The church, Life Chapel, was very small and intimate. There were only about 60 people (kids included…and boy were there lots of kids). But for such a small room, there sure was a lot of love and a lot of noise! The preacher would say the words of the sermon in Japanese and his wife would translate them in English! It made it a bit confusing at times, but the message was still received by everyone nonetheless!
Nick and I visited Life Chapel with my friend Mari. She and her husband have been going there for a year, and have had nothing but good things to say about it. Nick and I wanted to try it out!....We were very glad we did!!!
Below is Mari and I with some of her Japanese friends from her church! They were all so nice and welcoming, I felt just like I was back in the States being greeted into a new house of worship!!!
“One way, (clap, clap, clap) Jesus, you’re the only one that I can live for!”
The song that the Japanese sang (in English) at church on Sunday with smiles on their faces and hearts open wide…they were unashamed to be Christians in a Buddist country. Only 1% of Japanese are Christians, a sad statistic that is their reality. Due to so little Christians and so many who are either Buddist or non-religious, when a Japanese person decides to follow Christ, they are making a true commitment. It isn’t like in America where one can follow religions as they choose…when a Japanese person admits to being a Christian, they are literally going against their race, making a commitment that is “binding”! After the sermon, the preacher announced that two new followers had recently been baptized. The two Japanese individuals walked up to the front proud and grinning from ear to ear! They were so happy to have made such a “leap of faith,” literally. The preacher admitted the difficulty in a Japanese person being baptized. He said that it is a scary thing for them, because once they go under the water, there is no going back! They are making a life choice! What strong convictions! If only all Christians were that dedicated!
Coincidentally, the Sunday that Nick and I decided to try out Mari's church, it was their annual Hawaiian Aloha Party! They had a team of guests from their sister church in Hawaii visiting. Along with sharing their vision, goals and mission, they celebrated with a party/feast afterwards.
We played a game before eating...the following picture is of Nick up on stage...look how he sticks out! Heehee!