I had the privilege of traveling across the Kanto plane from Yokohama to Saitama and Tokyo this past weekend with my former colleague, Pastor Byron MacDonald, the senior pastor of Rolling Hills Covenant Church.
He inspired younger leaders everywhere he went, many tearing up with his charge from the life of Joshua in taking the baton of leadership for the next generation of the Church in Japan.
Byron has traveled now three times to Japan since the triple disaster of 3/11 and he has had a personal vision for Japan for well over a decade. His and my church, Rolling Hills Covenant sits in a very strategic location for the hope of Christ: near the LA Harbor and LA Airports where many travel everyday from all over the world. In our neighborhood, several Japanese companies have had their primary business operation for years thus the church has a special connection to Japan.
As Byron traveled around Japan these past few weeks, he encouraged leaders to stand firm and be faithful as they have done for many years. Why? Because he sees this as a special moment for Japan. A special moment for the hope of Christ.
He told the story of the life of a bee. When she is born, she lives in a small wax cocoon that is very safe and has all the necessary nutrients for life. But, soon the nutrients run out and the life of struggle begins. As the bee struggles to be free from the wax of the cocoon, her wings are strengthened and she prepares for the challenges of life ahead. Without this struggle, she would never learn to fly.
Byron shared from his own life how the struggles he faced helped equip and strengthen him for ministry. He said, “I am a better person and leader today because of the painful seasons I have gone through.” He went on to say that the Church of Japan has struggled for many years but they have remained faithful.
He said, “Now is the time for Japan to fly!”
That is our prayer… Will you join us to see the hope of Christ flood across Japan in the coming years? We need your prayers as we march into this new season of fruitfulness, as we lay the foundations for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, and as we seek to fulfill our 2020 Vision.
Thank you for standing with us all these years… It’s Japan’s time to fly!