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Guest Entry: Japan partnership yielding early results

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Greetings to Asian Access on behalf of our sports ministry partnership! I enjoy sharing good news…

Festival in Shizuoka 

We had a memorable time there yesterday running a Festival with them. We had trained them earlier in the year, and they wanted one more time with us. It had been raining, so they hired a gymnasium; it worked really well.  

  • After five weeks of incredible service, it was Timo—the former All Black’s last outreach event. Timo did great—signing autographs, sharing his testimony at the end, and handing out Bibles. The combined youth group sang their song and everyone danced along.
  • Many people from the community were there. The Churches were excited by the response of the community.
  • There were 10 Churches represented – all part of Shizuoka International Sports Partnership – SISP. The Churches were thankful for all the overseas teams and each seemed to have encouraging stories of their mission teams visit.
  • They know of at least 15 people who have directly become part of their churches as a result of the RWC.
  • They now have their own Festival team and are going to serve and train others in their region. We presented them with a trampoline as a gift (a mission team left some money to buy resources to develop Festivals) and Face paints and other Festival equipment.

Training Teams that Train Teams

This is our aim – to train teams that train teams…

Above all, I was thankful for the unity of the churches there. They all get on so well. 9 of the Church Pastors are in this photo. The other had to leave early. They sense something unique is happening in their city and they want to connect more with us. Please God build this type of unity across Japan. 

And in the Tug of war, Timo was at the anchor at the end and that helped the guys win!! 

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Invitations to Minister in Schools

Another great story I just heard from Koji... After the Fiji team and Timo went into an elementary school nearby and also a High school, they contacted us to see if the Fijians and Timo could come to their activities today. Iijima elementary school danced the Haka that Timo had taught them with all the students in the sports festival today.

The second High School had sent an email to our church inviting people to their Rugby match. So Koji went along. He ended up leading the cheering—some parents asked him to. As well, he prayed and took 15 Bibles to hand out to some parents and students. He was excited as he came in tonight to share the story of the openness of people receiving the Bibles. Here he is with some parents and family of the players. You can see one mother proudly showing off her Bible!

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This has been an exciting way to follow up the mission teams visiting the schools. How are others going with follow up in schools? 

I am sure you have your stories as well, and I look forward to hearing more as we do our debrief next week.

Promotion Back in Australia

Finally, I was interviewed for a Christian newspaper in Australia called Eternity News (similar to Christianity Today in the States). It has 150,000 readerships online, and many copies are sent to most churches in Australia each month as a newspaper.

Eternity News wanted to use the Fiji team as the story to tell... 

Rugby World Cup Opens the Door to Jesus in Japan

They are keen to write a follow-up story as we prepare for the Olympics.

Have a good week!

Marty Woods
Sports Ministry Team Leader, Australia

 

More Information

  • Japan Partnership: Asian Access has helped to convene a ministry partnership with several organizations centered on leveraging the 2019 Rugby World Cup and Tokyo 2020 Olympics. We look forward to reporting on ministry results emerging from this Kingdom partnership.
  • Marty & Jenny Woods work with Fusion. here is an article with more info: The Aussie who is helping churches to party

 

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