Japan Teachers and Parents Education Report
God gave us a precious opportunity to visit Japan for T&PE ministry from April 17th to May 9th 2017. There were six cities we went and nearby chapters gathered (within 2 hours driving), so it nearly covered whole chapters in Japan (15 chapters all). Six cities were Nagasaki, Gifu, Tokyo, Tokai, Fujisawa and Sendai from south to north. There are over 50 missionaries with more than 70 growing children.
To M Isaac, it was 42 years after first short term mission trip to Japan for 4 months period in 1975 to pray for planting the seed of the gospel with the 1st UBF missionary to Japan, Kyung-ja Koh. As we know that Japan has Christian less than 1% of her entire population. It was a miracle and the work of God compared to the present spiritual situation of Japan. It was so wonderful to see our missionaries face to face, and we were mutually encouraged. On top of that, we shared what we have been experienced and learned T&PE for the emerging generation in our ministry.
T&PE is “Teachers and Parents Education”. Through the serving children ministry, we realized that parent’s and teacher’s roles are the most important for our 2nd gen ministry. Of course, educational programs for 2nd generation are important. More than that, teachers who can handle these programs need more ability and passion for the students. Parents should give good spiritual influence as role models to their children in their homes. As a matter of fact, teachers are parent, and parent are teachers for CBF children. In this way parents pass on their faith to their children based on the Bible. These are the reasons that we prepared lessons for parents and teachers, and educate both of them as much as possible. Our 2nd generations are our hope. Therefore, education for them is our future. Our goal is to build up strong families based on the Bible so that strong families of God may make a strong church which can serve campus evangelism as well as the world mission.
These are the lessons for parents (2), and teachers (2):
“The godly family in the world mission”(Gen 1:28) Relationship between family & world mission
“Children Bible Fellowship” (Lk 2:52)-------- Purpose of children ministry, & how to do it with what?
“Family discipleship” (Dt 6:5-7)--------------------Why do we need family discipleship, & how to do it?
“Teachers self-development” (1Pe 5:2-4)----------Teacher’s role, & how to improve by themselves?
***Languages are English and Korean with power point.
Nagasaki (joined together with Fukuoka):
Lesson #1 and 3 in English with M. Rebecca Choi’s life testimony.
Dr. David and Sarah Jun in Nagasaki have 7 children. First daughter, Sarah graduated in college and work as a preschool teacher, 3 sons, David, Ab & Joseph are in college, 2 daughters, Megumi & Anna in high school, and youngest Joanne is able to run fast that she joins a soccer team in her grammar school. Dr. David Jun is the professor of Nagasaki University. M. Sarah was so happy to see visitors and call us the end of our trip with text, “Thank you for being a spiritual father and mother of Japan”.
Nagasaki is a harbor city in the southern part of Japan. Also she is famous in two ways in Japan: Atomic bomb drop in August 9, 1945, and first opening city in Japan to the western merchants at Dejima (island), and catholic missionaries. Also it began the persecution for Christianity for more than 250 years from beginning this city. It reveals in both book and movie title, “Silence”.
Many students came to Bible study but not many remnants. It is the present spiritual condition of Japan. But we were very much encouraged by their spirit and keeping faith to the end. May God raise up all their 7 children as shepherds for Japanese students in God’s time.
Dr. Joseph and Naomi Choi came all the way from Fukuoka. Both of them came from Tokyo UBF last year when Dr. Joseph was hired in Fukuoka University as a professor. Naomi is a native shepherdes who graduated in Tokyo National University, yet she was humble, quiet and obedient woman of God. They have 2 children; Toshiya & Mina.
Gifu (joined together with Osaka, Kanazawa):
Lesson #1 and 3 in Korean with M. Rebecca Choi’s life testimony
After 2 hours flight from Nagasaki, we arrived at Nagoya airport, middle part of Japan. Dr. Paul and Maria Kwon in Gifu have 2 children: Paul & Hannah. Dr. Paul Kwon built his house as Bible center, wishing that God may fill his spacious house hall with many Japanese students. We met in Dr. Paul Kwon’s house church with 6 members all. M. Moses and Rebecca Hong from Kanazawa, they have 2 daughters. M. Moses Hong had hard time to get a job in the mission field. But he didn’t give up his prayer topic for Japan. God is blessing his business that he can live as a lay missionary. Abraham and Sarah Noji from Osaka with their 2 sons: Isaac & Yuki. Abraham Noji is an ancestor of faith from Osaka ministry, and speaks fluent Korean. Although Korean missionaries left, he is keeping life of faith up to now in Osaka. After he listened 2 lessons about children’s spiritual education, he was happy about that UBF cares children too, not just college students. His wife, Sarah came from NY UBF. She is fluent English speaking Japanese shepherdes. She has eager desire to learn family discipleship that she came to meeting right after her father’s funeral.
