Why are YU in North America?①

My name is Yu Hoshino. I have been interning at JCFN North America from May 21st. I graduated from Tokyo Bible Seminary in March of this year. On Sunday, my church friends from Tokyo Bible Seminary Church encouraged my faith for the internship before I left. Brothers and sisters in the Lord are priceless treasures.

It’s been two weeks since the internship started and spent my days productively. As soon as I arrived, I went to the JCFN North American office and helped with what they needed.

From May 24 to 26th, I joined Central Conference24! The theme of this year was “Kingdom Citizenship” (Philippians 3:20). The speaker was Sho Ichikawa. We spent three days and two nights there. From Luke 17:21, Jesus taught us that the kingdom of God is already in our midst. This was my first time attending CC24. Throughout this conference, I felt that I wanted to prepare and grow physically and spiritually as a person who serves the Lord.

I would appreciate it if you could continue to pray for me to stay healthy, not to catch a cold, and for the remaining interns to have blessed days.

Yu Hoshino, Candidate for JCFN Intern

After graduating from high school, I left Japan at the age of 18 to pursue university studies. I went to Hawaii as an exchange student, and in 2022, I enrolled at the Tokyo Bible Institute. I graduated from the one-year training course in 2023. During my first experience living abroad, I felt lost and stressed, my heart dried up in the face of the new land, environment, and culture. However, I started attending church, encountered God, and my life took a 180-degree turn.

During my six years abroad, I was supported by my family back home and the church family nearby. Like me, I witnessed many people in foreign countries listening to the gospel, experiencing God’s love, and believing in the Lord. My mother church, Honolulu Church, was located about a 5-minute walk uphill from the University of Hawaii, where I attended. Therefore, many short-term exchange students came to Honolulu Church to build community in Hawaii or to experience English immersion.

Through the church, I made friends and participated in activities like Youth Bible Study, hiking, and beach outings. Despite the short time, I enjoyed Hawaii with them. Such experiences encouraged me with the reminder that “I am not alone” no matter what. However, I often heard that once international students returned to Japan, they stopped attending church.

Reasons varied, including not knowing which church to attend, being too busy with life and work, unable to tell family about starting to attend church, or lacking Christian friends around. As someone who had sent off many international students, my initial thought was, “Even when I return to Japan, I want to stay connected to the church.” That was one of the reasons I enrolled in the Bible Institute. I wanted to support returning students, encourage them to connect with the church, and provide support. Such thoughts were instilled in me as I continued to attend worship services abroad.

Even after enrolling in the Bible Institute, unsure of my future path after graduation, I kept praying, “Lord, is there a burden for international student outreach? Is there any work for returning Christian students?”

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24).

The path that the Lord has given me now is an internship with JCFN in California. During my studies, I was given the opportunity to participate in the internship through Mr. Shizuki Shimizu. I was anxious whether this path was truly God’s will or if it was the path He had opened. However, by participating in the EC that I had been attending every year, I gained confidence in my path.

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10).

I decided to walk in the “good works” that God has prepared for me rather than what people expect. I firmly believed that God, who uses us as instruments of righteousness, would never use us as instruments of unrighteousness. I resolved to entrust myself to God, who uses us as instruments of righteousness, and to surrender everything to Him.

Only God knows the “good works” prepared for us. I believe that as we obey the small things prepared before us, the Lord will transform us to live by His grace. Now, the path set before me is the internship with JCFN. Stepping into a new path requires courage. However, trusting in the word of the Lord and the Holy Spirit given to us without fear, I will walk with the Lord.

 

Please support Yu Hoshino

The participation fee for the internship to be held in California in May is still insufficient. A donation of $4,500 is required, covering travel expenses, meals, insurance, rent, and activity fees (for training and service at retreats, leadership camps, etc.).

Please pray that the needs will be met, and if you feel led, please contribute.

You can make a donation through the following methods:

Check: JCFN P.O. Box 17982, Irvine, CA 92623 (Please write “Intern Scholarship (Yu Hoshino)” in the memo section.)

Credit Card: [link] (Please select “Intern Fund” as the destination.)

“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7)

 

Reflection on this year: Testimony of Allison (JCFN Intern)

A year ago, I could not have imagined all that 2023 would hold. God has been so faithful and gracious in providing new communities to serve and grow alongside. I’m thankful for my fellow believers who long to introduce people to Jesus and new friends from Japan and other countries who do not personally know Jesus yet. I’m so thankful for your encouragement and support this year and for the times I’ve been able to visit and see many of you. These past few weeks have been bittersweet with many farewells and preparations for this new season. I’m excited for this next step in the journey and to see God’s continued faithfulness as he opens the door to go to Japan. I anticipate that this next season will be stretching and exciting. Just like he provided for this past year, I’m confident he will continue to provide in another new place and culture.

As I’ve been processing and praying through this time, my gratitude for the family of God has deepened. For us in Christ, there are no goodbyes, there are only farewells. On the other hand, for those I have met this year that don’t know Christ, I grieve because I do not know if I will see them again. I’m so thankful that many of them know Christians and ask you to pray that God will continue to plant seeds in their hearts and ultimately open their hearts to believe and receive His saving grace. I’m reminded that this is our calling – to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations.

Walking by faith,
Allison

*Allison had served as an intern with JCFN this past year.  Now she is heading off to Japan to serve there!  Please pray for her.  If you are interested in receiving her newsletter, please contact ushq@jcfn.org

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