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CAJ Report

JONATHAN SIMS CHRIST'S AMBASSADOR TO JAPAN
And the things you have heard mesay in the presenceof many witnesses entrusted to reliable
men who will also be qualified to teachothers. II Timothy2:2
VOLUME 10 FIRST QUARTER NUMBER 1
CHRISTMAS 1989
Considering that services here at the "Joel Home" began in November^ it was a very
positive start to see the good turnout of people at Christmas. On Sunday morning we
saw seven come and for the evening Candlelight Service we saw twelve. Included in
that number were several from the Saturday Evening Bible Class, one who was in
attendance at a Christian Service for the first time in her life. According to radio
stations at the time, quite a few Japanese young people were planning something
special on Christmas Eve, some even planning to go to Church to attend a Christmas Eve
Candlelight Service. Most couples on a "date" were at the movies or a dance party,
rather than a Church. For most Japanese couples Christmas Eve becomes another
occasion for having fun or doing something different. At the "Joel Home" we saw no
influence of the seasonal trend as broadcast on secular radio stations, but we
rejoiced with those who came from Japanese and English Bible Classes and contacts from
Sunday Worship Services. Although it may have been just a seasonal "fad" for many,
it was a pleasant and welcome change for me to hear some Christian music in addition
to Carols and traditional Christmas songs being broadcast on secular radio.
CHRISTMAS AT THE HOSPITAL
Christmas Day saw me taking part in a Christmas program with the members of the
Mejirodai congregation, where dad preaches, on behalf of the patients in a hospital
for .the elderly. They are dear people who for the most part have been left at the
hospital to die by families who are too concerned about their own financial
advancement to care for their own parents. The dear people cry when we show concern
through putting on a musical Christmas program and giving small nutritional gifts
(health food cookies and sugar free candy and fruit). My part was to play a number on
the clarinet while the goodies were being distributed. The songs appreciated the most
by the patients were those played on a Japanese KOTO by one of the ladies. Because
God showed His love to us through sending His Son Jesus Christ to earth to live among
us, to die on the cross for our sins and to be raised from the dead on the third day,
we should be happy for the opportunities to show His love to those around us.
1990 THE START OF A DECADE OF CHANGE
Last year our Lord called a number of our missionaries home to be with Him. He
called Exie Fultz and Martin Clark from their ministries here in Japan. We miss these
dear workers. The work will not be the same without them, but we must continue with
the development of new workers not only to replace those who have gone to their reward
in heaven, but to add workers for expanding the outreach for the sake of Jesus Christ
and His Kingdom. In the 1990s there will be a number of missionaries retiring from
the ministry here to a different ministry in the States. This year saw the retirement
of Andrew and Betty Patton, who have dedicated most of their lives to the furtherance
of the Gospel here in Japan. The leadership of the work in Yokosuka was passed from
the Pattons to me, so that the Fattens could move on to a very capable leadership of
the Shinshu Bible Camp, which now is being cared for through a team effort of our
missionaries until a couple (with grown children) can take on the full load of
maintaining the grounds and supervising the kitchen. The Japanese camp manager has
his hands full in scheduling and supervising as well as a family to raise. After six
full years in Yokosuka, there is a Japanese family in leadership there, my ministry is
now with the "Joel Home" in Yokohama.
ANDREW AND BETTY PATTON
The Japanese congregations are also going to see changes during the 1990s with
many of the preachers being up in years and replacements in dire need. There are
young preachers in the Ministry* but everyone has his hands full trying to support a
family by part-time work* limiting time with small groups of Christians in a society
where masses of people need the Gospel* but ace seeking help elsewhere. If every
Christian would be salt and light* active in telling others what they know about Jesus
Christ and salvation through His Name* impact on society would be so much more.
However* the number of Christians in Japan is not enough to make much of an impact on
society. In a survey conducted by a Japanese Christian newspaper it is estimated that
there are around 250*000 people attending Worship Services every week in
"conservative" Protestant Churches. The yearbook published by "liberals" counts
Church membership as around five hundred thousands for Protestant Churches. The
catholics estimate five hundred thousand for their active members. All together it is
still less than one percent of a population of one hundred twenty two million in
Japan.
