Prayer Circle of Returned Christians in Chugoku, Shikoku, and Kyushu Connected by the Lord ♡

Hello everyone!

My name is Etsuko Hotta living in Tottori Prefecture😊.

This time I would like to tell you about the wonderful work of God who is very good at connecting people with people!

At the “regional meetings” held at the JCFN EC and GRC, there were fewer returnees from the Chu-Shikoku-Kyushu area than from the Kanto and Kansai areas, where many returnees gather, and I felt somewhat sad about that. I felt saddened thinking that returnees who moved from abroad to the Chugoku, Shikoku, and Kyushu areas might have been isolated in their faith. How sad to even think about it! Aren’t there really more returnees in the Chugoku, Shikoku, and Kyushu areas who just aren’t connected to each other? I want to strengthen the network of returnees in western Japan! (I myself am not a returnee like Setsu. Yup, a Christian born in Japan! LOL).

I expressed this desire to several members of the Chu-Shikoku-Kyushu region gathered at the GRC21 regional meetings, and we agreed that we should first get to know each other and then connect! We agreed that we should get to know each other and connect! We prayed for guidance and wondered what we could do, and from there our Chu-Shikoku-Kyushu group’s monthly online gatherings began. Our members are returnees from the U.S. and New Zealand, living in Okayama, Shimane, Tottori, Kochi, Kagawa, Fukuoka, and Daegu, Korea (originally from Okayama), and new returnees are being added as we continue to meet. In our meetings, we share the difficulties we are facing, encourage each other to outreach to returnees who are not connected to the church or God’s family, and pray for each other. We also sometimes hear testimonies and ponder the Word together. We started this online gathering not knowing if we could continue, but God has connected us and led us, and it has been a year now. Thank you, God!

We are looking forward to what God wants to do through this Chu-Shikoku-Kyushu group (we are currently considering the name of the group), and we pray that each member will be equipped to give glory to the Lord in the places to which he or she has been sent.
Ephesians 4:16 says, “From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” We, too, should be complemented and united with each other by Christ, work according to our own portion, and be built up by His love, becoming the body of Christ that covers Chugoku, Shikoku, and Kyushu, even though we live in different areas!

And may it be connected to the whole body of Christ that covers all of Japan♡.

Central Conference this year is in-person!!

 

Hi everyone! My name is Yu Okaya, I’m serving as the Director of Central Conference 2022 (CC22). 

This year, we are gathering in person after 2 years of online CC. Pandemic has been going on for a long time so meeting in person itself is just so special. I will introduce you to CC22 with some key information and something unique this year!

 

1. About CC22
Theme:RECONNECT
Date:May 28th-30th
Venue:Trinity International University (IL)
Main Speaker:Pastor Shinji Seki (Honolulu Christian Church)
Capacity:100 people
Registration due date:May 6th (Fri)

Please check out our website for more details!!

2. Plenary sessions & Workshops
In plenary sessions, we will hear from Pastor Seki on our theme “RECONNECT” through 4 sessions. From various aspects, we will learn about what it means to reconnect, reconnect with what and what for etc. 

In two workshops, we will learn together focusing on the different specific areas of our lives that are related to our main theme “RECONNECT”. We also have more information about workshops on our website so please check that out!

3. Kid’s program(4〜11 yrs old)
The coordinator God sent us is very passionate about the kids and we are already excited. This year, the Kids Program will focus on the Psalms. Psalms is the most frequently quoted book in the New Testament. Just as Paul praised the Psalms in the midst of his suffering in prison with Silas, we will learn about the joy of reading the Psalms, the joy of knowing the greatness and fullness of Christ through the Psalms, and the joy of following Christ. We also hope that in this world that is filled with darkness and confusion, the Spirit inspired songs of the Psalms have never been more relevant to the young and rising generations . I pray that during the plenary sessions and workshops, it will be a faith growing opportunity and fruitful time for your child as well!

Please click on the link HERE for the 3-day schedule!

4. Mini craft market & Book store
We’re opening a mini craft market and book store this year!
The bookstore will offer JCFN selected Japanese books, including books by our main speaker Pastor Seki!

Also, we’ll have some handmade items that are inspired by the CC22 theme colors (sky blue & lemon yellow)! Everything will be limited and will only be available this year in CC!

We’ll be posting CC22 pickups and updates on FB and Instagram. If you don’t follow us yet, please do!

