In 2015, Christians in Japan came together in large gatherings to pray, worship, and share the good news. In January, Bill Johnson from Bethel Church taught in Tokyo on the Kingdom of God, encouraging attendees to pray for each other to believe in God’s work of healing. In May, in the city of Kobe, 4,000 Christians from Japan, Korea, China, and other parts of East Asia saw pastors from those countries crying and hugging as they promised to walk in love with each other. One leading Japanese pastor shared that he had not modelled the Father to his children but had parented them in the way his unsaved father had parented him. His openness caused spontaneous reconciliation amongst many pastors, church members, and their families. Finally, Franklin Graham held a large Tokyo evangelistic rally at the end of November, which was a wonderful partnership between churches, their members and the rally staff. We were personally blessed as a neighbour attended with Rhonda.
2015 has been an important year for YWAM Tokyo, seeing the Lord gather 15 students, including 4 from Japan, and 10 staff for our first International DTS, (or IDTS), held bilingually in English and Japanese. Derick Domae and I co-lead the school which began at the end of September. We are coming to the end of the lecture phase and looking now to outreach to Thailand and the Philippines, beginning just before Christmas. I hope to spend a week’s pastoral visit with each of the three outreach teams beginning in early January.
One story illustrates the wonderful sense we have of the Lord’s guidance in the school. Some DTS students were wanting to be baptised and we made arrangements to have the baptism on a particular Thursday. That week’s lecture series required a schedule change, meaning the baptism would be on the Wednesday, which was Remembrance Day! I realised that we were remembering those who gave their lives as a sacrifice for our freedom, and that those being baptised were showing the sacrifice which the Lord Jesus Himself made for our freedom.