Tne "Joel Home" "ministry of"Sunday morning Worship* Wednesday Bible study in
Japanese and Saturday evening English Bible class is continuing from week to week with
attendance of around five or six for Worship* a neighbor coming on Wednesdays and
three coming regularly on Saturdays. This is a crucial time for persistence and
faith. The Lord is working and leading people His special way. Harvest is always
ready when the workers get busy. Opportunity to communicate more with the people has
opened up. I am acting as a substitute English teacher at the Yokohama Y.M.C.A. It
gives me an opportunity to teach English and learn more about the daily life styles
and thinking of those living in this large city.
Near the "Joel Home" is a university where exchange students from various
countries are studying. A Chinese man is doing research there and I met him through
distributing brochures about this place. I was able to find a Bible in Chinese
(published by the United Bible Society) and gave him a copy. He has started to come
to learn more* but is afraid because the Communist authorities are oppressing
Christians more since the incident last year (propaganda is very different from fact)
and he may lose opportunities as an Organic Chemist (M.S. at Peking) because he
believes in God now and has a Bible. His wife and child are at home in Shianghai and
he will soon be returning to China. Pray for him* as he is hungering for God's Word
and is open to believe. Pray that not only this Chinese may become a Christian* but
that Japanese in the community can respond to God's love.
LAUREL AVENUE CHURCH OF CHRIST
1126 Laurel Avenue
Chesapeake* Virginia 23325
ADDRESS CORRECTION REQUESTED
Forwarding Agent for:
JONATHAN SIMS* MISSIONARY TO JAPAN
P.O. Box 13277
Chesapeake* Virginia 23325
FIELD ADDRESS
4-17-12 Rokkakubashi
Kanagawa-Ku
Yokohama-Shi 221 Japan
Non-Prof it Org.
U.S. Postage
PAID
Chesapeake* Va,
Permit No. 46
Missions Services Association
Box 2427
Knoxville, TN 37901
CAJ Report
JONATHAN SIMS CHRIST'S AMBASSADOR TO JAPAN
And the things you have heard me say in the presence ofmany witnesses entrusted
to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others. IITimothy 2:2
Volume 10 Second Quarter 1990
Ml
Number 2
A LETTER FROM CHINA
In the first newsletter of this year, I mentioned the situation of an
Organic Chemist from Communist China who was here in Japan to do research.
I had given him a Chinese Bible and he was interested in it. I made the
mistake in saying that he had a M.S. from Peking. He has never been to
Peking, doing all of his study in his hometown of Shanghai. He is back in
Shanghai with his wife and son, but all is not well with his people. I
received a letter from him detailing a sad situation. I am reluctant to
give his name because of the danger he is in, simply because he went out of
the country into a capitalistic society. He didn't sign the letter or even
give an address because he mentioned the name of Jesus Christ in blessing
Mr. Oka and myself. If the letter had been opened by the authorities and
his interest in learning more about Christianity (even though the working
was such that only I could understand what he was talking about) was
discovered he would certainly lose his job. If I write to him (as he had
given me his address while here in Japan) and mention a word about
Christianity, he will lose his job as teacher of chemistry as all teachers
in Communist China must be atheists. He had just returned to Shanghai when
he learned that his mother had died of malnutrition while he was on the
boat home. He was allowed to take care of the funeral arrangements then
was ordered to learn the official view concerning the June 4, 1989 incident
in Peking. Two weeks of self-criticism were ordered by the authorities
simple because he had been overseas and might have accepted some religious
or anti-revolutionary ideas. He had to study more proletarian thoughts to
clarify his ideas. Because he had not taken part in any kind of activity
while in Japan that opposed the headship of the Chinese Communist Party he
did not meet any trouble during the two weeks education. Because he did
not hint of belief in God (which he does) he was allowed to resume his job
of teaching. He might have a chance to go abroad again to work in a
company, but only on the condition that half of his salary earned be paid
to the central Chinese government.
