Japanese Ministry

The Lonely Road to Acceptance

October 19, 2015 | Japanese Ministry
Because of Takahiro’s mental disability, his engagement with people was sometimes awkward. He’s never really had a sense of belonging—until now. Takahiro was baptized in the Catholic Church, but not raised in a Christian home. In his early thirties, he became a frequent listener of Morning Word and Let’s Open the Bible, a Japanese radio program produced by Back to God Ministries International (BTGMI). Since he began following our program, he has established a connection with our team in Japan. He often visits the Japanese staff in the building where their ministry is located. Takahiro is welcome in their office, but as BTGMI Japanese team leader Rev. Masao Yamashita explains, “We share the building with other businesses. Takahiro is viewed as a troublemaker by the other workers in the building, and quite often they treat him rudely.” This poor treatment only added to Takahiro’s feelings that he is unwanted and…[Read More]

Kyoko’s Journey to Faith

July 15, 2015 | Japanese Ministry
Kyoko wasn’t raised in a Christian family, but her mother sent her to kindergarten at a mission school in Japan. There she first met Jesus, but it would be years before she embraced the Christian faith. In her 20s Kyoko met and married Maki, who was raised in a Christian home, but he left the faith during his rebellious teen years. Although neither Kyoko nor Maki were believers, Maki’s mother encouraged them to choose her church’s pastor as the traditional “go-between” for the wedding ceremony. That interaction opened the door for Kyoko to occasionally attend church again. But it wasn’t until she went through some trouble with her sister that Kyoko opened her heart to the Lord. “I started going to a small church near our apartment and was baptized at age thirty,” she says. A few years later they moved to Saitama, 20 miles northwest of Tokyo, and Kyoko…[Read More]

Five Minutes in the Morning

June 9, 2015 | Japanese Ministry
“I called Morning Word today and it gave me peace,” says Mr. Hiroo, a listener in Tokyo, Japan. Mr. Hiroo is hospitalized, but is able to receive a daily biblical message via the Japanese audio program, Morning Word (Asa no Kotoba). Hiroo continues, “The program offers easy to understand stories and the pastor is uplifting.” Morning Word is a five minute daily devotional produced by the Japanese outreach of Back to God Ministries International. It is sent to subscribers digitally and broadcast on various radio stations throughout northern Japan. It is also available through the Japanese ministry website. Nearly 20 million listeners’ lives are being touched by this impactful program. Ms. Ayako listened to the program in the past, but became busy with life and was not able to make time for devotions. It wasn’t until she became ill that she was able to sit still and find that time…[Read More]

Silent Listener Comes Back to Christ

May 1, 2015 | Japanese Ministry
Mr. Nagahiko Kuroda was baptized when he was very young. But he soon fell away from church life and stayed away for most of his life. In Northern Japan, it is very difficult to remain active in church because of strong opposition from relatives or colleagues.  Now, in his 80s, Nagahiko first learned about Jesus many years ago through his older brother, who was a Christian. Even though he stopped going to church, Nagahiko continued to listen to Back to God Ministries Japanese broadcast over FEBC. “My only source of Christian life came from the radio,” he told BTGMI Japanese ministry leader Rev. Masao Yamashita. Nagahiko sent a letter to BTGMI Japanese staff in November, 1990, saying he was listening. Between then and 2004 he contacted the staff at least 20 times. “Then we lost contact with him,” says Rev. Yamashita.  However, Nagahiko had picked up the broadcast on the Internet…[Read More]

Floating Souls in Japan

September 11, 2014 | Japanese Ministry
Megumi and Miyuki live in Sendai, Japan, an area devastated by the earthquake and tsunami in 2011. After the disasters, God gave these two women hope through Back to God Ministries Japanese radio program and they longed to connect with other followers of Christ. But in a country where only 1.5 percent of people publicly profess their faith, it can be difficult to find a community of believers. “It is very important to connect listeners who contact us to local churches,” says BTGMI Japanese leader Rev. Masao Yamashita. “The power of the radio and Internet ministries is great, but listeners may have a hard time making any real connections. If not connected to a local church, they become floating souls.” In order to equip local churches to disciple these “floating souls,” BTGMI began a partnership with Christian Reformed World Missions (CRWM) and The Reformed Church in Japan (RCJ) to create…[Read More]

