I was first in Kobe a couple of weeks ago to visit YMCA centres and hear about some of the youth provision in the city.
Today I was back to get a different take on things.
Because today I was back in Kobe to pray around the city with some friends who are in Japan for two weeks on a prayer team, worship in the street and meet an inspirational missionary from Northern Ireland who does some phenomenal prison ministry here.
It’s been a whole lot of fun and a whole lot of challenge.
So, these are the precious and wonderful people I’ve been with today:
Praise God for great Christian friends who you can join in unity with to just intercede and give out Christian literature and talk to people on the streets. I love it! These guys have got some great stories from their brief time in Japan so far, and I’m excited to hear what God continues to do through them over this next week as they travel North to Hokkaido.
So, this morning we went to pray at this church:
Which is smack bang in central Kobe in one of the greatest locations for inner-city outreach. Me and Rhona actually stood out the front and sang worship songs pretty loudly over the streets whilst Derrick and Lisa-Rose gave out Christian literature on the street… So it was cool 🙂
We then went on to pray around one of the biggest local shrines:
And our prayers here specifically focused around open doors for the Holy Spirit to move and that people would have a right understanding of Jesus as the true God. It was challenging to me, because each shrine tells you about a ‘virtuous’ man who is buried there and who the shrine is in memory of… And I was so struck about how when people worship these mere men, they are so let down. But in Jesus we find the perfect example, perfect forgiveness and perfect freedom. Because He is the perfect God. He satisfies our souls and hearts completely in His Presence.
We then travelled back to Kobe Bible College to meet a Northern Irish missionary who now pastors a church and is a prison chaplain in and around Kobe. And I could have honestly listened to this guy speak for a long time because you could just tell that He had a wealth of wisdom and testimony. He’s lived in Japan for 28 years, and has a huge heart for prisoners. He’s also seen lots of fruit. He spoke at length about the situation here in Japan, and there’s not so much that I have the freedom to blog about, but I would ask that you join us in praying for open doors into the prisons of Japan, changes in the system, and that God would continue to bring about a harvest.
It was a great time! And we have a great God.
The guys then prayed me off and spoke some very encouraging words over me. Firstly, that I would be a bridge for others to be called to Japan or to carry a burden to pray, and secondly, they had the picture of a sunflower, that God would want to grow and grow quickly. That God would grow things more quickly than I would expect.
So it’s been a great day. I’m now sitting on a Shinkansen back to Hamamatsu, a little tired from my leave-the-house at 6am start, but it was more than worth it.
I love this country. And I love our wonderful God. And if He is doing the growing, then I’m excited about being whatever part of that He wants!
Now tomorrow I’m off on safari with 80 kids… Just wait for that blog post 😉