Our God, Eager to Save

Posted January 10, 2010

Tomohisa had reached a coveted status in Japan’s vertically-ordered society: medical doctor. Along with the status came wealth, which he used to buy the affection of women…and lots of booze. His selfishness blinded... [Read More]

The Humbled Tsunami

Posted December 2, 2011

When the warning sirens went off, residents in a south Sendai neighborhood fled to the local school. Together with panicked children still in class they climbed to the rooftop. Some 600 altogether... [Read More]

Japanese Get "Bach" Hope

Posted September 21, 2011

Who would have thought Bach would be involved in 21st century mission work in Japan? I have frequently read with interest of the strong connection between classical music (particularly J.S. Bach) and Japanese interest... [Read More]

Tsunami Ground Zero

Posted April 7, 2011

I still haven't returned from tsunami ground zero. That is to say, although I've been back several days already, the reality of the scene is still with me. The incredible amounts of mud in once beautiful homes... [Read More]

"Nice Try, Kevin" File

Posted February 9, 2011

This one goes into the "Nice try, Kevin" file. I just thought it was a nice-looking bunch of flowers in the storefront and, on the spur of the moment, decided Kaori deserved to enjoy them. Chrysanthemums, however, are... [Read More]

The Gulliver Complex

Posted November 9, 2007

I'm a giant again. Well, not really. But it sure feels like it again since returning from the States. The first sign was bumping my head in the shuttle bus from the airport. By habit, I normally duck my head through any... [Read More]

Foreigners Don't Get the Point

Posted January 31, 2010

I'm standing in line at a drugstore with other shoppers. The woman in front of me has just pulled out a business card file. Hurriedly she flips through at least a hundred or more cards searching for the right one. It's a... [Read More]

More Powerful than Bombs

Posted July 5, 2008

Fuchida grew up loving his native Japan and hating the United States, which treated Asian immigrants harshly in the first half of the twentieth century. Fuchida attended a military academy, joined Japan's... [Read More]

Ready?

Posted September 14, 2010

I'd been putting it off. Although I knew it was important, taking inventory of our earthquake and disaster gear just wasn't getting done. Japan rests along the "ring of fire" in the Pacific ocean, a stretch of area that is... [Read More]

150 Years Later

Posted March 17, 2009

This spring marks the 150th anniversary of Protestant Christianity in Japan. The first protestant missionaries set foot in the port of Yokohama back in 1859. Now they were real church planters -- overcoming all... [Read More]

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I for Japan. Japan for the World. The World for Christ. And All for the Glory of God.

— Kanzo Uchimura, Japanese Evangelist

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Rambling Notes from Japan

Here are some blog posts that we hope will make you feel a part of things, and help you understand how to pray better for us and Japan. Please see our external blog in Blogger, if this page does not display correctly.

New Things

New career missionaries have joined us in church planting. New schools and schedules have begun for our family. God’s new beginnings are more frequent and more beautiful than Japan’s spring cherry blossoms...

From the beginning of our work in Kawasaki in 2001, our vision has been to start a small cluster of new churches outwardly focused and networked together for greater impact in this area. We believe a team is the best approach for the future. And we’re working to create one. We’ve laid out our rationale for all this in our vision booklet viewable online here: lavermansinjapan.org/vision

New Teammates

Justin & Lindsay Mitchell arrived in February, settling just “up the street” from us about 20 minutes away. Yes, there’s been some learning curves in food, shopping, hospital (Lindsay will have a baby in August), transport and financial services, also the tiny space in Tokyo, mail, garbage sorting (an ongoing mystery even for me - see lavermansinjapan.org/gomi) and so on. And the Japanese language will be a humbling adventure for years. But they’re adapting great.

Then during April, we hosted Gary & Jennifer Chang and kids here in Kawasaki for a two-week “vision trip.” They’re raising support and coming to Japan through WorldVenture in 2018 to join hands with us on this new team.

Bit by bit the team is forming, but we need others, too. Specifically, a full-time Japanese worker, an English speaker for TESL outreach (see lavermansinjapan.org/tesl), and more missionaries with expertise in music, media, youth, or kids ministry.

Protestant Christianity in Japan began just south of us in Yokohama bay in the 1860’s. But the number of churches has never kept up with the density of people and need. New churches are needed for the 5.2+ million in Kawasaki-Yokohama, 99% without Christ. Would you pray with us for the formation of this “mission possible” team for Japan?

New Stages of Life

No fooling. April 1st was a big day in the Laverman home. Justen started his new adventure: college entrance in Japan (the school year starts from April here). We moved to Japan when he was two and now he’s twenty. Those years got him fluid in the language (no thanks to his dad’s messy Japanese examples) and prepared to build a life in this country He started at “Hamabi”: YokoHama Bijustu Daigaku (College of Design), commuting daily by train from our house about 30 minutes away.

