More Like Jesus
By Jerome Perico
Looking back a year ago to my experience in Japan, I think one of the unforgettable experiences I had there was the small church we stayed in at Ajigasawa. The day after the English camp, we attended the morning service in that church. Aside from us short-term workers, there were only seven people who attended and some of them had to leave early. Later I learned that some of those ladies who left have husbands who don’t like them going to church, and they had to leave to go home and cook lunch for their husbands. Yet they keep coming to church. Even though they have ongoing conflict in their spousal relationships because of their faith, they continued to be faithful and kept on coming to attend the church service. Speaking to another lady in the church, I realized how hungry they are for the Word of God. One lady kept telling me many times, “I want to be more like Jesus.” And that phrase had been kept in my mind since then as a reminder, not only for me, but for all of us who profess to follow our Lord; we ought to long to be conformed in His image.
It is difficult being a Christian in Japan. I felt that burden as I speak and interact with some of the people there. But in spite of the difficulties they face, they continue to be faithful in following the Lord, and I think that is one of the many things we can learn from our brothers and sisters who are a minority group in that nation. It is not the number of members we should look at but the disciples being made. The need for the gospel in Japan is still huge. More workers for the vineyard are needed, but I believe that the Lord is still at work in the nation. More prayers are needed to especially in raising up more Christian Japanese leaders, and also encouraging the church to engage in evangelism in that setting.