What a huge pleasure it was to visit Japan last week. Tom and Julie Eaton were student workers at Church of Christ the King in Brighton when God called them and now they have started Grace City Church in Nagoya. Wendy and I loved staying in their home and attending the church that they are planting. It was also a great privilege to address Pastor Mizuno’s church, also in Nagoya, and renew fellowship with this fine Christian statesman.
Our main purpose in going was to address the annual national pastors and wives conference, which was held in a superb location near Shizuoka from which we could see Mount Fuji, snow-covered and resplendent in the background. We had anticipated a gathering of about 550 but were delighted to find that 700 attended. I was invited to address them on the theme of Grace, which I was very happy to do through four main sessions, as well as speaking at two well-attended seminars.
Tom had arranged in advance for my book God’s Lavish Grace to be translated into Japanese and published in time for the conference. They had initially printed 1,000 copies and I was delighted to hear of pastors buying several copies each, so that nearly 500 were sold immediately with another senior pastor ordering 300 to take for his church, so 800 in all! Praise the Lord!
What a joy to proclaim God’s grace in this setting, and what a privilege to touch a completely new culture, be warmly received, have fellowship with pastors, missionaries and Christian workers from right across the nation.
What a thrill to know that hundreds of books are being read and that lives can be transformed to the glory of God by His wonderful grace.
I found the Japanese Christians to be friendly and deeply appreciative of our visit. Wendy was very warmly received as she spoke in a seminar for pastors’ wives and enjoyed fellowship with many. We also saw several healings, which was an added joy as people testified to the end of pain and freedom to move without hindrance.
It is so exciting to be together on a mission. Peter Brooks, who is based in Sydney and leading Grace City Church joined us for the conference, made many contacts and stayed on to be with Tom and Julie’s church for the following weekend. He serves and oversees the churches that are developing within the Newfrontiers family of churches in the Pacific Rim. I look forward very much to being at their leaders’ conference later in the year when people will gather from Newfrontiers churches in Japan, the Philippines, Cambodia, New Zealand and Australia.