling me that his non-Christian friends are coming. He said " I am hoing to give testemony and hope to reach to their heart", so I laughted and said that it sounds like he wants to do the out reach event. He looked at me and said " YES that is exactlly what I mean".
When did I miagined that he would think of his wedding as an "out reach event" when I was doing the Bible study with him? This is way beyond my imagination!
He also told me since his baptizm his family started to pray at the meal. He wanted to reach out to his family at his baptizm and we are seeing that.
This is what I dreamed 14 years ago when I came to Canada... well way before that, I started to dream about it when I was in UK, for the returnees to become missionaries to their own people! Well that was also my helitage from Hokkaido since I become Christian. God has been doing a great work and he is not the only one! I am hearing similer stories form few of my retuness. What a blssing!
After talking to him on Skype, I felt like I hear ths ound of God kingdom expanding. What a exciting sound, it is!
Akane become believer in Calgary through FOCUS club. I was connected to her just she become believer and helped her to be connected to Japanese Christian, churches, and campus ministry. I finally met her face to face last fall in Japan at "Gohankai (fellowshop dinner)" which was simply delight.
She came and staied with me for few days in Spring, there we talked about baptism and also the issues with her family. There we agreed that the place to be baptised needs to be in Japan.
Few months later, I had a message from her saying that she has decided to get baptized and her parents are planning to come for the baptism service! I was over joyed about!!
This video is her testemony a week before her baptism.
Following week, one other studet decided to become believer. She has been struggling to make this decision for 3 years! I was given this happy news 3 days after my accident. I was hit by car which was running 40km/h at the zebra crossing. She become Christian a day before the accident.
When I heard the second news the day finally I could stand and move a bit, then realized that the accident was not just accident. I suddenly realized that the enemy wanted to kill me but God saved me from it. It was unexplainable that I had no internal dammage, a part from concussion and soft tissue injury head to toe, as well as bruised born. Yes, it will take a bit of time to recover and be healed but I am stil arrive! There are more to be Christ follower and I know I have more things to do!
I am talking the course to be a Spiritual Director and went to the second intense course for a week. There, I saw the video with a Spiritual Director who talked about her prayer life. She talked how her prayer has been changed and towards to the end, she talked about her "compost pot" prayer. When she say to the others she is praying for them. she wondered what to do next. It become overwhelming and not knowing how to pray all. Then she found a ceramic made pot labeled as "compost". She decided to put all the names whom she said she would pray. Then she literally held it in her hand and hugged this pot and prayed. That story touched many of our heart. I have so many pictures on my office wall to pray now I have new way, less overwhelming way to pray for other people!!
The compost to me a symbol of something become good and become part of beauty and growth. A compost pot holds sureness of things turning into GOOD for others growth. It made sense and was good image for me to have!
I have decided to make a pillow with pocket for my prayer. I feel this will enrich and help me to pray more from now on!
I always wondered what is the meaninf of being an artist as well as missionary in Canada. While I was thinking, seems as if my art has been "put aside" and feel a bit sad about it. Then God acts. One of my friend who is a tea mixer needed urgent help at her stand and I filled it for her. Then I met this lady who is a writer trying to create a community for Japanese artist in Vancouver. She was intreagued what I do and why I do my art work and wanted to interview me.
I had her interview last month and then this is what she wrote about. She worte both in Japanese and English. Japanese one has more details but English one I found it interesting. Here is the link http://www.universitychapel.org/files/LE2017-FullManual.pdf
She worte ISMC and introduced it in the very nice way! I am very thankful how she wrote about me both in Japanes and English. As well, God has been intentional to encouraged me being an artist last 2 months in the vaious way. I spoke at Reaching Japanese for Chrsit internatinal conference as an artist and to me, art is the language inbetween head and heart. It communicate both in the very unique way and great vehacule for the out reach, which I mean meaningful conversation. I am looking forward to seeing how God will use me als as an artist this year!
We srated new term and we had Gohankai (fellowship dinner) kick off.
We recieved 4 new students from Tokai University and also we welcomed 4 Ritsumekan Uni students frist time for Gohankai.
We had great time cooking together, thinking together, sharing each other.
I am so looking forward seeing what God has planned for this semester for us!
I met these 3 girls at one of the FOCUS event, really "by accident".
