By David Harris
In June 2008 we were serving in Aomori,
Japan. A national pastor approached us with the
need for a missionary to assist national churches
in church planting throughout Japan. After I
prayed about this request for over a year, the
Lord burdened my heart and directed us to take
the step of faith to return to Kobe, Japan.
Until help arrives to take the church in
Aomori, our people use video recorded services
from Grace Kobe Baptist Church. Every other
month we travel back to Aomori to encourage
our people and see this work grow. This 750 mile
trip takes 15-20 hours by car or bus. To travel by
train or plane is too expensive.
As we travel back and forth to Aomori, we
pass through many areas with little or no Gospel
witness. It is heart rending to see scores of cities
and thousands of people who need someone to
tell them of Jesus. The main problem is that there
are not enough laborers. We understand more
the heart of our Lord when He said, “the labourers
are few.” The echo of that need continues to be
heard throughout all of Japan.
Members of various religions send out
workers by the scores, but where are those
within our own ranks willing to go across the
street and around the world to reach people
with the good news of the Gospel? Where are
the young people longing to do something for
God? Where are the men and women needed to
help us reach the lost in this part of the harvest?
In well known cities like Tokyo or Osaka,
there are millions without Christ. There are
scores of cities not so familiar where there are
thousands more with the same need.
Recently, we drove through downtown
Tokyo. Elevated highways twist and turn through
this amazing city. I cannot help but wonder how
many of the people we saw know Jesus. Can you
believe it has only been a couple years ago that
a church began in downtown Tokyo? Imagine a
city of nine million people and no independent
Baptist church. Praise the Lord for a national
family that was willing to go!
Although this latest development is
thrilling, we feel like the disciples who looked at
the food the lad offered and said, But what are
they among so many? Yet, God works through
those willing to go! God can take a young man
or woman and send them around the world with
the Gospel! God can help us reach others so we
have more workers for the harvest.
Consider the great need for laborers in
the Tohoku region where we worked for the
last 15 years. The northernmost portion of the
main island of Honshu, Tohoku includes six
prefectures or states. From north to south, they
are Aomori, Akita, Iwate, Yamagata, Miyagi, and
Fukushima. Each has a population of 1.5 million
or more. Fukushima has several independent
Baptist churches, but the story is different for the
other five prefectures.