According to his letter, inflation is high, but the salary of the ordinary
Chinese person is the same as ever. Party members have special benefits
and the authorities control everything,
including the lives of people. It cost
him one half of a days pay to send an
air mail letter to Japan, as postage is
arbitrary set so that there will be
i limited communication with people in
capit-a4-4-S-t-ic- countries. A - Chinese
- ' ' translation of "Evidence that demands a
verdict" by Josh McDowell is on the
i.,- black market for one half of a months
a''"" ^ salary. It appears that the
I ^yearthere has
f Y been of people
interested
mention as the blame for
trouble on Pray
for the oppressed masses of starving
Mr. Oka and Mr. Y people in China. Pray for freedom for
all peoples to hear the Gospel and obey
Jesus Christ in all things.
CLO
AMERICAN CHRISTIAN COLLEGE
51ightly more than forty years ago an attempt was made to start a Bible
Seminary for training Japanese leaders in Tokyo. Missionaries of our
Christian Churches cooperated In teaching classes, but the project was soon
hindered by various factors, and the doors of the building left open only
for Worship Services which had been started. A Japanese preacher lives
with his family in an apartment on one end of the building. Recently the
building was extensively repaired so that it can be used again for classes.
This year began the only school of English for Japanese students directly
tied in with a Christian college in the U.S. "American Christian Colleges"
prepares Japanese students through intensive English courses during a two
year term to directly transfer to Milligan College in Tennessee. Students
at the highest ability level can take college credit courses in Bible,
while lower level students study English and maybe an elective class is
some subject. Missionaries take time to teach classes while a full time
teacher qualified in TOEFL is being sought. All staff must be Christians,
of course, and preferably with a Masters Degree. Many American
Universities have a Masters Degree Program for certification in TOEFL
(Teaching of English as a Foreign Language).
ACC began in full swing in May with
fourteen full time and one part time
student. Of the students at least half
are Christians. There are three ability
levels represented, so teaching is quite
a challenge. The staff are almost
entirely part time as have other
commitments as wel1.
I
J
other—cIqgsgg.
opportunely—ftrr
wond-erf ul
reaching out—tro young
ppnple—and the—teaching—of a no 11 ege
1e.Ve 1—class ic tho groal-oct toct nf my
skills at tryirig—to—leai'n better than
the zealous students do.
ACC Students and Staff
MINISTRY IN JAPAN
^With.the small size of congregations in
Japan in the midst of a powerfully sinful society, there are " a 1w^yT
potential hazards. The tendency is for the traditional Japanese style of
one man leadership to predominate over the congregations instead of the New
Testament pattern of multiple leadership cooperating together to lead a
"flock". The one leader can get away with things related to control of
property and money with congregations being split between his decisions and
opposing ones. One congregation is going through materialistic problems.
Pray for the congregation to grow and more stability to be felt with
multiple leaders cooperating. Not only is there a need for Japanese
preachers to replace some soon to be called home, but there is a great need
for Scripturally mined elders and deacons to be trained and begin
fun ct ioni ng.
Thank you for your continuing prayers and support. The Lord is sustaining
me here at the Joel Home Ministry. Attendance is steady at Worship Service
and classes. The dollar is holding its value to meet my physical needs.
My spiritual needs are continuing to be met through daily study of God's
Word. Pray for strength to keep on letting the light of Jesus Christ shine
through my words and deeds. Pray for the Japanese people to open their
jnearts to the Gospel and to obey Our Lord Jesus Christ in all things for
(nis Name's sake.
