Why Japan?

Kochi, Japan

By Bill Heubner MFM-US Regional Director

Why should we send a mission team to Japan? Aren’t they one of the richest countries in the world?

These questions were recently asked regarding an MFM construction team being sent to Japan to assist in the building of a church in Kochi. It is far easier to get behind a project in a third world country where the physical needs of the people are much greater than those in a developed country. When we do ministry and work projects in a developing country, it allows us to see an immediate impact. When the lifestyle, culture, and living conditions are drastically different from our own, we are more apt to believe that the impact is greater because the physical need is greater.

Why should we spend the time, energy, and resources to send short-term teams to a place like Japan? The simple answer is because people in Japan need Jesus. Currently, only 0.58 percent of the population of Japan identifies as evangelical Christian (joshuaproject.net/countries/JA). The evangelical Christian population is small in Japan, and they need the assistance of people like you and me to help reach the country for Jesus. The need for a life changing relationship with Jesus has nothing to do with material prosperity.

Kochi church construction
Local church members and MFM team working together as construction begins on the Kochi church project.
Men for Missions construction teams have been traveling to Kochi, Japan, during 2019, to assist Grace Chapel in building their first permanent church facility. Grace Chapel started as a house church and has grown to about forty members. The church is currently renting a room in the community center to hold its midweek and Sunday morning services. The church has reached a point where having its own facility will help it continue to impact the community.

The church building will have a very traditional appearance as it is built using log and peg construction. The work of placing the logs and securing them with wooden pegs was a physically demanding and slower construction process than what the teams had expected. Each day concluded with placing many tarps as a temporary roof system in order to protect the logs from any moisture. This construction project is a great example of MFMers using their physical abilities to help the local church.

Kochi church construction
MFMers building church in Japan.
Taking part in the local church services is always a highlight for MFM teams. Team members shared their testimonies, sang and played instruments during worship services, and preached for the local congregation. The church services provide a wonderful opportunity for MFMers to use their talents and testimonies to share the Gospel in another culture.

When we send a team to a place like Japan, we minister in a country that has a small Christian population. We present an opportunity for MFM team members to use their physical talents to help the local church continue to reach their community. Participation on MFM teams to Kochi has allowed team members to share their spiritual gifts with the people of Japan. We send teams to Japan because men are willing to do, go, and give in response to God’s leading as we work to impact the world for Jesus.

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