No orchestral piece was needed this morning as JP’s newly bought Disneyland Tokyo orchestral CD’s played all night giving everyone dreams of Mickey Mouse and Pluto.
The team once again departed from the hotel at 7:45 for breakfast at the Royal Host. To continue the morning ritual they then drove the the Heyoshedai park for a time of prayer and bible study before beginning their ministry in Togane. Shannon this time shared numerous passages about godly women as this narrator has pointed out in past times that their are significantly more female believers in Japan. See below for the complete story on why this has occurred.
After morning worship the team set out for prayer in the neighborhoods and to finish the distribution of the New Testaments and other Christian literature. Near about noon time Shannon and Jeremy wandered around the international college to try and speak with English speaking Japanese students. There they met no success as many students either did not know any English or simply just did not care to talk. Meanwhile the rest of the team finished passing out the rest of the literature, bringing the amount to around 2,000 for the three days.
The team then set out for a small pastry and coffee shop in Togane where they met the Toda family and heard two of the daughters perform an original song. See below for the full story on the Toda family.
With the last hours of the afternoon and the evening approaching the team then set out to pray over a Buddhist temple. Many Japanese come to pray at this temple to their gods or any god who will listen, to give incense or money offerings, and pray to dead ancestors. Pray that God will tear down these strongholds in Japan and prepare the soil as missionaries and local Japanese believers take the word to the local communities.
The story of the Toda family
The Toda family owns a small coffee and pastry shop and vineyard/garden off the beaten trail in Togane. Mr. Toda for reasons unknown to the family decided that life was no longer worth the living and was found by his oldest daughter not that long ago. This left the mother to take care of the shop, the garden, and the vineyard along with her 3 daughters. The vineyard was Mr. Toda’s responsibility and no longer brings in the income as it did and the oldest sister is off to school in Australia leaving Mrs. Toma, Isuzu, and Tomie (toh-me-eh) with the shop to bring in their only income. Toma and Isuzu are also small town artists who produce music, perform, and sell their CD’s in the family shop. Emiko, Lana, and Tak have shared with the family before and today the team had a chance to meet them and give Isuzu some Christian literature for her 2st birthday (May 28th). There is still no change in the Toda’s families hearts towards the gospel and they still find difficulties physically and spiritually since losing a husband and father. Please pray for Christ to draw the Toda family unto himself and take their burdens to Christ.
The problem with many Japanese men
As many know the Japanese take work very seriously and are expected to work many days and long hours. For working men this could mean leaving before the sun is up and coming home well after sundown 5-7 days a week. Many will stay at work the entire 5 or 6 days because they commute an hour or two and may need the time to sleep rather than drive home causing many Japanese men to live a separate life from their families who the hardly ever see. All of this causes great stress on the men and is much of the reason that the rate of depression and suicides in Japan is the highest in the world. Sometimes daily men will jump in front of trains even to the point that the train station will not charge money to the families for inconveniencing them and their passengers. To add to the stress, many Japanese men have a great feeling of need for independence, to rely on no one and provide for themselves and their family. Thus many Japanese men see Christianity, a religion of dependence on Christ, as something for women, children, and weak men. Please pray for God to breakdown this stronghold in the minds of Japanese men. Pray that they will see that by giving up their independence, their life, that they will gain it. Pray that God will raise up godly men to lead the church in Japan.
No alarm clocks were needed as the Japan team experiencing jet lag woke up at 5 A.M. feeling like the sun should be falling down soon. The morning was quite surprising as they woke up to the sound of a chainsaw next door… Wait. No worries. Maurice is just sleeping in. John Paul was already up with his morning coffee started and his jogging shoes on ready for his morning run. Shannon, Jonathan and Jeremy were ready early and spent the morning in the word and other literature of which Maurice and John Paul joined them in when they finished their respective morning rituals. Tak and Lana finished up some last minute preparation in anticipation for the day.
Next, pancakes and eggs (mmmmmm) at the Royal Host made for a rather large and needed breakfast. As our new friend Karen put it: “You always wake up hungry when jet lagged.” Never spoken so true Karen. After breakfast the team drove from Tobu Narita over to the city of Togane where they would spend the rest of the afternoon.
Stop one: The Heyoshedie neighborhood. Here is where the team met for a short morning worship together in order to give praise and thanks to God, to give him glory and to ask for his will to be done. The team then spent the next hour and a half or so in prayer over the neighborhood and the next hour and a half passing out New Testaments. Lunch at Jonathan’s and then stop number two: another neighborhood in Togane that this narrator can’t seem to recall the name of. We spent about the same time on prayer and the passing out of New Testaments. Tak tried sharing with a lady at her house who “already had a religion” while Jonathan and Shannon shared with another lady who was “91 years old and was just sitting down to take a rest from her walk.” She was more receptive and took the literature we passed to her. The team passed out about 600 New Testaments total.
After that much walking, the team stopped for beverages at a small coffee shop in down town Togane where the owner was a fellow believer in Christ. Jeremy played the guitar and they sang a few songs, then headed home for dinner at the mall (sushi for some of us including the protected whale) and finally rest at the hotel in preparation for another day.
The team arrived safely in Narita and checked into the hotel about an hour and a half ago. They have already been at work, unloading materials to label for distribution.
We are presently having orientation for the team and it is 3:30 a.m. Sunday morning so if any of you are awake there in Alabama, I am sure they would appreciate your prayers to be able to stay awake. J
Thank you for your prayers for the safe arrival of the team. Continue to pray for them. Pray for them to quickly overcome jetlag.
Also pray to God for divine encounters and an outpouring of the Holy Spirit as they go prayer walking, distribute literature, share testimonies with non Christians they meet this week.
Ask God to give them just the right words as they share in meetings with the Christians (and some son-Christians) at Tabiji group home (Thursday) and the house churches (Tuesday and Wednesday) in Togane.
Claiming His Promises for His Glory,
Lana (writing for the team)