LAUREL AVENUE CHURCH OF CHRIST
1126 Laurel Avenue
Chesapeake, VA 23325
ADDRESS CORRECTION REQUESTED
Forwarding Agents for
Jonathan Sims, Missionary to Japan
P .0. Box 13277
Chesapeake, VA 23325
Non-Profit Org
U.S. Postage
PAID
Chesapeake, VA
Permit No. 48
Field Address:
4-17-12 Rokkakubashi
Kanagawa-ku
Yokohama-shi 221 Japan
Missions Services Association
Bom 2427
KnoMville, TN 37901
CAJ Report
JONATHAN SIMS CHRIST'S AMBASSADOR TO JAPAN
And the things you have heard me say in the presence ofmany witnesses entrusted
to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others. UTimothy 2:2
I2«v;
Volume 10 Third Quarter 1990 Number 3
TEACHING IS LEARNING
One twelve week term at American Christian College in Tokyo is now history-7-
with the experience in my life being something to reflect on as I continue
to serve in Japan. The range of teaching people with very little ability at
English to teaching those with moderate ability and some with rather good
ability proved to be an adjustment which became tiring during the weeks of
study together. For those who could hardly formulate sentences in English
there was a tendency for me to slip into using Japanese rather than letting
them sweat at language acquisition. I could have used more complex English
expressions for the students in the college credit class. I will attempt to
adjust the expressions I use for the various English ability levels in the
coming terms# making extra effort to keep from using Japanese for beginners.
The greatest learning experience for teaching comes through the feedback from
students. Japanese students rarely challenge Japanese teachers about
anything. The professors word is accepted as authority on just about
everything, including matters outside of his field. (In Japan it is safe to
use "his" because the society as a whole is still male dominated, especially
"higher" education.) At ACC, communication is encouraged so that students
and teachers both will benefit from interaction and discussion of various
ideas. About one half of the students are Christian, which make for some
interesting debates as there are distinct contrasts between the Christian
world view and the world view of the non Christians. This kind of contrast
was seen at times in the class I taught dealing with Christian Ethics. I
allowed the students to lead in discussion about various topics. It brought
friction at several class sessions. There are a number of items which need
to be challenged in any world view. It is vital that we learn how to express
God's truth with His love, so that all people can come to accept Jesus Christ
as Lord and Saviour of their lives and obey Jesus Christ in all things.
LEARNING FROM A GUEST
At the annual gathering of our small group of American workers we were
privileged to have James Strauss, from Lincoln Christian Seminary, as our
honored guest. He brought a challenging report on the state of Christianity
in the world. It is a sad situation to hear of the increase of many non
Christian religious groups in our beloved U.S. of A. The Christian Church
as a whole is faced with an insurmountable task of living as Jesus Christ
would have us live and telling others of what Jesus Christ has done for all
people. We must pray for God to give us the strength to carry out the
commission of world-wide evangelism which still needs to be accomplished.
James Strauss brought us a lot of material to ponder and a challenge to pray
before and after doing our part. Let us all be steadfast as God has all
kinds of wonderful things in store for those who love Him and do His Will.
When James Strauss spoke, he often used the term "world view." A "world
view" refers to something which affects the way every person lives. It is
the sum total of all of the ideas an individual has about every topic
conceivable. Even though not often verbally expressed, the concepts hidden
in ones heart come out in some form or other in every lifestyle. In trying
to proclaim the Gospel in other cultures, some missionaries are readily able
to adjust to the outward cultural forms, but what is needed is to dig down
to the roots of thought underlying outward cultural forms. Then, and only
then will people be reached adequately with the Gospel. As a result there
will also be surprising changes in cultural matters. A "Christian " world
view is one which harmonizes with all that is learned in the Word of God,
penetrating beyond Greek and Hebrew culture to the basic viewpoints of the
relationship between God and Homo sapiens and of life itself. Every
Christian still has some of the secular world view lingering in heart.
Sometimes an opinion surfaces which doesn't match the viewpoint our Lord has
James Strauss Missionary Convention
on something. It is our goal to have the mind of Christ in all things. Let
us strive to attain that outlook on life and there will be a new focus on
people not distracted by outward cultural forms. It will be easier to reach
people by learning what they think and learning to relate to that, than
learning simply how to eat with chopsticks.
FROM GUEST TO BROTHER
The Lord works through personal relationships. Mr. Oka, the owner of the
Joel Home where I serve, invited a friend to a Bible study years ago. The
friend came and was impressed with the messages brought by a Japanese
preacher of one of our sister congregations here in Japan. In time, Mr.
