“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
— Isaiah 43:18-19
As I have traveled across Japan recently, the newfound hope I am sensing just keeps growing. Everyone seems enthused about the start of the new era as the new Emperor took his place in history.
This era has been proclaimed as Reiwa – “Auspicious (or Beautiful) Harmony”
Andrew Ichimura captures what I hear many expressing in his recent newsletter, quoting the Isaiah passage above:
Welcoming the new era with new vision and a new mission’s paradigm shift.
From May 1st, 2019, the Japanese calendar has been renewed to the “Reiwa” era. It also represents good timing to reconfirm personally and corporately that we are chosen to fulfill the mission to share both the love and gospel of Christ Jesus to the nation of Japan and worldwide as heirs of Abraham’s blessing. Let’s join in prayer for God to renew our minds in the new era, that we will not lean on our understanding but fully rely on His perspective, understanding and will. I believe God is opening new things for Japan. It requires a new mission’s paradigm shift to share the gospel of Christ as a bridge to a deeply rooted Japanese culture. Ask God to give us a new and clear vision that will change our family, school, workplace, society and nation to the “Kingdom of God” through each of us (as followers of Jesus).
— Andrew Ichimura, founder of VIP Ministry
As you can see in this picture below, Silk and I have enjoyed the ripe harvest season recently in Japan. And, our sense dovetails with Ichimura San—that God is doing something new for Japan.
May this indeed be a Reiwa Era for Japan. May the Prince of Peace reign as the new Emperor leads and may His Peace (Jesus Peace) truly bring Beautiful Harmony to Japan.
May we see many Japanese people come to know Jesus as their hope in this new era, over this next decade.
Would you join me in praying for revival in Japan?
Joe Handley, President
- In Photos: Japan's new era named Reiwa (Kyodo News)
- Emperor to step down as Japan approaches Reiwa era