The last few years, everything has looked quite grim for the Japanese people and their beautiful country. Recently, I was reading a discouraging report by The Economist magazine, which conducted a comprehensive analysis of the economy and the social impact of an aging population. It highlighted what the field leaders of Asian Access/Japan have noted for a few years. The aging of the population is a significant challenge.
Coupled with this report has been the ongoing news of increased suicides, family fragmentation, and a sense of enormous pressure and high anxiety within the overall society.
In the midst of this difficult news, I recently learned of a few bright spots which have heightened our sense of hope as a mission.
One church has seen 200 new followers of Christ since going through the Asian Access leader development ministry. Another reports seeing 300 people coming to Christ this past year alone!
These reports show that hope is on the horizon. For when the economy is struggling and peoples lives are down, they are looking for hope. And several hundred have found this hope in the person of Christ. In the midst of these difficult days, many are finding serenity and peace like they've never seen before.
This is indeed a special season for sharing the Gospel in Japan. Despair leaves people wanting and hope is available. Pray that we can build on these points of light and see many more find true joy and true peace in Christ.