25 Feb Changing Seasons
Hello from YWAM Tokyo!
It has been quite a while since we last wrote a full-length blog update. Apologies if you have been waiting! We’ve decided to step up the content on our website, so I’m hoping I’ll be able to have a blog post up at the very least biweekly, possibly weekly. Blogs will be written by yours truly, our base leader, and other staff. With this we hope you will get to see how the Lord is moving in Japan from many viewpoints.
The staff had a brief break from mid-December until early January. Many of us went home to our homeland countries like the US and Canada. For me it was a refreshing experience being able to meet up with many of the friends and family that supported me. Once we got back into the flow of things, we were able to target one of our biggest issues- the need to move into bigger housing. We have also sensed that the Lord is calling all of us to move to Ikebukuro in anticipation of the next move of God.
Our base has been rapidly growing over the past two years or so. When I did my DTS in 2010 it was just 6 of us with around 9 staff. Last year’s DTS had grown to 13 students, with around 16 staff. The coming DTS in April of this year already has 16 accepted students, with an additional 10 staff coming in by that time. We need to move into bigger houses and a large meeting space that can accommodate 60 people or more. The leadership team has been constantly checking with realtors and visiting possible locations for a new meeting space, as well as housing local to that, all in or around Ikebukuro. It is tiresome and has its ups and downs, as renting buildings as foreigners in Japan can be difficult. Especially for foreigners who want to make noise for God in worship, and have many people living in community. In light of that, please press in through prayer for us here! We are growing in number and excited to see what the Lord is going to do!
One thing the Lord has really pressed upon our hearts is the building of an altar of worship. This is in our hearts and also in Tokyo itself. We want to have a place where people can be free to worship and engage with God. We also want to have a heart postured for worship, acknowledging the Lord, most worthy of praise and humbling ourselves to give Him the highest place. It all goes back to the first commandment, to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37, ESV). We as believers ought to spend our utmost seeking the face of God by loving Him above all else. With that first commandment love, the second commandment to love our neighbors/others flows outward.
In this season of pursuit we have continued to plow the ground in Ikebukuro every Friday. We begin with prayer and break out into worship or smaller groups to walk throughout the city. Often we are praying and engaging in conversation with locals who are curious to why we are singing in the middle of a park.
Ministries such as our partnership with HiBA (High School Born-Againers) on Wednesday and Thursday evenings continue. We also continue to support the local church in attendance and service. All in all, it has been a trying season after last year’s DTS, ending in August, but God is good and His work is never finished!
– A larger and fresh meeting space
– Housing that is close to that meeting space
– Financial support for staff
– Discipleship Training School beginning in April
– New staff coming in and getting situated
Thank you and Godspeed,
P.S. Apologies for the lack of great photos. I am not much in the area of photography. I’ll work on getting better photos for future posts!