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Tokyo 13 story Part I - Challenges & Team Ministry System
October 02, 2013

The population of Metropolitan Tokyo (including Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, and Chiba) today is 37 millions, the world’s biggest number of population’s metropolitan city.  But our Adventists are just 3500 members with 20 small churches only.  So the ratio to the population is 1: 10000.  Also many of church members are more than the age of 65, and the total amount of tithe has been decreasing in recent years.  People living in Tokyo area are like sheep that have lost their shepherd, and most of them have wavered in their value system.

   In 2012, when the NSD president, Elder Lee picked up Tokyo as the target city in “Mission to the Cities,” our JUC leaders discussed the possibilities.  Is it realistic for our churches that are getting weak and old to set about doing such big project?  Wouldn’t we let down the GC’s expectation with no harvest?  In spite of great fear in our hearts, the JUC finally decided to set about the project of “Mission to the City, Tokyo.”  Unless we stand up now, unless we take this great opportunity now, our church might have to just stand and watch Japanese people perish doing nothing. 

  It was in the end of May, 2012, the JUC and the NSD leaders got together for the first time on this project.  After that, on June 11, the JUC leaders had the meeting with local church pastors in Metropolitan Tokyo, and the next day, the NSD leaders came to Japan again.  We discussed and prayed together, and started the project.

   To tell you the truth, not all the pastors here in Tokyo accepted the project with faith and believed its success.   Some had a great fear, some thought they were forced to do this.  Anyway, we just started the project.

Tokyo 13 of the West Tokyo group in Amanuma church

Tokyo 13 of the West Tokyo group in Amanuma church

Tokyo 13  in Kamenokoyama church with Dr. Dwight Nelson

Dr. Dwight Nelson speaking to the participants of the Tokyo 13 at the Kamenokoya church

Team Ministry System

We organized “A Big City Evangelism Committee” in the JUC, and under it, the same named committee in the East Japan conference, then under them, 8 small committees--- (1) West Tokyo team, (2) Harajuku team, (3) Tama-Saitama team, (4) Nishisugamo team, (5) Yokohama 13 team, (6) English and Spanish team, (7) Korean team, (8) Chinese team (Tagalog team, and Youth team were added later).  Since the center of evangelism is the churches at the front line, these teams made the ways for them.

For instance, one of the teams invited a retired pastor to study about ministry so that the pastors can do better prepared.  Another group started a joint prayer meeting among local churches just to make their relationship stronger.

What the JUC and the East Japan Conference focused on first was revival by prayer and the scripture.  The JUC invited Pastor KwangEui Hong, the revivalist of NSD.  He came to Japan several times, and he had revival meetings visiting church to church.  We also invited Elder Ki Yong Kwon who shared his wonderful testimony on the pioneering evangelistic works.

   Also, another team had the big camp-meeting to make church members feel Tokyo 13 as their own project.  Others also had the pre-meetings and the joint worships with other churches, then the mission spirit grew.

To be continued...