RJC World

Reaching Japanese for Christ (RJC) is a network of loving Christians, primarily in Norh America, who are helping Japanese who are here temporarily.

Monday, April 16, 2007


Just a reminder that if you would like my personal response from your questions or comments, you must send your email directly to my account at don_wright@mac.com .

Don W

Where are Japanese?

Today I was reminded of the amazing work of the Joshua Project in compiling the information concerning people groups of the world. Where are Japanese? And what other language groups are in Japan? The answer? Check out Joshua Project!

Because our primary interest is concerning the Japanese in different parts of the world, I went first to:
http://www.joshuaproject.net/peoples.php?rop3=104189 . They list Japanese in 41 different countries. They range from 30 in the Falkland Islands to the larger countries like the USA.

And now I have another figure to toss around. In our RJC website (www.rjcnetwork.org) we say that 500,000 Japanese are temporarily in North America. These are those who are in North America as students, business people and family, and longer short-term visitors. Then we have the figure of 5,000,000. This is the figure that the Japanese government has for those Japanese who each year step on to United States soil.

At the Joshua Project web site we have the figure for USA of 1,207,000. This includes temporary people and those who are residing in the country more permanently. And for Canada the number given is 61,000.

What ever the figure we use, lets pray for the Japanese who are present in other countries around the world. They often are more responsive to Jesus there than they are back hom.

And while you are at the Joshua Project website, check out: http://www.joshuaproject.net/countries.php?rog3=JA . You will find a list of 33 people groups, including Japanese. That makes 5,741,000 non-Japanese living in Japan.

Thank you Joshua Project people for your great help!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

How do Japanese come to know Jesus?

How do Japanese come to know Jesus? A thousand ways with ten thousand steps of God’s divine leading! Listen to one story.

Yuko started out with some private English classes, taught by Debbie. Another lady shared about the Bible for awhile, but soon Debbie was doing both English and teaching about Jesus.

Here is how Debbie tells the story:
One day I asked Yuko if she was aware of God showing His love to her.

She suddenly appeared very nervous, and her eyes filled with tears. “Yes, but I’m afraid to tell you. You will think I’m crazy or you won’t believe me!” she exclaimed.

Twyla, my friend, and I assured her of our friendship and our trust. Yuko turned to me and asked, “Do you remember that day at the grocery?”

I knew exactly what day she was talking about. The cashier was ringing up my groceries when Yuko walked in the door. I saw Yuko and called out her name, but she looked right at me but showed no recognition on her face. I continued to call out her name, and her expression changed from lack of recognition to an expression of confusion and fear.

“I don’t think she knows you,” commented the cashier.

“Of course she knows me. We see each other every week,” I responded.

Finally, Yuko blinked a few times, and then said, “Oh Debbie, it’s you!”

I had wondered about this event, but never said anything to Yuko about it. Months had passed. What could possibly be the connection?

Yuko told her side of the story to us. She had entered the grocery store and heard someone calling her name. When she looked in the direction of the voice, she saw a bright light. Finally, she said the light disappeared, and she saw me.

Twyla and I looked at each other. I felt my spine tingle; my hair felt like it was standing on end.

Yuko continued her story, telling us it wasn’t the first time something like this had happened. One day she was at the mall and saw another Bible teacher. She started to call out to her, but stopped suddenly because she saw a bright light where she had previously seen the teacher.

Yuko said she had been scared when she saw the light, and had tried to explain it away. Perhaps there had been some strange reflection of the sun. She also thought maybe she was crazy.

A third event occurred which really alarmed her. She had gone to an acquaintance’s house to return something her husband had borrowed. When the woman came to the door, Yuko said she saw a scary darkness in the woman. She stressed it wasn’t dark skin. Yuko said she knew she had to turn away from the darkness. When the woman invited her into the house, Yuko told her she had to leave.

After reviewing these events, Yuko realized something. The two people in whom she saw light were Christians, and the one person in whom she saw darkness wasn’t a Christian. Yuko thought maybe the Bible had an answer. She read the entire New Testament, making a list of all the references to light and darkness. She told us maybe God was showing her His Light was in people who accepted Jesus. We agreed with her, but we were surprised to find she still wasn’t ready to ask Jesus into her heart.

Time passed and Yuko and her family had to return to Japan. After her experiences with the light, I couldn’t believe she still was not ready to accept Jesus. Mike and I continued to pray for her salvation. We gave her some Michael Card music and the “Footprints” poem.

Yuko sometimes sent letters from Japan. Many times, she wrote that she felt depressed. One time she wrote, “Debbie, it is so dark here.”

We were happy to hear that Yuko had finally found a Christian church near her home in Japan, and was attending. But Yuko’s letters got farther and farther apart, and ach time she wrote, she sounded more depressed.

We continued to pray for Yuko and eventually, I received another letter. She wrote, “I would like to tell you my special news. I was baptized on July 8th. I’ve finally found Him I’ve been looking for. You put a seed in my heart several years ago. It is growing; you will be delighted about it I hope. Without being aware of it, I now realize that He has become a very important part of me. I will treasure you all my life. I long to see you. If it weren’t for you, I would still be wandering in my days of darkness”

How do ministries to Japanese get started?

How do ministries to Japanese get started? A thousand ways with ten thousand steps of God’s divine leading! Listen to how things got started with Debbie in Bowling Green.

When I moved to Bowling Green in 1984, I had just gotten married. First Baptist in town had an International ministry to several different language groups. So I started teaching several people. The church didn't have a class specifically for Japanese people. One lady, Yuko, tried some of the classes, but decided she wanted private lessons. I was asked to do it because Yuko and I lived in the same neighborhood.

When I first began, I didn't think I could teach the Bible to Internationals. I prayed for someone else to teach Yuko the Bible and God answered that prayer through Mrs. Short, the director of a Christian preschool, who started working with Yuko. Over time I grew more confident and when Mrs. Short moved away, I became Yuko's Bible teacher. I'm not sure when it happened, but along the way I began to feel a call to work with Japanese

Before returning to Japan, Yuko recommended me to two of her friends. One lady was very closed, but the other lady, Michiyo, started asking me about Easter during her first lesson. She became a Christian that summer. In November, 1993, Michiyo told me, "God wants you to start an ESL ministry for Japanese at your church." We had just recently joined Eastwood Baptist. Michiyo called every Japanese lady in town, and asked if they were interested. Thirteen people said yes to English, although some made it clear they weren't interested in Christianity. In January of 1994, we started three English classes and one Bible study class. A couple of years later, Michiyo returned to Japan.

Since then, a lady named Yukiko became a Christian and helped lead Kei, an exchange student to the Lord. All of these ladies are now back in Japan.

Currently we have four English classes on Tuesday mornings, one Bible study class on Wednesday morning. One Japanese family attends church on a regular basis. None of these are Christians. Two ladies and I also teach private English lessons which gives us additional opportunities.