Monday, July 16
Growth in the United Church of Christ in Japan (Kyodan) seems to occur slowly. Many people first encounter Christianity in a school setting but only become involved in church activities much later in life. At all levels of Christian schools, from kindergartens to universities, teachers and staff members pray that both young people and colleagues ``may be filled with the knowledge of God's will'' and bear fruit as a result.
Professor Tatsuo Miyamoto is one example of this gradual growth into the life of the church. He has taught at Kwassui University for about 20 years and has regularly attended weekly chapel hour. In 2006 he spent a year as a visiting scholar at Ohio Wesleyan University, with which Kwassui has historic ties. Since he was doing research on the architecture of homes, he thought it was important to understand the whole of Americans' daily lives, including the influence of Christianity. Through attending church activities, he and his wife felt drawn into community in a new way. As a result, they decided to be baptized into church membership after returning to Japan. Now Professor Miyamoto is sharing his Christian faith as he continues to teach in the Department of Life Design.
Although there is considerable social pressure against formally joining a church in Japan, many students say they believe in God and are inspired by Christian ethics to work for others in society. We pray that they will not only bear fruit based on Christian ideals, but also grow to the point of faith and find a home in a church community.
- Dr. Barbara Easton, PC(USA) mission co-worker, Nagasaki, Japan
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) People in Mission
United Church of Christ in Japan (Kyodan): Dr. Barbara Easton, professor of English, Kwassui Women's College, Nagasaki, Rev. William Geppert III, English teacher, Kinjo Gakuin Junior College Faculty, Emiko Taborn, team ministry, Kinjo Gakuin University, Sanford Taborn, English professor, Kinjo Gakuin University * Reformed Church of Christ in Japan: Ann Moore, team ministry, Rev. William Moore, new church development * Rev. Thomas Goetz, professor of English, Hokusei Gakuen University, Sapporo * Sarah Oba, assistant to general secretary of Shadan, Korean Christian Church in Japan
Let us pray
Wise God, thank you for helping us grow in knowledge of your will and in Christian community. We ask to be enabled by your Holy Spirit to bear fruit that is pleasing to you. Amen.