Lesson #1 and 3 in Korean with M. Rebecca Choi’s life testimony
Sendai city was remembered as tsunami several years ago. There were still traces of natural disaster here and there. In addition, there were surrounding high mountains with white snow although it was late April. After almost 2 hours ride of Singancen which is the fast train in Japan from Tokyo, we arrived at Sendai.
Dr. Paul and Dr. Pauline Jo in Sendai have 3 daughters: Ayako in college, Esther in high school and Yeji is 5 years all. After listening lesson #3, second daughter told us that she must stay at Sendai to serve parents’ ministry. She had a plan to go away from Sendai for her college education. Her parents were so happy to hear their daughter’s encouraging. They are struggling to establish campus ministry. But it was not easy to do so although M. Pauline is a PhD. professor in college. They have a big house among missionaries in Japan. The reason that they want to fill their house with the worshipers of God in God’s time.
In addition, Dr. Paul asks us for short term English teacher for Sendai. A couple of years ago, hey had many college sheep because of short term English teacher from America. They want to revive God’s work again even to depend on English teacher. Because most of Japanese students want to learn English. They cannot pay, but they can provide food and lodging for short term English Bible teacher. May God accept their sincere desire to serve Japan mission and bless their five loaves and two fish abundantly.
A wedding between Caleb Lee and Sachiko Sone
In order to participate in a historical wedding in Tokyo, we left Sendai 7 am by Dr. Paul Jo’s car with his 4 family members. It was 350 km distance from Sendai to Tokyo. Through this traveling, we could experience the many parts of Japan such as country side, industrial district, metropolitan area and so on. The beautiful scenery in both sides of high way did not make us boring for five hours at all.
This wedding was a historical event in Japan ministry. So far, there were several house churches between missionaries and natives. However, this wedding was special between Caleb Lee, 2nd generation of Korean missionary, and Sachiko Sone, native shepherdes. Through this we could see that hope and vision of God in the land of Japan. Also, many young Japanese nationals came to celebrate this wedding. They were Bible students in Tokyo UBF. Also delegations from 13 out of 15 chapters came and joined for this wedding and thanked God for his blessing. We were blessed that we could join as prayer servants to bless this new house church as a witness of God’s mighty work.
Lesson #1 and 3 in English with M. Rebecca Choi’s life testimony
Shepherd Peter Lee is a Malaysian who was fished by Dr. David Jun in Nagasaki University while he was a student. He was a faithful Bible student. Then, he established a house church with M. Maria Lee, a graduate student from Korea in Nagasaki. Their last name is same “Lee” but he is not a Korean, different nationals. He had been worked as a branch manager in Singapore and Thailand for 6 years. He came back to main office in Japan last year and settled down in Fujisawa. He purchased a house near the Fujisawa engineering University in order to serve campus students.
Shepherd Peter and M. Maria Lee have 2 children: Zion is in high school and daughter Iri is in middle school. Iri loves CBF and her friends in Tokyo CBF so much that she goes Tokyo every Sunday by train and takes care of CBF children too.
Tokay (joined together with Mishima, Sizuoka & Keio):
Lesson #1 and 3 in Korean with M. Rebecca Choi’s life testimony
We arrived at Tokay from Fujisawa after 2 hours by train. In Tokay there are 3 families. M. Abraham and Hannah Park have 2 sons: John & Joseph. M Stephano and Monica Choi have 3 children: Kisu, Kisung, & Monica. M Marko and Lydia Kim have 4 children: Samuel, Daniel, Bokwon, and Haeun. M Jeremiah and Liz Kim from Keio have 2 sons: Kina & Yeto. Dr. Thomas and Sarah Kang from Mishima have 2 sons Joseph and John. M Joseph and Maria Seo from Sizuoka have 4 children: Maria, John, Samuel, and Anna. Thus, God blessed them with many children that they can prosper and increase numbers in foreign country.
Although the co-workers in Tokay are young and almost same ages, they work together and serve God’s work together well. They have their own Bible house for students, and meetings for missionaries and children. In special occasion they call neighbors such as Mishima, Sizuoka and Keio missionaries and children. When we visited Tokay, it was customarily called a golden week holiday that included three days week day as national holiday. The most of Japanese enjoy these total five days holiday. However, our missionaries devoted themselves to learn about godly family and family discipleship together through our visiting. M Jeremiah Kim in Keio is handicapped due to polio in his childhood. But he overcame it by faith and finished a college in Japan. By God’s grace he established a house church with M. Liz who was an intern shepherdes in Kyung-hee-moon chapter. They became missionaries for Japan. Since then, M Liz became his legs as his car driver. In this way they are serving Keio ministry and taking care of Tokay HBF children. It was beautiful to see this wonderful servants of God who are living by faith and pray for young souls in Japan. Dr.Thomas Kang in Mishima was ill with Parkinson’s disease. So his wife, Sarah is driving all over. She got PhD. and teachs Korean in college.
