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Dawn of Japanese Media Evangelism: Project Hope Japan
April 24, 2017
Upholding the “Vision One Million 2020” slogan, the Japan Union Conference (JUC) is aiming to have 5,000 baptisms and a membership of 20,000 people by the year 2020. In order to help accomplish this goal, in May 2018, we will conduct the “All Japan 2018 Maranatha” project with more than 100 simultaneous evangelistic series all over Japan.

In order to achieve this goal, Hope Channel Japan decided to create short video films to share through Social Network Services and YouTube and to connect people to Bible correspondence courses. We called this “Project Hope Japan.” From March 13 to 31, 2017, for about three weeks, we created more than 100 short evangelistic films as we trained and discovered new talents for media evangelism.

Currently, we only have two Hope Channel staff, one Adventist World Radio staff, and one staff member who manages the JUC websites. In recent years, Japan’s need for media evangelism has increased tremendously; however, “the harvest truly is great but the labors are few.”

To help with the project, thirteen Hope Channel staff from Australia, Brazil, India, Philippines, and Central Asia came to Japan. From Japan we had eight young people who volunteered to help.

On March 13, 2017, during orientation on our first day, Pastor Brad Thorp, previous Hope Channel International president, welcomed us with the following statement: “This project will give hope to the Adventist Church all around the world. We hope that this project will become a model evangelism project as an example to the rest of the world.”

We divided into three teams and began recording. The three teams were Yokohama team, Tokyo team, and Chiba team. We created various films, including seminars on marriage and raising children and on evolution and creation, music videos, short films with Bible verses, and short dramas tailored for non-Christians.

The Japan media staff sacrificed their sleep time and worked beyond the utmost individual capabilities to prepare for this project. They worked hard to prepare the storyboards for the project. Furthermore, the staff worked very hard to arrange the recording locations, lodging, and logistics for 24 staff. The Hope Channel staff from other countries left their families for a period of time to help with the work in Japan. With much sacrifice and mission spirit, Project Hope Japan moved forward. With Total Member Involvement in mind, we asked JUC workers, schools, hospitals, and other Adventist institutions to cooperate with the filming project.

In normal circumstances, creating more than 100 short films in just three weeks is impossible. However, with much prayer and commitment, we were able to witness a miracle. By God’s grace, we recorded about 130 films. As I write this article on April 2, four International Hope Channel staff are still editing all the films we recorded.

We appreciate Mrs. Kandus Thorp, Hope Chanel international director, who came to visit Japan several times and gave us words of encouragement. She was always very positive; not once did we hear negative words from her. We appreciate Mrs. Thorp for always giving us words of encouragement and praying with us when we felt discouraged and felt like giving up. We also greatly appreciate the financial support from the General Conference, and especially Mrs. Ivy Ng for her support.

After completing 130 short films, many of the staff were shocked beyond words and praised God and gave Him glory. Through this project, we were able to experience God’s hand working in Japan’s media evangelism by making the impossible possible. Please continue to pray and support Hope Channel Japan.

Article by Norihiko Hanada, Director, Hope Channel Japan