Annual Report 2006 for LCJE Japan
By Charles Klingensmith, Chapter President LCJE Japan
Shalom from Japan to all our LCJE brothers and sisters in Messiah! Japan remains one of the least Christian places on the planet, and the Japanese Church remains in many ways shut in upon itself with little awareness of its own call to world mission. Mission to the Japanese people themselves seems to need all the resources and to take all the strength of Christian workers. In this context getting foreign mission on the agenda of the Japanese Church is hard work, and getting Jewish evangelism on the agenda is harder still. So LCJE Japan is happy to report two significant breakthroughs in our work during 2006.
First, an LCJE Japan member in cooperation with the Kansai Mission Research Center in Kobe translated into Japanese the Lausanne Occasional Paper no. 60 from the 2004 Forum held in Thailand, Jewish Evangelism: A Call to the Church. Mrs. Hiroko Kondoís translation was published in booklet form in April 2006 by a major Japanese Christian publishing house, Word of Life, and has been slowly but steadily selling among Japanese Christians, introducing many to Jewish evangelism and its importance to the Church, to the Jewish people, and the evangelization of the world before the Lordís return. LCJE Japan plans to hold study seminars for pastors and church leaders using the Japanese translation of LOP 60 as text, adapting it to the local Japanese situation as necessary.
Second, LCJE Japan hosted from November 1 to November 8 for a series of seminars, worship services, and lectures Pastor Shmuel Aweida of Congregation Beit Eliahu in Haifa. Pastor Aweida is an Israeli Arab believer in Jesus ministering to the Jewish people, and his witness was a powerful challenge to the Japanese Church, and a refreshing stimulus to LCJE Japan. He spoke in the major cities of Tokyo and Osaka, and at Kobe Lutheran Theological Seminary in Kobe, one of Japanís few fully accredited seminaries, and which serves many non-Lutheran Church bodies as well, so that some of Japanís future pastors heard for the very first time of the existence of Jewish evangelism and of its urgency and importance. He was especially well received in Wakayama in the Japanese hinterland, and we hope and pray that the seeds he sowed among young Japanese Christians will bear a harvest of Japanese workers actually serving the Jewish people someday. As a result of Pastor Aweidaís visit, the readership of LCJE Japan News increased by about 100 people, whom we count as grace upon grace, and we pray that these readers will spread the work of LCJE Japan in their own areas and in their own churches. Collections taken at these meetings for the work of LCJE Japan proved exceedingly generous, meeting all the financial burdens entailed.
LCJE Japan finished the year financially in the black (Japanese tax law does not make it easy to give to religious organizations) and we give the Lord Yeshua all the praise for this. We hold monthly prayer meetings in Tokyo and Osaka only, and since these are attended by only about 20 people each, almost all our members and donors are readers of LCJE News who otherwise cannot attend our meetings, usually alone in their local church bearing this burden for witness to the Jewish people and their salvation.
Thank you for praying for Japan, and for LCJE Japan!