“And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.” –Jeremiah 3:15 (ESV)
In 1951, Florence Miller entered Japan as the very first NAB missionary to the Land of the Rising Sun and the people who call it home. Over the last 67 years, the NAB has continued to send missionaries and pray fervently for this island nation.
Historically rooted in both Buddhism and Shintoism, the people of Japan view Christianity as a “foreign” religion and have been slow to receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Today, corporate skyscrapers and modern urban apartment complexes sit side by side with Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples, and a more secular mindset infiltrates the culture. Roughly the same geographic size as the state of California but with more than triple the population, Japan is home to some 127 million people living mostly in highly populated urban centers.
Currently Paul and Melissa Ewing, Shan Reed, and Yuri Nakano serve as NAB missionaries in Japan. They invest their time in church planting, evangelism, discipleship, and women’s ministry. Though the fruit of the ministry is slow to come in terms of numbers, our NAB missionaries continue to join God on His mission in Japan. People are indeed receiving the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ and learning what it practically means to be His follower.
For the past week, Dan Hamil has visited with many of the leaders within the Japan Baptist Conference (JBC), the conference of churches the NAB partners with in Japan. Dan has consistently asked how the NAB family could continue to pray for the people and churches of Japan.
Please continue to pray!
- Because Japan’s population is aging, there is a real need for younger pastors and leaders to plant churches in Japan. Ask God to raise up a new generation of Christian believers in Japan who would lead and pastor JBC churches.
- The work of evangelism is slow and challenging. Building relationships with people is primary in this process. Pray that Christians in Japan would continue to build effective and lasting relationships with those who don’t know Jesus Christ in order to communicate the Gospel message to many.
- Pray for the growth of women’s ministry in the JBC churches. Shan and Yuri have seen significant fruit and believe that women’s ministry can be a wonderful tool for discipleship and evangelism in communities.
- Pray that a new generation within the NAB would respond to the call of God and serve as missionaries in Japan. The harvest is ripe, but the workers are few.