Two weeks ago God led us to a trip in Japan – our first visit to branch churches after the pandemic. From this trip, I feel that Japan is ascending. We took our Japanese co-worker Yohane and his family to join our Sapporo branch in Hokkaido. Then we went to our Osaka branch and ordained Izuru and his wife Katsura as Pastor and C-Mo. There we also visited Taka and Meiji whom we had sent not long ago. These two branches have walked through more than seven years and experienced a lot of difficulties.
Thank God for speaking to us through astrological and natural phenomena. As soon as we landed in Sapporo, we saw beautiful light in the sky from our car. It seemed that God said, “My light shines upon you and nothing is impossible in My Presence.”
In Sapporo, we also saw flocks of swans and geese flying back to the north. I have never seen so many swans flying in a V-formation to the mountains. God seemed to reveal to us, “Whatever churches or lives of people, no matter how different qualities they may have, they will fly. Now, Japan branches are flying!” When we arrived in Osaka, the sakura flowers were blooming. Local co-workers said that usually, the blooming time would be two weeks later. But as soon as we got there, they blossomed. We know that God is going to use us.
God has indeed prepared a way for us in Japan. For a long time, it has been very difficult for the Japanese to keep a self-contained church. Many pastors need to have part-time jobs to earn extra income. However, we have been supporting our Japanese co-workers and allowed them to focus on discipleship. Now that more than seven years have passed, not only are they self-contained, they are even prospering. Meanwhile, the co-workers we have sent are couples in Japanese-Chinese pairs. They can not only attract Chinese but also spread the gospel to the Japanese, elevating the effectiveness of their work. Moreover, these branch churches can be bilingual, for instance, in Japanese and English, or in Japanese and Mandarin, elevating the language edge.
In this trip I have seen that our Japanese branches are ascending in many aspects, including marital relationships of pastors and the manpower of co-worker teams. Besides, we have taught them to use monetary resources more wisely and their church financial management is ascending too. Most importantly, the Tree of Life vibe is also transforming Japanese culture. The branch pastors are able to lay down themselves as husbands and confess sins publicly, breaking the strongholds of traditional Japanese men. I believe it will impact the whole city and even the whole country!
Thank God! Now is the season for the acceleration of God’s work. Let’s follow His steps closely and plant Trees of Life not only in Japan but also over the whole earth!■【2023.04.02】