fmZERO (student ministry)
It is often said that University is the one period in their lives when Japanese people have some time – sandwiched between the intense exam preparation period of high school and the pressures of the work place. It is a key time when people have time to think about the bigger issues of life. Yet there are many Universities and Colleges where there are no known Christians.
fmZERO (‘OMF’ spelt backwards) is OMF Japan’s outreach programme to university students in Sapporo. Sapporo is the main city in Hokkaido and has more than 57,000 University students studying at its different Universities each year. fmZERO’s focus is on friendship evangelism and seeking to connect students with churches. Additionally, it provides a great opportunity for short-term workers to get involved in ministry. International Night at fmZERO
The primary area of activity is at Hokkaido University (Hokudai), the largest university in Hokkaido. In order to get to know students, the team often attend student activities, for example the English Speaking Society or SACLA (studying all cultures and languages association). Once a month the team hosts an International Party at the OMF Center in Sapporo. They invite their friends, have games, a meal and a short talk (mostly a testimony). In addition they hold a weekly English Bible Class at a church near the campus. Here they play games using English for one hour and then read the English Good News Bible and discuss it.
Rather than hold lots of events, the team wants to be free to meet up with students on a one to one basis. This is important to develop good relationships. They help students with their English or just meet to talk.
They also do Bible Studies in English – mostly one-to-one – or in Japanese if the student prefers. When they have the opportunity they also invite students to come along to church.
The team tries to keep in touch with the Christian group on campus (KGK). They would love to see these Christian students come to the events to meet non-Christian students and invite them to their Bible Study on campus.
Students only study for 4 to 6 years, then they often leave Sapporo, especially when they are from other parts of Japan. The time is short but the opportunities are great.