Oka's friend came to understand several portions of Scripture. He came to
the Joel Home when meetings were held here. Mr. Takasugi came to believe in
Jesus Christ as Lord and on Sunday, July first, was immersed into Christ by
the Japanese preacher who had led in the Bible studies through the years.
I-t is not eas^ for—a sixty-five year old businessman to b-eoome a Christian
in Japan, but The Lord is working in His special way. This case is another
one to give us hope for Japan. Even though most Japanese are set in their
ways, there are people who are changing and open for the Gospel. Too often,
though, they are reached only by fanatical Buddhist sects or various cults.
Pray that Japanese Christians can be bold in proclaiming the Gospel and that
they will evangelize friends and family. Praise The Lord for the too few
people like Mr. Oka who invited their friends to meetings so that the message
of Jesus Christ can be spread.
A BROTHER IN SUMMER
The Lord has been providing my needs. A Japanese preacher came to visit
during August. He is very good at writing English, but wanted some
correction of his essays, which I did during the heat of August. He
expressed his appreciation by providing a financial gift, but mostly gave me
verbal encouragement to continue working in the field of Japan. More workers
are needed in this land where costs are so high. But price can not be set
for souls. Let us pray for more workers. Let us pray that God continue to
provide us with resources so that we can do His Will. Thank you for your
love and continuing prayers for the work in Japan.
LAUREL AVENUE CHURCH OF CHRIST
1126 Laurel Avenue
Chesapeake, VA 23325
ADDRESS CORRECTION REQUESTED
Forwarding Agents for
Jonathan Sims, Missionary to Japan
P.O. Box 13277
Chesapeake, VA 23325
Non-profit Org.
U.S. Postage
PAID
Chesapeake, VA
Permit No. 48
Field Address:
4-17-12 Rokkakubashi
Kanagawa-ku
Yokohama-shi 221 Japan
V
Missions Services Association
Boh 2427
KnoxviHe, TN 37901
I^<fl
CAJ Report
JONATHAN SIMS CHRIST'S AMBASSADOR TO JAPAN
And the thingsyou have heard me say in the presence ofmany witnesses entrusted to reliable
men who will also be qualified to teach others. II Timothy 2:2
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CONCERTS AND DISCONCERTS
The Gospel of Jesus Christ seems to
progress very slowly when Christians
are huddled in small groups scattered
throughout a society which does not
care the least about matters of
faith. Christians are suppressed
because of pressures to conform to a
secular lifestyle. It is so much
easier to tolerate the heathen nine
ty-nine percent than to stand firm as
salt and light. Christians in Japan
need every bit of encouragement that
can be provided. One such opportuni
ty came through a specially planned
concert to be held at a major audito
rium in Tokyo. Many congregations
sacrificed to provide funds of which
the tickets only covered a minor
part. The cost of the tickets were
made reasonable to attract many peo
ple to the concert/ who otherwise
would have no interest. Sandi Patti
and- company were the special guests,-
with a message by one of the out
standing Japanese preachers sand
wiched in between the two musical
portions <so that people would not
leave at the message time—which so
often happens). The program succeed
ed in attracting people to the tune
of about ten thousand. Not only were
many people introduced to the music
of Sandi Patti/ but also for quite a
few people it was the first opportu
nity in their lives to hear the Gos
pel of Jesus Christ.
When trouble arises in a congregation
to split it into two camps or more/
the whole body of Christ feels the
impact. It becomes even more unbear
able when an article appears in a
nationwide newspaper about the situa
tion. Satan is using every way to
hinder the Kingdom of Jesus Christ/
taking advantage of the humanness of
believers. With the world laughing
at the Church of Christ it is high
time we get back to business. Jesus
Christ has already won the victory.
It is time we claim that which right
fully belongs to our Lord and Savior
Jesus Christ.
The congregation where dad has
preached from the first Worship Ser
vice is now in its twentyficst year:.
For the twenty year anniversary a
special musical program was planned
with talented members taking part.
Quite a few members have abilitv
either vocally or with an instrument.
