Thank God for leading the church into the “Era of Youth Evangelism”! In the past two weeks, the young generation has taken to the pulpit, testifying to the Lord through their lives, and speaking to the generations. Hong Kong is still in turmoil and our church meetings are affected. I am comforted, and proud of our youth who hold fast to the Truth despite social pressure and peer pressure. Truly I hope that more children will follow God in this way, so that the two generations shall march on as one, as a beacon in this time of darkness, bringing forth the kingdom of God on Earth.
Last week, the curator team went to Sapporo in Hokkaido, Japan, where the Japan 611 Network Conference was held. Moreover, we rested, renewing and refreshing in body soul and spirit, as well as seeking God for His leading. Physically, we were away from the turbulent Hong Kong. Yet our hearts never left. It took us great effort to calm ourselves down. However, it still grieved us whenever bad news came through. In faith, we looked to God for the peace of Jerusalem to come upon Hong Kong! During the Network Conference, we prayed for Hong Kong, believing that as we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, the peace that we desperately need shall be given to us.
In Japan, I was delighted to see the growth of “Hesed 611” in Sapporo. After laboring for four years, the relationships of senior pastor Eiji Iwayama with his wife, three daughters, co-workers and us are maturing and growing more intimate. Evidently, his life has grown a lot and is now securely grafted to the Tree of Life in Hong Kong. Surely, they shall flourish greatly in Sapporo.
Due to the highly suppressive culture of Japan, it is a real struggle for them to be open, face relationship honestly, and grow to be Trees of Life. As a born and bred Japanese man, Pastor Eiji Iwayama willingly takes Hong Kong “611” as his mother church, and me as his spiritual father. Diligently he learns, overcoming his shortcomings; boldly he asks whenever he doesn’t understand or faces difficulties, and seriously he strives to adjust. Now, Pastor Eiji and his wife are growing in their marriage relationship: the wife is much happier, and the three daughters take great pride in their father. Knowing that Tree of Life DNA is planted in their lives, I am very grateful.
As for church team building, it was their first time to bring three marketplace disciples to meet us, which was a breakthrough because they were highly dubious when they first contacted “611”. Somehow, they thought that their world would be turned upside down and the church would be torn to pieces. After four years, their minds are broadened: they are able to freely express themselves and build true relationships. This is the essence of the Tree of Life. As their difficult time is over, now is the time to grow.
On the other hand, the Tree of Life 611 in Osaka is also growing gradually. The father of the senior pastor Izuru Miyazaki, who is also a pastor, joined the Network Conference as well. Through better communication, the father and the son learned together and understood in greater depth the core values of 611. Thank God that everyone is growing continuously.
Thank God for giving us the vision of Planting Trees of Life Everywhere in 52 Years. Indeed, Japan is a land which is hardened toward the Gospel. This time, I especially urged them to change their mindset – to stop thinking that the church should be poor and weak. We are not to hinder the growth of Church due to the deep-rooted Japanese culture. Today, God has begun His Work. Let us keep praying for 611 churches in Japan. Japan is to plant Trees of Life everywhere, which is a blessing to Japanese and Asian revival. • [2019.10.13]