After education, we had one day picnic in the field including children. It was total 31 members. We enjoyed BBQ together with conversation with our front line missionaries especially for “One or two families ministry, 2nd generation spiritual education, and their marriage matter, and so on.”
Tokyo (joined together with Chiba & Toshima):
Lesson #1, 2, and 3 in Korean with M Rebecca, and Isaac’s life testimony
We visited Tokyo 3 times: one for transit, second for a wedding and third for T&PE. We were moved by the poor, pure co-workers, unity to serve the work of God. Many sacrificial missionaries including M. Priscilla and M. Esther worked behind the scene right after their works stop by center taking care of needy things in God’s house, although their husbands are not faithful. No one has a car. Usually 2- 3 bicycles each household has. But no one had complained, full of thanks and love among co-workers. Although Tokyo center is small, however there are 2 small war rooms to pray for God’s work in Japan and world mission.
M .Daniel and Maria Jeong have 4 children: Samuel, Daniel, Maria & Hyeri. When they raised Daniel to prepare Medical school, they had no money to send him to institute. But one missionary supported him that he could go to medical school. He couldn’t tell us a missionary’s name because he asked him not to tell. When M. Daniel told this beautiful story, he was choked with tears. Such love relationship was shown among co-workers. He hesitated to talk about his children not to brag about, because some co-workers might be hurt due to their children.
M. John and Sarah Kim was previous director’s family. Since M. Daniel Jeong succeeded him due to his health, M. John began to exercise with tennis and restored his health very much. M. John and M. Daniel came from Kwangju, Korea to Japan at the same day, married at the same day went to honeymoon together. They have been working together at same Korean school up to now.. M. John Kim’s family have 2 children who finished colleges: John Jr. & Sarah Jr. They joins in Tokyo UBF chorus with their mom, and serve CBF ministry.
Dr. Ezra and Esther Park’s family is exemplary missionary family. Both of them are Ph.D, at the same time they are professors in prestigious universities in Japan. They are really professor shepherd in Japan. Generally a professor has tremendous academic burden and peer pressure. So they are very much limited. But Dr. Ezra and Esther are exception. The most of Japanese student sheep in Tokyo center were their Bible students. We heard that Dr. Esther’s lecture was very popular among college students due to her study for Uchimuraganjo’s philosophy of Christianity, and her diligent lecture preparation. Dr. Ezra teaches business in Tokyo National University, Waseda and other schools. His lecture “Mina parable” is famous for developing individual’s capacity. They are so humble and look like nobodies at the center. Their daughter, Yejin is a student in Singapore Yale University. Because of her good influence to her brother, Yechan is growing well. He is senior of high school and expecting the entrance of Tokyo National University.
M. Paul and Joanna Jang have 2 sons: Paul & Hyunsu. Although M. Paul has his own business, but he diligently serves the work of God like a servant as a praising team leader, IT works and all kinds of manual work around center.
M. Joshua and Rebekah Lee have 2 sons: Joshua, and Caleb who married to Shachiko on 4/29/2017. M. Joshua Lee is serving chorus as a director, and he even sang at his son’s wedding.
M. Siegmund Goddard from New York works at the Korean school as an English teacher, and co-works with Korean missionaries well. His family has 2 children.
M. Caleb and Pauline Park in Chiba have 2 children: Jieun & Jihae. Dr. Joshua and Grace Lee in Toshima have 3 children: Megumi, Mary and an adopted son.
Through this mission journey to Japan we learned several things:
First, they have been working together with one heart and one mind. We have met missionaries from more than 50 chapters for T&PE. The most heart-moving thing is beautiful co-working and unity. Japan has some kind of hostile environment to the Christianity throughout society and school system. Nonetheless they have a strong band as missionaries and co-workers in the side of God. As an evidence, when they had a historical wedding in Tokyo, entire missionaries participated and blessed the wedding between Caleb and Shachiko. The missionaries’ education level was so high that more than 20% of them are Ph.D.. We carefully watched about them that they are so humble, and get used to serve each other. We couldn’t distinguish who is a leader or senior. They work together.
Second, there are more children than missionaries. This conditions are same and everywhere in our mission fields. This ratio points and show us where to direct our ministry focus on for the future. Children in missionary’s family are primarily trained based on their parent’s faith. So when we put some emphasis on children ministry as well as family ministry, there will be many useful resources, trained workers for the world mission as well as campus mission.
Third, we confronted language problem. The most second generations speak only one, Japanese except Tokyo. To live in the Japan that’s all right. But we are living in global age to know, communicate, pass on each other. While we were in Japan we only talked with our Korean missionaries, not second gens. This is our problem, but we may encourage second gens to study several languages while they are in school. This kind of things affect to Americans as well as Europeans too. Also language matter impacts second gens’ marriage.
May God use our missionaries and second generations to pioneer 46 Prefectures in Japan with the gospel of Jesus, and raise Abraham and Sarah of faith among Japanese students and raise them shepherds and missionaries. A-men.
By Isaac Y. Choi