As the HOPE61 trainer for Japan, I had the privilege of leading the first HOPE61 Engage training in Japan with the OMS Christian Mission Church on February 3. Nine people attended the training, with a mix of missionaries and Japanese church members being trained. This training marked the first time that the Japanese and missionary church members sat down together to talk about their ministry and outreach strategy as a church.
It was a joy to see the church getting so excited about reaching out to vulnerable people in their neighborhood and to see them thinking so strategically about how to use the gifts God gave them to help others. The participants came out of the training with a new understanding about human trafficking, but also with a new enthusiasm to make a difference in their community and share the Gospel with their neighbors.
Though I am currently in the U.S. raising support, I hope to move to Japan by late April to continue laying the foundation for the HOPE61 ministry to begin there. God is moving in Japan. So many doors have been opened for HOPE61 in Japan by the grace of God. I have several church groups interested in having me come share with them about the ministry and the training we offer once I move there.
Currently, less than 1 percent of people in Japan are Christian. But I believe that HOPE61 can be a catalyst for the church in Japan, to get them out of the church building and into the community, loving and serving their neighbors in tangible ways. With that, more and more Japanese people will come to know the Lord because they will see that God really loves and values them enough to take action.
~Pam Duhrkoop, OMS Missionary and HOPE61 trainer