Aomori Christian Center (ACC) began as a Bible camp in the 1950s. It’s located in the foothills of mountains in the north of Honshu. Many Christians in this area have experienced significant spiritual milestones as a result of camps and retreats held at ACC over the years.
Ministry thrived at ACC for many decades, but a period of rapid decline culminated in a chimney fire in the main building in 2014 and the center was closed by local authorities. Since 2015 Luke and Yuko Elliot, OMF missionaries, have been working to renew and revitalise ACC. Permission was granted to run scaled-down programs as they worked on plans for three new buildings on the property—multi-purpose refectory (dining hall), dormitory, and chapel.
The new refectory was supposed to be completed by July 2020 in time for the 2020 summer camp season. Many plans were made and funds raised, but then COVID-19 happened. The building team couldn’t come and construction was postponed. Summer camp staff recruitment had to stop and much of the camping season was cancelled. And because this is an area that receives heavy snow, winter storage space had to be prepared for the building materials that had already arrived.
Luke writes: From a human perspective, the timing of our building project was devastatingly unlucky. But we are not confined to that perspective. We know that there is a heavenly perspective. Our daily prayer is that the building project will be blessed all the more for having been delayed.
And in spite of COVID-19, we were able to do two Bible camps. These Bible camps were the biggest we’ve had yet, in spite of all the restrictions.
Please join with us in praying that the new refectory can be completed in spite of all the added costs caused by COVID-19, and that with the new building we will be able to move forward with the exciting new camp and retreat programs that we have been planning.