When Jesus called His disciples, they never fully understood His sayings concerning the Kingdom. Even the 12 disciples were on their journey to discovering what Jesus taught concerning His death, burial and resurrection. Throughout His 3 years of ministry, their questions and reactions to His sayings varied from person to person, often awkward, and, at times, totally off. Yet Jesus loved them, invested heavily in them, lived with them, filled them with the Spirit, and sent them out on His mission — even though He knew they would make mistakes along the way. Even after His resurrection, He had to come and teach them again what the Scriptures had said about Him (Luke 24: 44-49).
The journey of making disciples in Japan is quite a similar process, often slow. We plow the cultural soil, plant Gospel seeds, water the seeds, and then wait for the rain, until the seeds start to sprout. And we do this over and over again. This year, God touched many people, and because of your prayers many are on their way to discovering the glorious Gospel of Jesus. We have had the privilege to see several people change in their attitudes towards the Christian faith, as many spiritual strongholds and cultural barriers were removed by consistent praying and the preaching and teaching of the Gospel.
Here are just a few of the many examples:
The painter was born in a Buddhist temple. Both her father and brother are monks. She came to our home group once and then attended our Christmas Preview service with her friend. Our team members noticed how she was taking notes during the short sermon and wondered what she thought. A few days ago, she sent us this art saying that she had painted it in light of what she heard at The Bridge Christmas preview service. In her own words, she wrote: “Your speech created the imagination.”
One non-Christian guest at our house recently said, “When I make mistakes, I often feel very bad in my heart. So understanding that we’re sinners and that Jesus died for our sins makes sense, because I won’t have to live a self-condemned life.” He later wrote to us saying, “I liked that delicious Indian curry very much, and the Bible study was so deep and significant. Thanks a lot.”
Another non-Christian stood up and voluntarily said, “After coming to The Bridge several times, I made a lot of friends. Though I’m not a Christian, I started to realize that I can’t live just for myself anymore.”
It takes a long time for Japanese to trust you, and open up their hearts, and give you honest feedback. When they can do this, they’re not far from honestly sharing what they think and feel about the Gospel message.
Here’s how you can help us:
Please consider helping us start 2016 strong by partnering with us financially. Your donations will go towards our Church plant in West Tokyo. We have a goal of raising $120,000 by August 2016. You can learn more about the Church plant vision and timeline here.
As you have opportunity, please pray for:
- Our SPIRITUAL well-being. Pray for our hearts, and our people that we may all draw closer to Jesus.
- HOUSE to rent in/near Shimokitazawa by March 2016.
- RECRUITING VOLUNTEERS & CORE TEAM building.
- FINANCIAL SUPPORT for living and ministry operations.
- CHRISTMAS LUNCH at our house on December 20th.
- FIRST ADVISORY ELDER BOARD meeting on January 16th.
- LOCAL & GLOBAL PARTNERSHIPS for our Church plant.
Merry Christmas from The Bridge, Tokyo! I hope you enjoy these pictures taken at our recent Christmas Preview service.
If you’d like to make a tax-deductible donation to support the Zorina’s work in Tokyo, you can do so via our online giving page. When prompted, simply choose “Zorina Support” from the drop-down menu.
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