The few days in Tokyo were for the support of two pastors and their ministries. The first was with pastor Chizuo of Calvary Chapel Kokubunji. We joined with members of his church to hand out flyers for a Saturday evangelistic outreach and concert at his church that is less than 50 yards from the train station. There was opportunity for some sharing of the faith and Hunter got into a conversation with a Jehovah Witness couple.
The team brought puppets which Pastor Chizuo said was effective in getting the people's attention. Japanese will typically not look at you when you reach out with a flyer, but because they first see the puppets their focus is disrupted for a moment opening a window to hand them a flyer. Since kids love the puppets, their parents are more willing to receive a flyer.
The second opportunity was a new one with a long time friend, Kaz Sekine, a pastor in Tokyo who is the chaplain of a private Christian daycare, pre-school and kindergarten located in Kawaguchi, an area northeast of Tokyo by 40 minutes. The school has approximately 180 children who are loved and taught the Bible and given a stable environment in their early years.
The area of Kawaguchi has a high amount of broken homes, parents with drug and alcohol abuse, and other family related issues that can and have affected the children. At times some parent(s) have even failed to pick up their child for a couple of days, so the school offers facilities to care for the children. Ministry to these children gives them stability and an introduction to Jesus.
Pastor Kaz, the team and the puppets started the day off with morning worship for the kids. When the team and puppets went amongst the kids there was a uproar of excitement. What a joy it was to see these children smile and get so excited to touch the puppets and interact with the team.
The team was then invited to participate in a Japanese traditional Tea Ceremony. Because many of the children have unstable homes they lack many of their cultural traditions. The school ensures these traditions are passed on. We will be sharing some of the team’s testimonies in the next post and the special experience this was to them.
This new opportunity has opened a door for our teams in the future to return and be blessing as well as being blessed. There is also an invitation for some longer mission work at the school in the future.