I flew out to a different Japan; the earthquake and tsunami have changed things. Japan has not known national power cuts since the end of world war two, the south of the country produced many fresh foods which at the moment can’t be eaten and the food they do have has a fear hanging over it in case it came from the north. My flight out usually full had only fifty on a large Boeing 777. Narita airport, Tokyo is normally a thriving metropolis but resembled a ghost town. Many waiting areas were cordoned off and in darkness giving the building an eerie feeling.
I felt strongly that God was sending me this year for a special purpose and in the first week and my main event it became clear. From the beginning God didn’t do things according to my plan. Normally each event is taken separately with its own self contained teaching, but not this time. The day after arriving was a public holiday and a children’s and young people’s day where I began a series of teachings entitled “rise up and be the people God is calling you to be”. We began there continuing through the family service on Sunday and the May camp. The camp involved six sessions which at the end the organisers called a breath of fresh air in the midst of disaster, fear and pain. The pastor in charge said it was the biggest and best we have had in a number of years with a core number residential of thirty two and at the second night meeting we had fifty two. (InJapanyou can’t get everyone together at one time even during holidays). This year only two churches participated instead of the usual three, the third one the pastor decided I would cancel and not come in the light of the possible dangers so sent most of the church up to the disaster area. We didn’t neglect that, at the end of our camp we prayed over a group of the young people who were leaving right then to go up to the North.
After the first meeting the praise and worship was amazing with none of the usual Japanese reserve. One song became our theme song where the chorus talks about them rising up, setting their eyes on God and going forward, which fitted with what I was sharing. They sung that with gusto and danced like David with all of their might. At the end it was decided that one of the pastors will take a group of young people from camp up to the disaster area to sing and dance this song to the survivors. Every meeting practically everyone responded for prayer only two were not Christian but much repenting and dealing with issues in lives was done. A number were filled with the Holy Spirit and then immediately they prayed for a big crowd to receive a new anointing, people left camp different. Camp didn’t end when we left the church that night a group came back to the Pastor’s home with us where one who only came one night to camp was ministered too. The following Sunday encouragement and follow up continued in the other church I was ministering in. To God be the glory, there was a line of mothers said how excited they are about how their children came back from camp. One said her son (a little hyperactive but not in meetings) came home changed and saying he enjoyed the meetings because he could understand because of the pictures. Another who had seven there said every year her children come home from camp excited and on fire for God. She was thrilled that through camp her children find their own walk with God outside of Mum and Dad. In the meeting a large number of adults responded for prayer and I was able to follow up on some children from camp. I finished in Japan with a series of great one off meetings, one being a meeting to speak to all the church leaders. Usually as I travel I am only let loose with the children’s leaders so this I believe was a very important time and the feedback would agree with that.
Next stopCambodiawhere I was based in a church in the capitolPhnom Penh. They gave me a packed week of meetings but several really stand out. First teaching in the bible school in the city, there were just over forty students all but two were young people. It doesn’t matter what kind of ministry they go into, to go into it with a heart and some vision for children and to use it where ever possible will be invaluable.
Then came some ministry close to my heart; ministering to the poorest of the poor. I had two sessions with children living on the rubbish tips. It was a very exciting time with approximately one hundred and forty to one hundred and fifty of all ages as it would be in that situation. From their backgrounds they were a lively bunch but quite attentive during the teaching. Those most interested slowly slide themselves to the front during the teaching and some of those sat in raptures watching and listening. Many, many responded for salvation and were prayed with and beyond that only God knows. I was given money at the last minute and so was able to get a goodie bag for everyone who came. It consisted of a whole variety of edible treats they wouldn’t get, some healthy some not so. You should see their faces when they got them they were so excited as it was a surprise to them. They dug into them immediately with great gusto; it was a thrill in itself just to witness it.
Thirdly an incredible journey out into one of the provinces with a four hour bus journey (most luxurious part, though the road surface
took much to be desired). A twenty five minute ride with three adults plus two back packs and an over night holdall squashed onto the double seat of a moped. Finally twenty minutes on a lorry, (not what you think). A lorry is a flat wooden platform with a small motor perched on the back, underneath are two sets of train track wheels. This then travels at a fair rate of knots along a disused single track railway line. Heath and safety would have a heart attack, no safety rails (nothing at all along the sides) no seat belts you just sit on the flat bed. I must say that at the other end I had a very numb (!!!!!!!!!!!). It was very primitive out there we stayed the night in what looked like a small rectangular box on stilts with no toilet or bathroom, we slept (or tried to) sleep on the bare wooden floor with howling dogs and loud mouthed toads underneath us, BUT we were made so welcome! It was a privilege to share in their home and so worth it all to see God work in those precious children’s lives. Many responded for salvation with the final meeting on Sunday morning putting the icing on the cake. All the older children responded for prayer then one twelve year old when I prayed for him God gave me a prophetic word. After our meeting we went upstairs to the adult meeting where I was to share about my work. As I was sharing that boy came and sat on the top of the stairs and immediately God said bring him before the church. I ended with that and praying for him and his parents together. Later the pastor told me they have not had words over children before but they were not surprised that God picked out this boy.
Finally I spent a day in a school run by missionaries in a village near the capitol. Hardly any of these children were from the church, but it was like speaking to a group of church based ones. They soaked up every word and were so responsive for prayer. When I arrived only a few were saved by the end all the rest had responded for salvation and all for other needs in their lives.
So ends what I have to say was not only a fantastic time reaching the most highly educated from Japan and the uneducated and poorest of the poor in Cambodia. But it was also more than normal a trip that God definitely sent me on. Thanks you so very, very much for being a part of this tremendous trip and helping to make it happen.
Much Love & Thanks,