Hello! My name is Manami Seki, and I am in charge of youth ministry as JCFN Associate Staff. Today, I would like to share how I got involved with JCFN and how I was led as an Associate Staff.
I started my college life in Hawaii in 2012 and was given the opportunity to be involved in JCFN’s anniversary conference in Hawaii in the summer of 2016. I had never been to EC before, so this was the first time I had heard of JCFN, and something stuck with me as I attended the conference. As I prayed, “What is in my heart?” I thought, “Maybe the Lord is leading me to get involved with this organization.
At the time, however, I had been given a calling to serve the Lord through youth ministry, but I had not been given a heart for the Japanese people. I wondered if such a person was suitable for the ministry of the JCFN, but I prayed and asked the Lord to clearly show me if it was His will during the few days of the meeting. The next day at the meeting, Yuko Ozeki, one of the staff, said emphatically, “I want three young workers for JCFN within five years! After hearing this, I could not help but expressed my honest feelings to Shimizu Setsu, the North America Director of JCFN. I told her, “I have a heart for youth but not Japanese people. What can I do to help?” And…. Now I was so embarrassed that I said to the leader of a mission organization that works for Japanese! But I still can’t stop thanking Setsu, who kindly listened to me without changing color. LOL!
But the Lord gave me a heart for the Japanese in a way I had never imagined… After the summer of the JCFN anniversary conference, in the fall semester of college, about 30 Japanese students were given to the campus ministry of InterVarsity, which I was involved in as a leader. They said, “We want to know about God! I want to know about the Bible!” I was shocked to see so many Japanese people who wanted to know about God and the Bible. I had grown up as a Christian in Japan and had no Christian friends from elementary school to high school, so I realized that I had subconsciously thought that evangelism to the Japanese was meaningless and that they were not interested. As several people who had come to InterVarsity during the six months were saved and returned to Japan, I strongly wanted them to stay connected to the Lord in Japan, and at the same time I was reminded of how important the work of JCFN is. The Lord gave me not only the calling but also the thoughts and emotional part necessary for the work and led me to the work of JCFN.
We are looking forward to seeing what great things the Lord will do through JCFN and through the youth!
Current ministry: We have weekly devotions and monthly events for the youth. We also train youth leaders to lead events and have monthly gatherings for those who have a burden for youth. Please remember the next generation of youth in your prayers!