From the 24th to the 29th i was in Seoul, Korea. The new Japanese church in Yongsan-gu were extremely hospitable hosts, letting me stay there, making sure i had enough to eat, taking me to see other Seventh-day Adventist institutions and to the public sauna/baths, and even letting me give the sermon/1858 Great Controversy study in the church on Sabbath with around 15 in attendance. This was truly amazing. Being in Japan for 15 years, i’ve only been asked once before to give a sermon. And here, with a pastor i’ve never met before, he trusts me to feed his very youthful flock without even having ever met me! Amazing.
The pastor had told me in a email that he wanted me to give a testimony, so i was expecting 10 minutes or so during the Sabbath School time. But when i arrived, he said i was the main speaker! When i told him i’d like to study chapter 32 of the 1858gc with everyone, he said i could do my testimony and then the study, which we did after putting all the chairs in a circle. I guess there were around 15 present. I think 3 or 4 of the people are not SDA and maybe not even Christian yet. Even tho over half of the people were Korean, they were typical Japanese style with keeping quiet most of the time. After the study one couple seemed deeply affected, and asked a few questions. It was a great experience for me to be able to carry out a study in Japanese. One nice thing was, there was no spirit of doubt in the writings of Ellen White, and there was no put-down of myself either, both things that are quite common in my travels. I gave everyone a book, and pray that the Holy Spirit will work on hearts now. Around 1/2 of the people stayed all afternoon, and we had a little sundown-worship too. The pastor told me there are quite a few young pastors in the Japan Conference who are very dedicated, and waiting for opportunities to help lead the starving sheep into green pastures. May God hear their earnest cries, and incline his ears to my heartfelt prayers that something be done to awaken the sleeping church in Japan.
The pastor said that he read that Japanese were 30 times more likely to become Christians while outside of Japan, rather than in their own country. I can believe it, because i’ve heard of quite a few cases like that myself. He said even a Japanese ambassador’s wife was baptized into the SDA church last year! But really, one of the best ways to evangelize the Japanese, may be to approach them when they are not in their comfortable “cocoon” of this island nation. Then again, maybe a certain nuclear reactor will drive them out of their cocoon soon!!
Thanks for everyone’s prayers to come back into Japan. I was forced for the first time to buy a ticket back to Korea before i could leave Seoul. But Asiana airline refunded all except around 35usd after i arrived in Osaka, so not too bad. The immigration officer didn’t say anything, but again, that may have been because i did have that ticket carrying me back out of Japan, something they like to see.
I really have to get a visa soon. More and more it is on my heart and hands that i need to WORK for my own health’s sake, and especially to help spread God’s words in the various countries. Please pray that if it is the Lord’s will i stay here in Japan, that the Lord will open the way. I just want to follow where he is leading 🙂 Thank you Jesus for this wonderful experience in Seoul, and i pray that the Yongsan Japanese Church will grow brighter and brighter in leading many to Jesus there.