Testimony of BBWIT Mentoring Seminar

The Blessing of Being Connected with Brothers and Sisters given to us by God.
Ayako Seto

A lot of people who attended the online JCFN BBWIT20 expressed an interest in a follow-up online seminar on “mentoring”.

We had two questions given to us in advance as homework.
(1) Have you had someone help you become better equipped as a Christian?
(2) Have you been involved in helping others to become better equipped as a Christian?

I thought about it beforehand and shared my thoughts during the seminar.

Even though the relationships were not called “mentor” or “mentee,” each of us had experienced relationships in which we were equipped, and encouraged each other. I realized that I had the same kind of relationship even though it wasn’t called mentoring.

If it doesn’t have a formal label attached to it, we may think that we don’t have such a thing. If the other person doesn’t acknowledge it, you may not be able to be proud of your desire to encourage and support them. However, I thought it’s important to realize and acknowledge that I have been given such a blessed relationship within God’s family, where we support, encourage and teach each other, regardless of the name of the relationship.

I also had the opportunity to hear a panel discussion of those who had experience in both being mentored and mentoring.

What impressed me, and what I’d like to do myself, is to “find out what the purpose of mentoring is and make it clear from the start. It’s true that I don’t think about such things unless I’m aware of them.

“I want to change (and have God change me), I want to learn more about Jesus”
“I want to learn more about myself.”
I don’t want to forget these things when I’m mentored and when I have the chance to be a mentor.

Even those who have served as a mentor, they didn’t start because they felt confident in their faith or because or for recognition. It was a time when they were asked more questions about faith, or when they were asked to mentor others, and it seemed that the role was given to them like a calling, not because they were ready. Everyone served as a mentor with the mindset of growing together, thinking that they themselves were still in a position to grow.

Encouraging each other is one of the things that God tells us to do. The Bible talks about it not just once, but many times.

It made me want to do what I can, not because the relationship has a name or I get recognition, but because I want to follow what God desires for me to do, and think about the fact that God sees my heart and motivations.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to attend the seminar, where I learned a lot.

Thank you very much.

Returnee Worship Playlist March

Here is the Returnee Worship Playlist March.
Well folks, it’s March in the blink of an eye! This month I’ve created a theme of COMMUNITY! The body of Christ, the family of God, the community is very important for believers. God is always with us, but He has given us a family to live with. We are encouraged through our families, and just as importantly, each one of us can be an encouragement to the family of God. As you listen to this primer, I pray that you will be encouraged to be an encourager as well as to be an encouraged.  —– by Erika Grace Mine (JCFN Associate Staff)

 

EC20 Beyond Testimony

Yuka Akashi

I made the decision to accept Christ last April, and I will be returning to Japan next month (February). Since I began my college life, I was surrounded by Christians and that has become my norm.  Now, I am going to live as a Christian in Japan, I have no idea what that would look like.  I hadn’t even thought about it before EC, but after I had decided to register for EC, I began wondering how I’m going to keep my faith.  I was worried about not knowing where the churches are or anything about a Christian life in Japan.  I wanted to become a Christian because I had this special environment.  I was worried about leaving my faith once I returned to Japan.  In fact, I wish I hadn’t said that I would become a Christian. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I even thought that.

EC is a perfect conference for a new Christian and a soon-to-be-returnee.  It was just the thing for me!  I was able to attend because it was online, but because it was online, I could only listen to the sermons in between my work and it was difficult to concentrate at times.  I was able to make many connections with people in Japan in small groups and by region, and was introduced to many churches and related events and communities.  Among them, I was able to feel God’s work through the Soul Care Ministry.

 

When I applied for this counseling program, there was a section on the application form where I had to write down the details of my issues.  I didn’t have any major problems at the time, but I thought I’d just apply for the counseling, so I wrote something like, “I made a decision to accept God in April, but everything is online. I’m going back to Japan soon, so I’d like to think about what I’ll do after I return to Japan.” 

I thought that the counselor was aware of my issue, but she didn’t seem to know anything about it and she was anxiously praying for the time together with me.

On the day of the session, I spoke with the counselor for the first time via Zoom. At that point, I had some questions and concerns about returning to Japan through the EC program, so when she asked me about my concerns, I told her that I wanted to ask about how to find a church and relationships with my family and relatives after I returned.  She had experienced a similar situation as me when she returned to Japan. Her face instantly lit up and it became obvious to us that it was arranged by God for us to meet.  

I will be baptized next Tuesday.

 

I had a feeling that Christianity was a part of American culture, but when I realized that there are so many believers in Japan, I felt that the God we believe in is the same God everywhere, the one and only, the absolute, and that we are all connected through Him.

The thought of being connected with so many Japanese Christians and Christians who support them gave me courage and made me feel less anxious about returning to Japan. I am not afraid because I have friends and the same God. From now on, no matter what people say about me in Japan, no matter what difficulties I face, I want to believe in God’s timing and grow in Him.

 

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