When Chester first decided to stay on Okinawa, it was to help in evangelizing and establishing churches throughout the Ryukyun Island chain. Well, as God's grace would have it, in the 18 years since then churches and ministries have been established on nearly all the main islands throughout the chain.
Seeing then that much of the pioneering work is done we are concentrating our efforts on the island of Okinawa, with the goal of planting a mother church that can be the impetus for beginning home groups and birthing other churches. Also, we hope to establish a Christian pre-school, a life/family skills workshop, and a youth centered night program for the troubled youth throughout our community.
Because direct evangelism hasn't proven as effective in this particular culture as it has in others, teaching Christians life-style evangelism is one of the focal points in discipleship. Japanese people typically are passive and indirect, making it difficult to see any immediate result of efforts, so patience, diligence and faith in the promise and work of the Holy Spirit is a constant need.
When the Lord first led us to begin a church we started in our home as many churches have. This beginning has been vital to our preparedness and training for ministry. Through this home focus of the Fellowship we have discovered many of the heartfelt needs of the Japanese people, and how to minister to them.
Some of those needs are as follows:
- A visual model of the Christian life and home
- An environment that allows for self-expression
- Options and alternatives beyond that of what the society demands
- Experiencing intimate church fellowship within the context of a family
Therefore we view home church, small groups and cell groups as being essential to accomplishing Christ's command of making disciples here in Japan.
If we are to reach Japan, of which less than 1% is Christian, every effort must be made to impact the home.