The long established work in Japan continues to be known as the JEB, or "Nihon Dendotai" in Japanese, and is now under the direction of our Japanese colleagues with whom we work in close cooperation. British JCL partners serve with JEB in Japan today.
Learn about some of the JEB churches, the areas they are seeking to reach, the places, the people and some prayer points.
Nagao is situated in the northern part of Shikoku, the fourth largest island in the Japanese archipelago. Its population numbers 14,000. Recently, as part of a Japanese government plan to merge together smaller towns and villages for administrative purposes, Nagao-cho, which had existed as a town in its own right for 90 years, was merged with five neighbouring towns into a new city called Sanuki. The church at Nagao prays that this may represent a new beginning for the town in which it might be released from its old ways and turn to Christ. The church is particularly active in evangelism and young people's work. Please pray for the church school, for good teachers and progress by pupils. The church's gospel band, Hallelujah Music, holds occasional concerts. Pray that many will be touched, both through live performances and the band's CDs. Finally, please pray for the new church plant near Takamatsu, that many people there will hear the gospel for the first time. The church's website (in Japanese) can be accessed by clicking here.
Shirakawadai is a growing dormitory town founded in 1973 on the outskirts of Kobe, 25 minutes by subway from the city centre. It has a population of 120,000. Despite the growing population, numbers attending church are still small. As in many cities, people are not very aware of religion and find it hard to distinguish between different religions. Their minds are focussed more on materialistic, transitory issues, but relations between the church and locals are good. Please pray for the church's evangelism work, including in the Ureshino area where a small congregation has been meeting for the past three years. Pray for a permanent meeting place, and for the believers in this area with few churches as they seek to be disciples of Christ and witness to those around them at home and work.
Tsuda is a small town of 8,000 situated on the north coast of the island of Shikoku. Like many other towns in Japan the population is ageing, but the JEB church, led by Mr Mizumura (known in the church as "Abu-san") has a significant number of young people and is engaged in a number of innovative activities. They aim to nurture disciples of Christ who will in turn create new disciples. Please pray for the church's training and educational programmes. The Church Planting Training Centre is training believers to be leaders and evangelists and the Create International Christian School is a very small school attached to the church. Pray for good teachers and that their work will impact postively both on those who attend and, through them, the wider community.
Only around 10-15 out of the 12,500 population in Naka-cho, where the Wajiki church is situated, are regular church attendees. Like many other places in Japan, Naka-cho is home to a number of Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, large and small. The non-christian population's view of Christians is mixed. Whilst many respect them there is also a certain amount of wariness or fear and a feeling that it is better to keep one's distance. Please pray for the church's evangelism work, especially in the outlying areas of Naka-cho where they hope to establish a congregation. Pray also for Mr Kiyohara as he serves as local prison chaplain. A number of prisoners have already come to Christ, some even aspiring to attend Bible College in future, and there is exciting potential for this work to bear more fruit. Pray that new believers will get the support they need to grow in Christ both in prison and on release. Finally, please pray for good health among the older members of the congregation.