Creating an Imprint in the Land of the Rising Sun

Joanne An . 11 November 2011




Since 2010, Pastor Dale has had a passion for the nation of Japan. Despite the affluence and seemingly stoic appearance of the society, there has always been a spiritual vacuum within this nation. This passion has materialized into concrete plans to participate in God's story for Japan. Thus missional work began as early as 2010 with a few from the leadership team going to Japan to survey the ground.

With the massive destruction caused by the 11 March 3-pronged disaster (earthquake-cum-tsunami-cum-radiation) in Sendai, the purpose for making Japan a missional ground became apparent.

As Singaporeans, the first thing that comes to mind when talking about Japan would be its popular tourist reputation. However, when the disaster happened, Japan immediately became a tourist hotspot to avoid. It is with such a perspective that Evangel took on the challenge of reaching the Japanese in a time as this.

With this in mind, a team of 5 (2 full-time church staff and 3 volunteers on a 6-month stint) will be embarking on this inaugural missional team to Japan, sent by Evangel Family Church.

In September this year, a team went to Tokyo and Osaka to seek out the possibilities of setting up a community. The short trip was amazingly fruitful considering most of the research was done online. Friendships were formed and contacts exchanged for future communication. They came from all walks of life – including an aspiring artist, a 2-star Michelin French chef who worked in Singapore previously, 4 Japanese housewives with young babies and government office workers. Through the few but frank conversations, it was shared that the people are concerned about the radiation threat hovering over them and their families. Overnight, some 500,000 foreigners left Japan for their home countries. To the team who went, it is evident that God wants us to be there for a reason and for such a time as this.

Building on the contacts from this trip and other international organisations with the same intent as Evangel, the team of 5 are now preparing for the work in Japan. They are Ming Tian, Joanne, Jie Ren, Mae and Sing Tee. In time to come, there will be other volunteers joining and continuing the work. We sincerely covet after the prayers of every Evangelite as we embark on this exciting journey.