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Rugby World Cup in Japan: God-given opportunity

All around the world eyes are currently on Japan for the Rugby World Cup—the first ever in Asia! Few of the 126 million people in Japan can fail to be aware of the competition, especially after Japan’s shock win over Ireland early on.

But what about those in Japan who play? A few weeks ago I read an article about an 86-year-old Japanese man who is one of the many veteran full-contact players. Pretty inspirational to me! But my guess is he’s extremely unlikely to be a believer in Jesus.

You see, when I first came to Japan I wanted to join a rugby club, and was introduced to one. But it became clear that all the main action would take place on Sundays. Since I was expected to be at a church on Sunday mornings, I could see it wouldn’t work. But it got me thinking—if almost all committed Japanese Christians take weekly Sunday morning church attendance seriously, and most rugby activities take place on a Sunday, how few believers there must be amongst the 120,000 or so Japanese rugby players.

This month there are several teams of Christian rugby players and coaches in Japan. They plan to help churches put on events and coaching sessions to make use of any opportunities there might be for evangelism. Why not pray right now for them to have fruitful partnership? And pray for the many committed Christians among the international squads to shine like stars in what is a very difficult environment. Perhaps they might inspire some Japanese rugby players to investigate what it is that makes them shine.

By Richard, an OMF missionary

Will you pray for Japan?

  • Pray for fruitful partnerships between visiting Christian rugby players and churches in Japan this month.
  • Pray for the committed Christians who are playing in this year’s World Cup to shine like stars in the difficult environment of an international competition.

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