Then they came to Gohankai (Monthly Fellowship dinner) this month and heard me reading "You are special" by Max Lucado. Later at night, one of the girl gave me a message saying "How could I find Japanese Bible? I have been studying Bible in English but I don't understand it and I would love to understand it". So I promised to give her new testament which I had.
When we went to one of the church Christmas concert, the girl who I gave the Bible said she wants to become Christian and already have permission from her mother but something is bothering her. So I promised to have coffee with her.
Other girl who was with her when I gave a Bible, she also wanted to have it. She was given one from my co-worker and then she could not stop reading it. She sent me messages saying how she was deeply moved by it. So I also asked her to come along for the coffee.
Then the other girl also tagged along for the coffee, just because she wanted to have lunch with us to try new Ramen shop.
So we had lunch and coffee today. I answered their questions and listened what was in their heart. After 1 and half hours chat, they all said " I want to accept Christ as my seviour!"
God's timing is so suprising and perfect. I met them only because they sat at the far back of the seat and we happen to have extra sheet for FORCUS students and one of the studnts found them and told me that they are also FOCUS club studnets. If the sheet was full, or unable to identify them as a FOCUS studnents, we would not be able to sit next to each other and started to talk. It is only 18 days since I met them but God made their heart ready and thirsty. All of them just sent me messages saying how they feel peace and joy after accepting Christ.
They are returning back in the beginning of Feb and they are already thinking of which church they should attend once they are back and I already connected them to some of the returnees workers back home. God already prepared their hert to looking forward to go to church in Japan which is amazing!
This is the video which we made about 4 years ago. JBS (Japanese Bible Study) started about 7 years ago with the Christian students who had a vision to support Japaese studnets who attend the English Bible study and share the Gospel. Most of the time the studnets who comes to JBS are non believers and we have great time to read Bible together. A lot of time, Christians learn something profound through what non believer says and it is amazing how we all find something new through JBS every week. The girl who speaks about what is JBS is one of the students who had started. I met her this year for the Gohankai (JBS fellowship dinner we do every month) in Tokyo. I will talk about Gohankai in other post, but it was clear that the visin has been passed on and continue as we discussed how we can make a place for the each person to shine and feel home where we can say "Tadaima (I am home)" and "Okaeri (welcome back home)". There we have place to learn from each other, weather one is Christian or not. It is amaizing what us Christians lean from non believers. JBS is the place whwere we grown together.
The view from my hospital room
I am very sorry that I could not write earlyer! Some of you know that I had a majour surgery on 24th Feb. This has been a very different experience both physically and spiritually for me. I am stil on the process of getting well and I appriciate your continuos support for me as it will be something which I need to be watch out and fight aginst it.
When doctor told me what was going on with my body, I was quite amazed as it made total sence, although first, I thought I didn't have any symptem but when I thought through, there were signe of it, such as extream tiredness and super low energy. I do recomend strongly if you have anything not quite right, do not wait but go to the doctor. It is better to check if there is something or nothing.
It was supporsed to be simple issue to take it out but it become more complicated as techitioan found out that it is spreaded. However, my doctor was amamzed that how the techintian could find this fact as it was so small. I must say, God works through the professions and I am very thanful for it. So this fact made my surgery 7 hours. When doctor was telling me this, I asked "then what will be the difference for me?" He said "nothing as you are sleeping". All I can say was "then I trust you will do the great job".
On the surgery day, I had to turn up at 6:00 a.m. My friend gave me a ride to the hospital and waited with me.
All of this surgery, what I did was doing exactly what I was told to do. That was my role. There is nothing I could do other than do what I was told, such as fasting from 10:00 p.m. , turn up at 6:00 a.m. and take all the injections and so on and on. I didn't give any "bright idea" nor did " I think this should work". What I was ask to do was being obedient. If not, I could not have surgery and without surgery, eventually I will die by it.
It is like being in the ministry. Yes, it seems we do things but first and formost, we are asked to be obedient to "the doctor's order". We must listen to our Lord's voice and seek His instruction and obey. He is already working and we are invited to His work. It is not I but Him.
Published a post on Vancouver - Izumi Araki
Commented on a post on Vancouver - Izumi Araki
Published a post on Vancouver- Izumi Araki
Published Diaspora Returnee ministry
Joined the community of National
International Student Ministries CanadaBox 1205, Three Hills AB, T0M 2A0
Find a Location in your area