One of the protection measures my church in Japan has taken against the COVID-19 has been to not allow the children to come to the church. So Sunday after Sunday, since March 2020, we have conducted Sunday School via Zoom. This means the kids have not met their church friends in person for nearly two years.
Probably this means they have not met any Christian friends anywhere at all during this period. Japan has such a low Christian population (less than one percent), they normally do not find any other Christians in their classes at school. My 12-year-old daughter has so far spent five years in a Japanese school and has not met any other Christians there. The church is the only place that these kids can meet other Christians.
From October 2021, new COVID cases in Japan sharply dropped. The church sees this as an opportunity to host a special event for our children, so they are planning one for December. We will not just sing songs, listen to evangelistic messages, and play games, but meet “old friends.” My daughter is looking forward to seeing her church friends. They will each be surprised to see how tall the others have grown in the past two years!
Christian children are such a minority in Japan. But they are also specially chosen ones. They need a lot of care and encouragement. Yet, one of the struggles in Japan is how to do our best to ensure faith is successfully passed to the next generation. The children’s ministry is one of the most important ministries here.
Please pray that the children in Japan will come to know Jesus. Pray too that those who grow up in the church will persevere in the faith and pass it on to the next generation.
–by an OMF missionary in Japan