From the Editor
This month we want to talk a little about Christmas events. In Japan, Christmas remains one of the best times to talk to people about Jesus as we explain naturally through the Christmas story.
Matt is working in Ritto church and would like to share a little about his experience this past Christmas.
News and Prayer Points
WEC Japan bid farewell to Simon and Henrietta Cozens and their two children this month. The Cozens served here since 2008, and were known for their ground-breaking work in the house church movement, along with pioneering WEC work in the city of Kyoto. They leave to teach at the WEC Bible College in Tasmania. Their thoughtfulness and courage will be missed. Please pray for them in their new roles.
This month saw some restructuring of the media team. Ron and Yoshimi have joined as the new coordinators of the team. Nick and Eunjyong remain on the team, and Matt will continue to help with what he can. Please pray for the team as we re-organize.
Two media projects are being developed. Joel, a short-termer from Germany, has produced a video to promote the work of WEC Japan. He is also working to re-design the field website to make it more attractive and accessible. Praise God for his efforts, and we pray for their usefulness.
A Tale of 2 Parties
“Are you sure you guys can handle it? There are a lot of people coming!” said our friend Mrs. A, breathlessly over the phone.
We assured her that we would be fine, but after we hung up doubt set in. She had called about the annual kids Christmas party for Ritto Christ Church, where we served as cooperating mis- sionaries. Helped by the connections we had in town through our five kids, we felt the excitement pass through the crowd of children when we handed out invitations to the party. Japanese are group-oriented people, and when a “critical mass” begins heading one di- rection, the rest tend to follow.
We had not experienced this mass movement effect, however, until now, when it felt as though our entire sec- tion of town was talking about the par- ty. In a moment of panic we called Rit- to’s pastor and asked her how many she had planned for.
“Thirty-five,” she replied.
“Better make that fifty.”
“We can’t fit fifty kids in the church.”
“I know. We’ll have to have the smaller ones at our house.”
And so, when 54 kids came as predict- ed, the smaller ones went to our house while the older stayed at the church. Along with parents and helpers, we had
80 people, a historic crowd for Ritto and most churches in Japan! After games and songs, the children all lis- tened attentively to the message, and afterwards, several expressed their surprise at the resurrection of Christ. Sown into little minds still forming and receptive, we pray that someday these gospel seeds will bear fruit for eternity.
Down the road at Kusatsu Church, they got creative. Realizing that Japanese kids like Santa Claus, missionaries Jae Hyun and Sewon Choi stood outside the local elementary school wearing Santa hats and passed out invitations to their party. Although almost no kids had come to their weekly Sunday school program, they were delighted to find 39 kids walk through the door for their Christmas party! They followed the pattern of games, songs, Christmas message, and craft before sending the kids home with a present.
Lessons learned? For one, the Japanese love Christmas! It is the best time of the year for missionaries to share their message. Two, when a neighborhood trusts you, they will come to your events as well, and in large numbers! Pray that someday, we will see a “mass movement” here towards salvation in Jesus Christ.