Update from Japan Hippo Team
We just finished 3 days of our time with the kids at Kansai Christian School. Here are a few of our thoughts from our time in Japan so far:
Gayle - I was not prepared to be so overwhelmed with such deep sorrow for the Japanese people who live a very controlled, orderly, and efficient life…void of God. It makes our work at KCS and Oasis Church all the more meaningful. I am forever grateful for this opportunity for my family. It’s been so rewarding to work alongside Jo Ann, the Tawas, and the Masons.
Jarret - Working with this Japan team has been a true blessing for me. It has also been a blessing working with the people here. God has shown me that He is omniscient and omnipotent by showing me that He can be worshipped in more than one language. The people at Oasis church were really friendly and welcomed us warmly. It reminded me of God’s unconditional love for us. The students at Kansai Christian School are really open and friendly with our whole team. It is encouraging to see that these students love and obey God even in a country where they are the minority.
Jo Ann - We have served at Kansai Christian School now for 3 days providing an afternoon program to give the teachers a break after a morning of testing. Working with the students, I realize now that the hope and future of the nation of Japan lies in schools like these which introduce children to Jesus and nurture their faith. It is my prayer that many will rise up and become the next generation of Christians who will take up the challenge of evangelizing the Japanese people.
John - Great to see believers half a world away. Even though we’re far apart in distance, we’re not far apart in spirit. Wonderful to be a part of this team and to have the opportunity to visit the Masons and Oasis Church, and also KCS. I’ve enjoyed seeing my kids making friends with people they’ve just met and yet it seems like they’ve known them for years.
Michelle - So happy to be in Japan again! And more so, it has been a tremendous blessing to be working alongside such a talented, passionate, faithful, and wonderful team! I have been moved by the genuine way in which each member of the team has been keeping ears and hearts open for God. We have seen Him move in ways unexpected, through beautifully earnest conversations with Japanese church members, to getting to know the students at KCS. I am reminded that God uses us just the way we are, through who we are, even in our weakness and insecurities, to accomplish His purposes of establishing His kingdom throughout the earth.
Nathan - My experience in Japan, especially at the Kansai Christian School, is definitely going to be the highlight of my year. The kids, even from the first minute they saw us, were so glad to see our team as we were glad to see them too. I can especially relate to one of the kids, Joshua, at the school. I’m glad to be here to tell him about Jesus and encourage him to follow God even in a land which is not Christian. Unlike the surrounding areas, the students at KCS believe in God and are Christians that can save Japan’s future.
Nick - The reoccurring theme for me has been, “Give what you’ve got.” I don’t speak Japanese. I’m not a youth pastor. Yet, my role here has been leading the youth program and lecturing parents on raising adolescents. Somehow, God has worked through my weakness. Our efforts have allowed a new teacher to develop discipleship relationships with her students that go much deeper than traditional teacher-student relationships. All glory to God.
Nolan - The Christian kids here are very different than kids in America. What I mean by that is, kids here are so willing to begin a good friendship with anyone. Kids in America tend to hide behind walls that they build to separate themselves from other people. It is rare to find anyone with a personality that’s so open and vulnerable to everyone and anyone. In Japan, and in particular at Kansai Christian School (KCS), people are so open and welcoming to us. I’ve already made good friends here and am already missing them and hoping i can come back!
We’ll have much more to tell you all when we return. Until then, we count on your prayers as we hopefully finish well: Friday’s last day at the school, Saturday’s outreach Easter Party and Sunday we will be sharing our impressions of Japan with the Oasis church.
Jo Ann for Team Hippo
Note: view the calendar to see what the Team is doing now!