Concert Celebrates Hope in the Gospel

April 17, 2014 | Japanese Ministry
As more than 550 people gathered together for a concert in Sendai City, Japan, Back to God Ministries Japanese outreach witnessed the powerful community God has created through their Words of Hope radio program. Most of the concert’s attendees were people whose lives were devastated in 2011 after the earthquake and tsunami that hit Northern Japan. Three years later, many of the victims celebrated the hope they found in the Gospel through the weekly radio program. A local high school choir performed at the concert along with singer Tsutomu Aragaki, who is blind. Because of his own troubles, Tsutomu has a gift for reaching suffering hearts. “My heart is full of fear whenever I think about the tsunami,” said one of the concert attendees. “But the wonderful singing voices reminded me of my childhood. Thank you very much.” “What we have done seems small in comparison to the vast impact…[Read More]

Praise God for Answered Prayer in Japan

April 8, 2014 | Japanese Ministry
Thank you for praying for the third annual Words of Hope concert in March to encourage victims of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. More than 550 people gathered to hear music and testimonies of God’s faithfulness. Thank God for answered prayer. Please pray that those who attended will continue walk in hope. 

Jo’s Faith Journey in Japan

May 30, 2013 | Japanese Ministry
Jo Ushioda stood up in his church in Japan on Easter morning before 27 of his fellow believers and publicly professed his faith in Christ. On the day that celebrates the resurrection of Christ, he would also be celebrating his own form of resurrection- through his baptism. Jo, a 42-year-old follower of several Back to God Ministries International’s Japanese programs, has shared each step of his faith journey with Rev. Masao Yamashita, our Japanese ministry leader. “Since last July, Jo has faithfully sent more than 180 comments to our programs,” Rev. Yamashita said. “He has never had the opportunity to become a Christian until now.” In Japan, only 1 percent of people claim Christianity as their religion and many media ministries are cutting back or disappearing altogether. Although the nation enjoys freedom of religion, 70 percent of citizens claim none. With this in mind, there is only one way Jo…[Read More]

Restoring Hope through Music

April 8, 2013 | Japanese Ministry
Two years after the devastating 9.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Japan and claimed more than 17,000 lives, the people still remember its effects every day. Yet, many have found hope ─ with music. This was the goal of the second annual Words of Hope concert, which took place in the Wakabayashi-ku Cultural Center in Sendai, Japan, an area hit hard by damage following the March 11, 2011 earthquake. More than 500 people attended the March 2013 concert, sponsored by our Japanese ministry. “There is always something that worries us in our lives;” said one of the attendees, “but wonderful music like today's concert encourages us.” Many of the attendees also listen to our Words of Hope radio program, launched in 2011 to comfort those who lost so much during the disaster. “It has been two years since the earthquake hit Tohoku area,” said a 20-year-old man who attended the concert.…[Read More]

Hiroshi’s Journey to Faith

July 2, 2012 | Japanese Ministry
Hiroshi’s May 2012 baptism as a believer in Christ was an answer to 17 years of prayer. Hiroshi lost his first wife to lung cancer in 1989 and soon after that his only son was killed in a motorcycle accident. In 1994 Hiroshi married Miyako, a Christian, who invited him to join her for the annual summer camp sponsored by Back to God Ministries Japanese staff. Summer camp is a time for isolated believers and seekers to come together for spiritual growth and Christian fellowship. For Hiroshi, it was a time to explore the faith that his new wife professed. Hiroshi later commented, “The Christian faith was not familiar to me. I had few opportunities to encounter Christians. It was difficult to understand the existence of God.” He continued to attend the annual camp because he enjoyed spending time with Christians, participating in the times of worship, Bible study, and…[Read More]
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