Rambling Notes from Japan
Here are some blog posts that we hope will make you feel a part of things, and help you understand how to pray better for us and Japan. Please see our external blog in Blogger, if this page does not display correctly.
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Returnees in Kanagawa (RIK)
October 6, 2011 04:01
| Evangelism, Returnees, RIK
Strange, but true, most Japanese become believers while outside their own country. Thousands of Japanese live abroad. Away from their home culture and its obligations and expectations, they are free to consider the faith of their host culture. They reflect on what is missing in their lives. They find meaning and purpose in attending a church. And Christ draws them to himself.
The difficulty comes after their stay abroad has ended and they return home to Japan. Often, Japanese "returnees" find it difficult to blend back into church life in Japan. Their experiences are not completely understood. The renewed pressures of reverse culture shock, family and work expectations, overwhelm their new faith. Many will fade away from church involvement. What a great loss to God's Kingdom in Japan! The church in Japan could be many times its 0.3% size if it were to hold the harvest that returns each year.
RIK (Returnees in Kanagawa) is a group of Christian returnees whose desire it is to change the above tragedy. We want to welcome back and strengthen returnees of all ages, and help them connect with a local church. Denen Grace Chapel is closely involved with RIK, with several of its members composing the core or helping in its meetings. We share the burden to care for returnees, as our own church has returnee members at its core. RIK just had its second gathering event for returnees. Singing and small groups were a great blessing to the 40 returnees in attendance. We plan more such gatherings, in addition to casual recreational activities like BBQs and hiking together. We're not completely sure where God will take this newly-formed group of people, but we expect Him to work among us as we come together all across Kawasaki and Yokohama.
AND, we expect the need for RIK will grow. With the sharp, sustained increase in yen will come come increasing globalization of Japan's workforce. The Japanese diaspora will surely grow in the years to come, and so will the opportunity and need for returnee ministry.
Would you pray that God will use RIK to encourage returnees, regardless of whether they have yet made a decision yet for Christ, so that a great harvest of souls result, and the church in Japan would grow strong?