Impact: (noun) influence; effect; forceful contact; collision
Japan is a nation of beauty, efficiency, history and honor. Located at the top corner of the 10/40 Window, it is also a nation in desperate need of the Gospel: less than 1% of 127 million Japanese have been introduced to Jesus and believe.
The Japanese are among the most affluent people in the world, yet Japan has one of the highest suicide rates as the people of this county battle hopelessness to find worth and value. However, there is confident hope that “Japanese society is poised for an unprecedented awakening to the gospel” (Operation World).
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
~ Matthew 9:35-38
As Jesus looked at the crowd with compassion, He noticed that the issue was not the harvest, but the lack of laborers. If you are wanting to invest your summer by having an eternal impact in the lives of others, consider the Japanese and ask the Lord of the harvest if He will send you!
The most effective way to share Jesus with Japanese students is through relational evangelism and shared experiences. Your summer in Japan will include sharing daily life with students in the hope that you may share the Gospel with them as well.
This summer was so good for me. I learned God’s love is great and I understand that friends are so wonderful.
~ Japanese student
You will study the Bible each week with students, taking part in meaningful discussions and sharing your testimony. This gives Japanese students an opportunity to practice their conversational English skills while wrestling with questions about faith and the person of Jesus. Your relationship with these students will be reinforced through playing sports, eating meals and traveling Japan together. It is incredible how God can use one summer to build deep relationships cross-culturally and impact lives forever.
This was one of the best summers of my life. I got to build deep friendships that held the weight of the gospel, which is so hard for Japanese students to fully understand. As a summer friend, I had the opportunity to pray for students and read the Bible with them for the first time in their life! I want so badly to see my Japanese friends come to know Christ. The Lord has truly grown my heart for the nations; He will grow yours also, if you let Him.
~ SIJ 2012 Member