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.

 

EC20 Beyond Workshop Staff’s Pick, Part 1!

From now on, we will introduce one of EC workshops that JCFN staff like and recommend once a month.  The first pick is by Setsu Shimizu.

“An Introduction to Apologetics You’ll Want to Talk About” By Kazusa Okaya

(Sorry the workshop is in Japanese only)

Ta-da!

“Aren’t all religions the same in essence? Isn’t it arrogant to say that only Christianity is the truth? Isn’t the resurrection chemically impossible? Why does evil exist when there is a God? These are difficult questions that make you want to run away. But if we face them properly, they can lead to opportunities for evangelism and growth. We will consider how we as Christians can respond to some of the most common questions that are stumbling blocks to our faith.

 

 

EC20 Beyond Registration is open now!

 

Hello! I hope you are doing well. My name is Yuki Hata, I have the privilege of serving as the PR Director for EC20 Beyond. This email is to notify you about Equipper Conference 20 Beyond this year.

 

How has the year of 2020 been for you all? In the midst of many canceled events on top of feelings of fear and disappointment throughout the world, we have decided to host EC20 ONLINE! Each one of us committee members have been praying and working to construct this brand new kind of EC.

 

For those of you who have attended equipper conference would know that equipper conference (EC) is a five night conference which “equips” (Ephesians 4:12) Japanese Christians who met Jesus overseas for their eventual return to their home country as ambassadors of Christ. This year, we have adjusted the program to be 4 days from 12/27~30 (US time) instead of the usual 5.

 

We welcome…

– Japanese Christians who plan to go back home
– Japanese Christians in North America who serve the Lord
– Non-Japanese Christians (English speakers) who are serving such Japanese Christians
– Christians in Japan who want to receive and help returnee Christians
– Non-Christian who are interested in learning the Bible and God.
– Middle/high school students (youth program)
(For details about each program, please visit the website homepage)

[Registration has opened!] Click HERE

[Equipper Conference 20 Beyond]
“Listen… ~So you may live~”

Date: December 27, 2020 (Sun) to December 30, 2020 (US time)
Speakers: Pastor Sho Ichikawa, Kuni Onishi, Saku Kuroda, Satoru Nakanishi, Manabu Nishikori
[Speaker introductions] Click HERE.
Registration: Click HERE.

  • Super early bird: $30 (deadline 9/28)
  • Early bird: $40 (deadline 11/2; also deadline to order T-shirts)
  • Regular: $45 (deadline 12/7; T-shirt order unavailable)
  • Fee for Youth & Seekers is $20 (deadline 12/7)

*We have SUPER EARLY REGISTRATION, which you can get a discount of $15! The deadline for super early bird is September 28th (11:59pm. EST).  If you already know that you are attending EC20, register now before you forget it!

Let’s all build a new kind of EC together this year by overcoming borders, distance, and time zones!

Hopeful in the Lord,

 

PR Director for EC20 Beyond

Yuki Hata

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