Justen wants to serve God through his talent in design. Those of you who have seen his artwork know that he shows great potential. We look forward to seeing how the Lord will blend all these third-culture kid experiences, design skills and languages together for His glory through Justen in the future.

New Line-ups of Need

The size of the spiritual need in Japan never stops to amaze me. A few recent episodes with lines may illustrate:

The first line was April 27 at Musashi- Kosugi station. I was wrestling to get the Chang family (see front) and their suitcases to the spot on the platform for the airport express, but the morning commuters were as thick as it gets. We were only able to move down the platform a few yards at a time after each train pulled out of the station, and before the next arrived. The video link above might help you understand.

A few days earlier I had viewed this station and Musashi-Kosugi area (our location for next church plant as God provides), with a visiting supporter from the 62nd floor of one of the many hi-rise apartments. Now I know where all those residents go in the morning. There needs to be an evangelical church witness for them!

The second line was May 4 at a shrine in Kamakura. Hundreds had rented a basket from the shrine to insert coins or bills to dip into the magic spring that multiplies prosperity. I took a video (above link) to give you an idea. Japan doesn’t need more prosperity. They need Christ! Superstitions can’t give what He offers freely.

Pray for Musashi-Kosugi. Pray that God will lead us to a person of peace through which to start a church in this neighborhood soon. Pray for them to put their affections not on the superstitions of this world, but on the work of Jesus Christ.


Sushi Movie

A friend recently forwarded this link to me which gives you an inside look at a sushi restaurant. Many popular "kaiten sushi" shops have a circular conveyor belt where plates are placed that revolve around in front of the seated customers. Customers choose the plates with sushi items that look appealing to them.

This short video was taken by a foreign customer who placed a running video camera on the conveyor belt. The clip makes for an interesting few minutes of people watching, and an inside peek at the kitchen at the heart of the sushi shop. Enjoy!


Japan in a Panic

Makoto first noticed signs of panic attacks when he was in the middle of an exam. The tension forced him to repeatedly make trips to the toilet. He couldn't concentrate at all. For the next exam, he made a point of arriving two hours early to make sure he got a seat near the door. That failed to calm him and he found himself in the same situation all five exams he took.

After graduating from university, the company he worked for was changing over to a new system. Makoto threw himself into the extra work involved. He worked well into the night, missing the last train home. He would nap at a nearby sauna and be back in the office first thing in the morning. This went on for months.

One day on a train, when his exhaustion was at its peak, an ‘unpleasant feeling' came over him. His breathing quickened, his palms began to sweat, and he felt the urge to use the bathroom. Soon Makoto couldn't ride the subway to work anymore. Today, fearing a panic attack, he will not even go to a barber shop. Instead he has a stylist come to his home - for an additional fee. “My wife says it’s a waste of money,” he says. “A healthy person can't possibly understand. Imagine a person, who seems perfectly normal, and yet can't get on a train, or go to a barber shop.”

Makoto and many others in Japan suffer from a condition known as panic disorder (PD). Panic engulfs them. How many people are affected? Current estimates suggest up to 4 percent of the Japanese population. What is the solution for panicked Japanese people? The power of the Gospel. "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7).


Everything is Possible with God!

“That house is a lost cause!” I thought, and hesitated in putting a church flyer in its mailbox. The home was literally in the shadow of a powerful Buddhist temple next door. Who could have known that a couple weeks later a woman would walk into our worship service and say, “I'd been thinking about Christianity when I received a flyer from this church.” Yes, as we'd later find out, she lived in that very house! Coincidence? No! God? Yes!

Mrs. Nakamura examined Christianity with us seriously, but seemed to be troubled by things. Then one day a breakthrough: “Kevin, I've been trying to understand Christ with just my head, but I know now that I need to accept Him with my heart...by faith.” From the house I assumed was lost to the clutches of Buddhism, God had been calling His child, Mrs. Nakamura for a long time. In our living room September 2007, He welcomed her to himself as she placed her faith in Jesus!

“Humanly speaking, it [missions in Japan] is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God!” Mark 10:27 NLT


"I Choose Jesus"

Today Mrs. N. accepted Christ in our dining room. PTL! After I explained the Gospel message to her again (she had come to our home in August as well), she said she was ready to make a decision. With misty eyes she repeated the sinner's prayer after me. Kaori sitting next to me also shed a few tears...of joy. It has been a long journey for her in her life to come to this point. I will share a little more of this story in a later post. Tomorrow is our Youth Camp (in the middle of a typhoon it seems). I still have quite a bit of preparation for that and Sunday, so I will write more later.


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4-14-24-1 Futago, Takatsu; Kawasaki,
Kanagawa JAPAN 213-0002
Tel 044-833-8791
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We serve with WorldVenture, an evangelical faith mission. Our sending/home church is First Baptist Church of Lansing, Illinois.
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