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International

Light of the Gospel Shining Bright on the Japanese Islands

  • Nation | Japan
  • Date | June 04, 2009
ⓒ 2009 WATV
“When you preach the gospel overseas, you will face many obstacles and difficulties, but everything will be fine if you pray a lot and obey the words of God.”

Mother gave these words of encouragement to me when I left Korea to uphold the mission to evangelize Japan in January 2007. Since I had desired to carry out the gospel mission in Japan for a long time, I thought it was truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me. I engraved Mother’s words of blessing in my heart and joined on the front line of the gospel in Japan, being firmly determined to find my brothers and sisters dispersed throughout all Japanese islands.


Preaching Elohim, who is the upreme God, in the islands of gods

“A close but distant country!” This is how Koreans normally describe Japan. In my own experience, I felt that Japan was quite different from Korea in culture and lifestyle even though the both countries were closely neighboring to each other. I was able to realize the gap between the two nations more obviously while preaching the gospel in Japan.

Unlike Korea where half the population has a religion, most of the Japanese people are not interested in religion and even less in Christianity. Indeed, it is very hard to meet Japanese people at the churches in Japan. Not to mention church, most of them do not even know about the Bible. The people, who claim to be Buddhists, don’t actually follow the Buddhist doctrines.

Many people say, “I hate religion.” Ironically, however, on the streets there are numerous temples and shrines where they serve countless gods. Moreover, they believe that gods reside even in animals and plants, and make Kamidana (which is a small alter made of wood) in their homes to honor their ancestors day and night, and bow down before shrines to worship ancestors of royal families, national heroes and gods.

At first I was bewildered at this, but gradually understood that these rituals were only habitual customs that were passed down to them from ancient times, rather than an expression of their strong religious beliefs. Simply put, worshiping gods is more like a cultural practice rather than a religious activity.

For this reason, they didn’t seem to feel the necessity of a true faith. When we were about to talk about the Bible, they wouldn’t listen to us by waving their hands, and even though they listened to our preaching in a courteous manner and a gentle smile, they ended up turning their backs on us. I was greatly distressed whenever they treated me like that. However, as I looked at them with a heart like that of Father and Mother, I was able to figure out why their minds were so closed and how painfully their souls were groaning.

As you know, earthquakes occur frequently in Japan. Although it is rare these days, some experts say that this is a symptom before a great earthquake takes place. Moreover, there is a prediction that Mount Fuji which erupted around 300 years ago will become active soon. This makes people very nervous.

Besides, although Japan is economically a powerful country, their economy is now falling due to the world-wide economic crisis. They barely make ends meet by working from early in the morning until late at night. To make the matter worse, recently many people suddenly lost their jobs, and some even ended their lives by throwing themselves in front of a subway train. Yesterday and also today . . . every day people are disappearing from the world like that. It is indeed a drastic psychological disaster.

Even though they worshiped many gods to set themselves free from these kinds of crisis and fear, they couldn’t find a single light of hope, so they closed their hearts firmly. I felt so bad for them and preached to them the Almighty Creator our God Elohim, who are able to free them from all the disasters and despair. Even though they did not open their minds easily, I knocked on the door to their minds once, twice, three times, four times . . . just like our heavenly Mother did.


The wet firewood was ignited with the fire of the Holy Spirit

ⓒ 2009 WATV
Even though God is always with us, there was a preconceived notion that “it’s difficult to preach the gospel in Japan.” It was because there had not been any remarkable outcomes of the gospel in Japan even though the new covenant had been preached for over ten years. When the whole world was ignited by the Holy Spirit through the “Jerusalem Preaching Festival” and the “Preaching Festival of the Feast of Tabernacles,” the gospel work in Japan seemed to be ignited but soon died down as if it were wet firewood.

However, it was not because the members were lacking in zeal. Rather, they were diligently preaching the gospel with faith in Elohim and with the hope for heaven even under unfavorable circumstances. In spite of their efforts, the fruit of the gospel was not produced as much as they had expected. Whenever they felt like they were going to be exhausted, they reminded themselves of the Mother’s words, “Everything will be fine if you pray a lot and obey the words of God.”

Then they relied on God even more, and constantly preached the new covenant to bear the seed-bearing fruits, writing their earnest wishes to Mother.

In July 2007, a dream-like thing happened to us at last. God granted us a beautiful and gracious temple in Tokyo. We were overwhelmed with gratitude. Moreover, we were also blessed to bear good fruits who would become faithful gospel workers, whom we had longed for so much.

