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!

Ministry Spotlight: Friday~ Japanese Outreach

Hiroki Sano(APU Friday Leader)

May Jesus Christ bless you with Grace and Mercy and Peace!

There may be many who are meeting us for the first time, but we extend our love in Jesus’ Name!  Today, I would like to share the blessings we have received through the Japanese ministry in South California called

“Friday~”.

Friday~ is a student-founded ministry that started in 1994.I can, with great certainty say, that this ministry, started by students who were inspired by the Lord, are truly in His hands!  Even now, students are being inspired and blessed every semester.

Currently, this ministry runs every Friday at 7PM in a classroom that we use at Azusa Pacific University (APU).  Friday~ is loved by the APU staff as well as the students, and we have received much prayer and support.  Our thanks to the Lord truly overflows with all that He has done for this ministry.

Through this ministry, many have been connected to churches, and become saved.  I myself came to know the Lord through the Friday~ ministry.  Now, we have those who were Saved at Friday~ becoming the next leaders and staff within the ministry.  There are many brothers and sisters in the Lord who strongly care and love for it, and they are in turn blessed greatly.

One of the characteristics of Friday~ is the Testimonies of our students.  The Lord has taught us that there is true power in Testimony.

The Lord has truly planted seeds through Friday~; it is evident through scripture passages that the students experience, the unique way that exchange students are Saved, and even His Hand upon the the non-believers.

 

I believe another one of Friday~’s biggest “selling points” is the delicious food!

They serve Japanese food that is hard for exchange students to find overseas, as well as their now-famous “Friday~Curry”, which we believe has more servings of the Love of Christ than the average curry!

Right next to APU, there is a 2-year university called Citrus College.  There are many Japanese exchange students there, and the Lord (in His mysterious Ways) leads them to Friday~!  Many non-believers who attend tell us that they are able to feel “something that is different from that of this world”.  The friendships and relationships in Christ become deeper and stronger within our staff, and it teaches us the Love in Jesus!

I believe the friendship between our staff members is also one of our unique points at Friday~, and I think that’s why many people are able to experience the Love of Jesus Christ.

All of what we do is ministry done by the students: the groceries for the food and the materials for the ministry are all paid for and supplied by the students themselves.  Within that, the Lord has supported us all, and we strongly feel that Christ stands at the head of the operation, guiding us!

 

What I’d like to ask for the most is prayer!  I believe there is nothing more powerful than prayer.  So, our brothers and sisters in Christ; if you remember and pray for us even once, I believe from the bottom of my heart that the Lord will truly be pleased.

Thank you for your prayers.

 

Introducing Ministry:Living Water in Pasadena, CA

Hello everyone. I’m Yoshino, director of Living Water.

This gathering focuses on Japanese people and has been held in an American church in Pasadena, California on the 4th Friday of every month since October 2013.  Living Water was born from the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman in John chapter 4. It is my utmost wish that souls that don’t know God, souls that are thirsting would meet the real God, it is my wish that these souls would receive that which they have really desired, to be filled with and satisfied by the love that comes from God, to be made new. Here, in America.

 

This place where Living Water is held, Victory Bible Church, is known for its powerful music. One can definitely feel the presence of God through African-American gospel, and because we want people to be filled with and feel the undeniable love of God, worship time is particularly important to us. Also, every month we invite a guest speaker who shares about how they met God, about how their life is being changed, and how their soul is being satisfied. We are very thankful that the Spirit of the Lord works abundantly here every month.

 

 

First we eat dinner together, we welcome all newcomers, and then we worship, listen to a message, and finally have time for some fun fellowship. In April, Shogo Hisa from Gospel Siloam Church shared a testimony. He shared it in a very easy-to-understand way for both Americans and non-Christians, and introduced Jesus Christ in a super great way. This became a time for us to praise God. I was very thankful for his faith, for his humble attitude of serving God and others, and for his way of life.

 

Every month, the worship team from Victory Church participates and shows strong support for us and for Japan’s salvation through their music and praises. I am very thankful for the love that God shows us through them. Every month, we upload pictures to Facebook. If you’re interested, please search LivingWater Pasadena on Facebook. I’m thankful that we get strength through the joy found in God. I pray that through this ministry that God started, I myself would be able to meet God daily, have fellowship with Him, and through this joy and power share how the Lord Jesus isn’t just someone who appeared in some story but that He really lived and worked in peoples’ lives. And most of all, I want to be able to share how God loves us unconditionally, how He does a great work in us, and share my faith that is built upon God and the hope and true love that He gives me.

Thank you everyone for your prayers, monetary support, spiritual support, and support in other areas.

May God give you peace, comfort, grace, and encouragement.

 

Yoshino Ushijima

 

 

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