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/centralconferencemidwest

Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/central.conference/

We held CC online in 2020 and 2021. There were many things that we were able to do because it was online, and there were many blessings in different ways from conferences in person. This year, we are returning to an in-person format for CC. I look forward to the blessings we can receive from in-person gathering  such as fellowship face-to-face, sharing meals together, worshiping together, and praying together.

We all face various challenges in our lives. There are many things we cannot comprehend in our minds. As we journey in this world, we seek and struggle how we should live as a follower of Christ. I’m looking forward to learning together, the truth of how we should live as a Christian through the theme of this year, “RECONNECT.” We, committee members are doing our best to prepare well and our prayer is, that CC22 will be a place where you can be spiritually refreshed. Let us listen to God’s Word together and enjoy this precious opportunity where we can spend time together for 3 days!  (The below is the CC Planning Committee members) 

 

Let’s hear about JxJ!!

Hello everyone – JxJ (a Seattle-area outreach ministry) closed its ministry in January. In this issue, Mina Chen, who was involved with JxJ from its beginning to the end, talks about JxJ!

A brief self-introduction, please!

My name is Mina Chen and I came to the U.S. as an international student in 2002 and became a Christian that year. My family consists of my Taiwanese-American husband and our 7-year-old son. I currently reside near Seattle, Washington.

My involvement with JxJ
I myself met Christians, read the Bible, and encountered Jesus for the first time when I came to the U.S., and I wanted to share about God with Japanese students who had also come to the U.S. At that time, I met a friend who also had a burden for Japanese evangelism, and in June 2006, we decided to start JxJ (Japanese – times – Jesus; Jay Jay). We had help and supports from mission organizations such as JCFN, ISI, JEMS, as well as local churches. We are grateful that we have been able to continue our activities as JxJ for 15 years until the year 2021.

Memories at JxJ / Blessings received at JxJ
JxJ started with the prayer that the number of Japanese who have a relationship with Jesus would increase like multiplication. As the name implies, God gave me many encounters through JxJ, and it was a huge blessing to be able to see up close how people met Jesus and were raised to believe in Him as their Savior. Whenever people were woken up to make a faith decision at JxJ summer camps and other events, I was encouraged to reevaluate the foundation of my own faith. As I was planning the JxJ Reunion in January 2022, I realized once again that God has sent hundreds of people to JxJ throughout the past 15 years. I am grateful that JxJ was a part of each “only one life (by encounter) that each encounter determines”. At JxJ, we had a monthly testimony time, and each person had a beautiful story of how God led them to Him, and I was encouraged every time. It was also a blessing that even though there are several churches in the Seattle area, each staff member went to a different church, we were able to unite and serve together beyond the confines of our church.

 

Has there ever been a challenge at JxJ? If so, what kind of things? What do you think you learned from it?

I was grateful for the opportunity to serve together with people of different personalities, backgrounds, and ways of thinking who were brought together to form the JxJ staff, but even though we all had the same reason for evangelism (why) – to share Jesus’ love with people – our methods (how) were different and sometimes conflicting. We also sometimes took personality assessments among JxJ staff members, and learned to understand and respect each other. Through JxJ, I also became aware of my own pride and judgmental nature, and it was a time for me to learn humility. I am grateful that each of us learned that Jesus forgave and loved us through the cross, learned to love and serve like Jesus, and experienced unity in our underlying desire to share that great love with others.

 

Thoughts on future evangelism in the Seattle area

At the “JxJ Reunion~ Under the same sky” in January 2022, JxJ ministry was ended. At the reunion meeting, Pastor Roger Olson gave us words of encouragement and challenge. He spoke about the importance of having a desire to strengthen the soul of believers and follow God’s leading and to be used, even when we do not know how things will turn out in the future. Many of those who passed through JxJ have returned to their home countries, entered the workforce, married, raised children, and are now in different environments and life stages. We pray that they will continue to seek God in their respective environments and be used as vessels to share God’s love in their relationships, and that souls will be raised to be saved. Right now, the future is uncertain due to the Corona disaster, but if it is God’s will, we believe and pray that He will provide for the needs and resume the ministry like JxJ.

 

 

Thank you so much!

You can watch the JxJ finals through this Youtube link. Let’s continue to pray for Japanese missions in the Seattle area!

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