First, I would like to introduce Brother Hayamee. He is from Hiroshima, about 1,000km [620 miles] away from Tokyo. He came to Tokyo to play chess with members from his chess club, and happened to meet our young adult members. He carefully looked into the word of God and was immediately born again as a child of God. He studied the truth every single day, and realized immediately what he had learned. While doing so, he received the blessing of preaching, and also had the opportunity to join the overseas visiting group to Korea. All this happened in a very short period of time; it was a miracle indeed.

He received Mother’s love to the fullest in Korea. Since he came back to Japan, he has been striving to carry out his great mission for the gospel. Whenever he has time, he tries to deliver Mother’s love to each and every single soul, and God answers him with plenty of fruits.

When the Tokyo Zion expanded, God granted us another gospel worker; he is Brother Sato. He had received the truth through his wife, but rarely came to Zion. Afterwards, when the expanding construction of the Church building started, he volunteered to help with the work because he was skilled in the areas of construction. After that, he gradually attended worship services and studied the word of God. After visiting Korea with Brother Hayamee, he grew strong in faith. Brother Sato has now become a pillar of Zion, and leads the male adult group.

Normally, the Japanese brothers and sisters are not accustomed to expressing their feelings, so they rarely cry even though they are deeply moved. They only keep it deep down in their hearts and express it through obedience and fruit. As the Japanese gospel workers awoke and arose like that, the hearts of all the other members were burning. As a result, the gospel work in Tokyo started to be ignited. At the beginning, we only proceeded with enthusiasm and went through many trials and errors. However, as we were all become one, only thinking, ‘How should we do to save every single soul?’ God granted us wisdom every day and allowed us to lead many precious souls to salvation.

Wet firewood is not easily kindled, but once it is kindled, it does not go out. The Tokyo Zion, which had been like wet firewood, was finally kindled. The ignited fire has continued to burn up until now, and is heating up all the Japanese Islands. Mother’s prayer and Her word of blessing has kindled the fire of the Holy Spirit in the Tokyo Zion. I give eternal thanks and glory to Heavenly Mother for trusting us and giving us strength continually.


Shining the light of the gospel all over the Japanese Islands

Japan consists of four main islands: Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu. It is divided into 47 administrative districts including one To (Tokyo, Capital Metropolitan), one Do (Hokkaido), two Fu (Kyouto and Ohsaka) and 43 Ken (Prefectures). When the gospel was not actively spreading, we wondered when the gospel of the new covenant would be preached throughout Japan. However, now it is being spread at lightning speed.

Last April, we heard the joyful news from Osaka which is 600km [380 miles] away from Tokyo. The news was that a lady wanted to study the truth of the new covenant after hearing God’s word from her sibling living in Australia. I went to Osaka in a hurry with excitement and met three of our lost heavenly family members including Sister Ahbe. Sister Ahbe, who had been searching for God for a long time, accepted the words of the water of life deep in her heart, and immediately preached the truth to her acquaintances. As a result, in just five months Zion was established in Osaka, too, which had been barren for the gospel.

Last November, Brother Hayamee’s whole family accepted God Elohim in Hiroshima. After hearing the news about the family gathering event named the “Jerusalem Festival for Families” held in Korea, he went to Hiroshima in obedience to the Mother’s words given at the Festival, “Convey the blessings of heaven to your family.” After receiving the word of God as sweet as honey, his family members put their faith in God Elohim. Now they devoutly hold every worship service together in one place.

Some time ago, we heard another delightful news from Okinawa. The news was that a Japanese sister, who had received the truth in Korea, preached to her family in Okinawa and they were waiting to receive the promise of salvation. In an instant, the light of the gospel shone in Okinawa, the southernmost island of Japan. Moreover, the light of the gospel illuminated the other prefectures in Japan such as Saitama and Shiga, where many heavenly family members are now praising God Elohim.

The flag of Zion waves even in far distant regions, where we didn’t expect the gospel would reach so quickly. Such amazing work is now occurring overnight. God is swiftly accom-plishing the gospel in Japan like a flash of lightning. I believe that if we, who were called earlier, completely rely on God and arise together while being more united in mind, the glory of God Elohim will illuminate the 43 prefectures and all the other cities in Japan within this year.

The gospel work in Japan has just started. Metaphorically speaking, it is like a train that is put on the track after all its parts have been assembled and combined together. In this new year, I will forcefully run the railroad of the gospel, relying only on Heavenly Father and Mother and emitting a strong fragrance to the whole world, so that I may please Mother.

Almighty God Elohim! May Your splendid glory shine all over the Japanese Islands and the sound of our praise reach high up to heaven and resound there!
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