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Youth Rush Japan 2019
May 17, 2019

 Youth Rush Japan, a student literature evangelism program of the Japan Union Conference (JUC), started in the summer of 2016 at Setagaya Church. Almost three years have passed since Youth Rush Japan began. When it started, only 7 students participated in the program. In February and March 2019, we had four programs with over 40 young people participating! God blesses us! God is growing this movement in Japan! Praise the Lord!

Big things happened. At the Tokai Christian Center, 18 people showed an interest in Bible studies, which the local church will follow-up on. Praise the Lord again! At the Sodegaura Church, 5 people came to church during the program on Sabbath through personal invitation by students going door-to-door.

We also had our very first Gideon Conference and Youth Rush Conference from March 22 to 26, 2019. About 40 Youth Rush participants gathered at Setagaya Youth Church for a weekend of prayer, revival, and fellowship. They distributed 100,000 tracts in Tokyo in one day! For the weekend program, we were blessed to have following speakers: Pastor Stanley Ng, publishing ministries director of the Northern Asia-Pacific Division; Pastor Masumi Shimada, JUC president; and Pastor Norihiko Hanada, JUC communication director. 

Elder Almir Marroni, the publishing ministries director of the General Conference, visited the Sodegaura program and the Tokai Christian Center program in March for seven days to go door-to-door with the students! What a privilege for the students! Praise the Lord for the support and interest from the Division and the General Conference leadership.

As a leader, I go door-to-door with various students every day to observe, train, and support the students at doors. I would like to share some testimonies of what I have witnessed.

One day, one of our Youth Rush students came across a grumpy and cold grandpa. The grandpa said, “I can’t read! I am blind, and I hate religion!” The grandpa clearly seemed to have very bad eyesight and was in a bad mood. The student wanted to do something for the grandpa before she left, so she offered to sing a hymn for the grandpa. Surprisingly, the grandpa used to go to Sunday school when he was a boy. As the student started singing, the grumpy grandpa also started to sing along with the student. By the end of the song, both the grandpa and the student had a smile as they parted ways. Godly music has power to bring smiles to grumpy faces.

There were two 17-year-old students who were not off to a good start—they made zero sales for the first few hours. One hour before lunchtime, we came across a small, old apartment. Unexpectedly, we had many divine appointments at the apartment. One of the students made three sales in a row. At each of the three consecutive doors, she not only sold books, but she was able to pray together and sing “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” for the residents. The two students were able to sell more than 20 books combined in that last hour. Praise the Lord!

Finally, I am going to share the story of a 16-year-old student. He started strong in the morning. By applying what he learned in training, he was able to sell many books to many different people. With a big smile of victory and a cheerful spirit, he was running door-to-door, visiting homes. Right before lunchtime, however, the student met a very mean, angry person that left him feeling bitter. Even after lunch time, he was still thinking about the person and was feeling discouraged. Slowly, his smile turned into a discouraged, depressed-looking frown. He no longer ran between doors. He was walking, discouraged, and unable to connect with people at doors. The student stopped and said, “I feel like giving up. I cannot continue. I feel discouraged and want to quit. Going door-to-door seems meaningless at this point.” I simply encouraged him by saying, “Don’t give up. Don’t go by feelings. Go by faith. There is somebody waiting for you!”

We started running. About 10 minutes later, we met a lady in her 50s. To make a long story short, after a good conversation, the lady bought a vegetarian cookbook and Ellen White’s The Great Controversy from the student. Furthermore, the student was able to pray for the lady and sing a hymn for her as well. As soon as the student started singing the hymn “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” with a beautiful melodious voice, the lady started crying uncontrollably. She was deeply touched. With tears, she kept repeating, “Thank you! Thank you! Please don’t stop what you are doing. What you are doing is amazing. Please don’t give up. Continue what you are doing!”

After we parted ways, the student and I knelt by the side of the road and offered a prayer of thanksgiving. I asked the student to pray. He prayed a short but beautiful prayer, “God, please forgive me! I was unfaithful, but you are always faithful! Thank you very much! I understand. I will not give up. Now, I will run! Amen.”

After the prayer, for the rest of the day, the student ran full-speed from door-to-door with a joyful spirit. Praise the Lord! God is good. Let us be faithful unto the end.

Please continue to keep us in your prayers. By God’s grace, we can equip young people to answer God’s calling to become leaders for His end-time movement. We pray and hope that young people will readily fulfill God’s commission to share the Three Angels’ Messages to every nation, kindred, tongue and people with a loud voice.

Through the Youth Rush program we pray and hope to equip and inspire young people to answer the call to become leaders for God’s end-time movement! We pray and hope that young people will joyfully answer the call to share the Three Angels’ Messages to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people with a loud voice.

Since Youth Rush Japan began in 2016, exactly 111 young people have participated in this program. Praise the Lord!

News Article by Daniel Fukuda, Youth Rush Japan Coordinator