It is our desire to bring salt – the hope of the Gospel – to the people of coastal Iwate, and all of Tohoku, through authentic relationships. The Japanese will be drawn to Christ, not by gripping evangelistic literature or well-planned evangelistic events, but by seeing what Jesus looks like lived out in their own culture.
Our current efforts are focused on two main areas:
First, we are doing direct outreach in the city of Kamaishi with the goal of starting a cell-based church. We have been hosting various events where people can gather in a fun and relaxed atmosphere and have the chance to interact with Christians. One of our main targets for these events has been the young adults and young families that have seemed to get less attention in the tsunami relief efforts. As we gauge people who might have spiritual interest, we can follow up through more personal interaction. The hope is that once we have a small group of people who have responded to the Gospel, we can begin a cell church that will focus on discipleship, reproduce, and be driven by the contributions of the members.
Another important method that we use to connect with Japanese people is through tentmaking. People who would otherwise have no interest in church or contact with someone in ministry (particularly men) can be accessed by interfacing with them in a business or educational setting. Using things like industry, English conversation, and small business, we hope to connect with this segment of the population as well.
The second focus of our ministry is empowering Japanese churches and leaders. This mainly comes through our cooperation with the Japan Cell-church Mission Network (JCMN). In addition to things like training courses and discussion groups, we try to spend time helping and encouraging the Japanese who are here doing full-time ministry on the Iwate coast, all the while promoting the principles that help make churches healthy and reproducing.