After being out on the water one morning I talked to a couple of other surfers: “Today, was difficult to catch waves, wasn’t it? Do you often surf here?”
“Yeah, we live in Sapporo, and if we have our day off we come here. It was a bit hard out there today, but at least we’ve been in the water.”
“I saw you have a Channel Island board. Do you know that the shaper, Al Merrick, believes in the creator God? If you have two minutes I can explain it to you using the logo on your surfboard.”
The two ladies listened to me using the three circles to explain the gospel, took a contact card, and politely thanked me for sharing this story with them.
A year ago we moved out of the big city into a little village. By car, it’s only half an hour from the hustle and bustle of Sapporo area (where almost two million live). It’s not far, but the small community nestled between the coast and the mountains has quite a different atmosphere compared to the city. There are benefits for starting a new ministry here, it is way easier to build initial relationships. The downside is that, like most small communities, the social pressure is stronger and outsiders don’t easily fit.
Our team’s goal is to start a house-church network. We have two main strategies:
- Build trust relationships along “natural” lines and season our daily conversations with neighbours and contacts from kindergarten and school with the gospel. A little testimony here or a bible story there. Spending time with the people around us, joining neighbourhood activities, inviting people over at our place, having BBQs, etc.
- Cast the net wide, using outdoor sports. These include surfing, snowboarding, and mountain biking. These enable us to be out and about to meet people we can share the gospel with.
In the parable of the sower, the farmer throws out lots of seeds. Most of them don’t fall on fertile ground, but his job is to keep sowing. I find that’s one of the hardest things to do—to keep on sowing the seed of the gospel. It would be so easy to stop. Please pray for us.
By JP, an OMF missionary
Will you pray for Japan?
- Pray that we keep on sowing the gospel seed widely and that some will fall on fertile ground and multiply a hundredfold.
- Pray we’ll be in close contact with the people around, have clear communication, and that we’ll keep on “gospeling”
- Pray we stay close to the Lord and have Christ-like characters.