There is so much that I would like to write about last weekends SEEK09 outreach to Japanese international students. In general I felt that it was a great success. The event was hosted at SaRang Community Church, a Korean church in Anaheim California and there where about 500 in attendance up 250 people from last years SEEK08. Things got kicked off at 2pm and ended at about 9:30-10pm, it was a full day of sporting events, meals, stages performances, prizes, gospel choirs, and so much more.
For me, the highlight of the evening was hearing (via translation) a messaged given by Mr. Nakashima Takashi Bum. He is a Japanese pastor at Love Joy Peach Church in New Jersey’s and shared with us an amazing story of how his Dad, who was one of the top leaders of the Japanese mafia, became a Christian. That God’s love is freely give to even the most deplorable of people. His key verse was Isaiah 43:4…
“Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you…”
I was very encouraged to experience the gospel preached (and be able to understand it) in a Japanese context. He briefly touched on Japan have over 8,000,000 gods, beliefs about evolution, suicide issues, and then brought it all together with the gospel. That there is only one God he demonstrates his love by bearing our sins on the cross, so that even guy like Mr. Nakashima Dad can experience the love of God.
As far as I am aware of, 10 Japanese students became Christian and I am sure that through all of the events and experiencing Japanese Christian community many others will begin to seek the truth… let pray that those who heard would seek after the Lord. Jesus says “seek, and you will find.”
I was blessed to be able to attend and volunteer at this event and help labor to reach Japanese with the gospel. Seeing the gospel spread to Japan is very near to my heart.
For those of you who would like to see more of what happened I have included pictures and videos from last weekend below
SEEK09 Eve, the night before
The night before the main SEEK09 event was to begin a worship session was held for the staff, volunteers, and those attending who were Christian. It was really encouraging to start things off, connecting with each other, praising the Lord, and praying for those who had never heard the gospel and experienced the love of Christ.
(Reconnecting with Sam was an unexpected surprise. When I was serving in Tokyo Sam was in Yokohama)
(Praising Jesus, yes in Japanese. The whole event was in Japanese with minimal English)
(Kuni, pictured here was the main person helping rally everyone together with all the details of planning SEEK09, he had a very good team that worked really hard with him to make SEEK09 possible, ありがとう!)
Next Day Preparations
The next morning everyone was back early to help setup for the days events.
(Assignments, coffee, and donuts)
(Friends from Las Vegas Japanese Church join in setting up, it was good to see them again)
(The event was from 2pm to 9pm, but volunteers where there from 10am to 12 midnight)
Everyone attending was divided into regional teams for sports competition, it was the kick off of SEEK09. I missed most of this as I was volunteering with things elsewhere, but i had a friend take some pictures for me. The sports activities included jump roping, relay races, and tug-of-war.
(Radio taisō, refers to the warm-up exercises popular in Japan)
(I was able to get back just in time for the final competition…)
(Here my team leaders from the “Rice Of Life” ministry prepares us for tug-of-war with demonstrations…)
(…and it paid off, we came in second place)
The Main Event
It began with a fashion show in which those attending competed for first prises. Then a group of college students who are members at SaRang church performed the Lifehouse’s Everything skit that has gained tremendous popularity the past year or so. There where also musical performances from Asiah, A Japanese praise team from Hokkaido Japan, Conerstone Gospel Choir from Long Beach, and Victory Bible Church’s gospel choir from Pasadena. Gospel music is very popular in Japan but many do not know the real heart behind it being the gospel of Jesus Christ.
(Got my picture taken with Asiah, she is a talented singer and uses music as an outreach)
(I was privileged to manage the spotlight during the fashion show. It sounds like a really important job but all I had to do was turn it on at the right time)
(Gospel music -clip-)
(Mr. Nakashima preaches the gospel…)
(and here through his prayer invites the hears into relationship with Jesus by a raised hand… is your hand raised? -clip-)
Wrapping Things Up
Everything came to a close on a very up beat note with a final raffle and then goodbyes.
(There where some really good gifts for the last few raffles -clip-)
(the winner of the raffle for the grand prise)
(It turns out that the winner was on my tug-of-war team)
(With that the end of SEEK09…)
(… at least it was the end for those who attended, for the staff and volunteers there was still work that needed to be done to restore SaRang church for Sunday service the next day… most of us finally left at about 11:30pm to 12 midnight. But it was all worth it. Here, the staff and volunteers gather for final acknowledgement and praises to the Lord for the days events. お疲れ!!!)