Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Why Japan

The desire to go to Japan started years ago. Back then I didn't want to go to Japan so much to witness and serve God, but more just to experience their world and culture which is so different from the American experience. So I always had Japan on my list of countries I one day wanted to visit. On a separate train of thought, The past year or so I've had some interesting conversations with friends and family about the complacency of the American Christian church and how apathetic Americans are about reaching people who would otherwise never hear the Gospel.

With those two things in mind, and facing another summer of just killing time between semesters an opportunity was offered to me that really just seem to fit where I was at. At the yearly Sunland Navigators conference in California, they were throwing out suggestions for maximizing your time this summer and in college in general. They had 3 trips that they specifically mentioned ( in reality there are a ton of different places to serve, these 3 were just being stressed by the Navs in my region) Russia, the Middle East and Japan. Immediately I wanted to spend my summer in Japan. So after taking some time to pray about the trip and talk to family and friends about the idea, I decided to spend this summer in Japan.

Since I decided to go to Japan I've learned some things that just re-enforce my desire. That there are only approximately 0.7% of the population in Japan that are Christian. That means in a room full of 1000 people, only 7 would be Christians. and the other 993 would have little chance of even hearing the gospel.
Also the culture in Japan is not supportive of Christians and it is not uncommon for unbelieving friends and family of Christians to consistently ask the Christian to give up their faith. I have a hard time imaging coming home from a a school or workplace where I am the only Believer only to be greeted at the front door with a loved one telling me to give up being different. It would be a huge trial for me, and I imagine its not any easier for a Japanese believer.

These are some of the major reasons I decided to go to Japan this summer.