Mom asked me to play a piece on my
clarinet. I selected an excerpt from
Handel's Messiah called "He Shall
Feed His Flock Like a Shepherd" from
a collection By Dr. Norman Heim
called Sacred Melodies for Clarinet
Solo by Mel Bay Productions. I am
strictly an amateur/ but was sur
prised to find myself top batter in
the Saturday evening musical program
to which not only the congregation
members but the general community
were invited. The Lord has blessed
the congregation in western Tokyo
with good people. I was glad to be a
part of the program there.
The Joel Home has now been in opera
tion for more than a full year since
my return from furlough in 1989.
Thanksgiving Sunday vjas the occasion
to celebrate a full year of Worship
Services. I pray that after twenty
years there will-he -a developed gcc-up
of Christians here to glorify Jesus
Christ and effectively reach out to
the community with His love. At
present/ five people are regularly in
attendance at the Sunday Worship
Service. I pray that there will be
many more contacts through English
Bible Classes/ but mostly pray for
people to reach friends and family so
that all may hear the good news of
Jesus Christ.
The emperor in Japan has been simply
a symbol of the people and an obscure
person with no political voice since
the end of World War Two. Except for
an elaborate expensive ceremony in
public and several private ceremo
nies/ the emperor remains a symbol
without political say so. It is a
fear of Japanese Christians that
these recent ceremonies reflect the
revival of a system which once perse
cuted Christians. The ceremonies
were supported entirely by taxes/
with the general citizen saying lit
tle if anything in opposition to such
use of taxes (although strictly
speaking such activity with tax funds
is unconstitutional). The media
allowed a few minutes coverage of
protest by communist yahoos who are
always violently opposed to every
thing anyway whi(3h sfnells of (ioniocra-
cy. Not even a few seconds were
allowed for Christians tc ssy sny-
thing. In any case/ there is nothing
to do but wait and see what happens/
praying that in everything the name
of Jesus Christ will be honored and
gloried...
CHRISTMAS GREETINGS
The Lord has blessed me throughout
the year. The Joel Home Ministry has
seen a steady experience of learning
how to relate to people. The Lord
has used Mr. Oka to draw out the best
of me in sermon preparation. Mr. Oka
has been very helpful at times to
teach me how Japanese people think
and need to be reached. His advice
on illustrations has been quite in
teresting. I pray that the Gospel
can be effectively communicated
through my life and messages. I am
grateful that his comments are get
ting fewer with each message. The
Sunday Morning Worship Service has an
average of five people in attendance.
One lady has been coming to a Bible
study in Japanese/ but she is not
well. Pray for her health and for
her to understand God's Word. Three
ladies have been enjoying simplified
English in an English Bible Class.
Pray for all of the people who are
coming to meetings here at the Joel
Home.
The responsibilities of supply teach
ing at the Yokohama Y.M.C.A. and at
American Christian College in Tokyo
have been expanding my outreach. It
seems that I have been learning more
than teaching, which is humbling at
times, but fulfilling. I pray that
the students can see Jesus Christ
living in me and that they can be
motivated to want Jesus Christ to be
Lord of their lives as well.
I am grateful for all of your prayers
and support. The Lord has blessed
the work here at the Joel Home with
an immersion into Christ in July as
indirect fruit of the work. The Lord
deserves all the credit for changing
Mr. Takasugi and Mr. Oka deserves
credit for his outreach to his friend
Mr. Takasugi. I do not know if any
thing I said helped, but I do pray
that I can be an encourager to Mr.
T's growth in Christ. May all of you
have a wonderful season as we cele
brate the birth of Jesus Christ and
remember always that Jesus Christ is
Lord of Lords and King of Kings.
YOU HAVE A
MERRY CHRISa?MAS
si nca.
HARRY NEW YEAR
IN CHRIST
aONATHAN SIMS
LAUREL AVENUE CHURCH OF CHRIST
1126 Laurel Avenue
Chesapeake, VA 23325
ADDRESS CORRECTION REQUESTED
Forwarding Agents for
Jonathan Sims, Missionary to Japan
P.O. Box 13277
Chesapeake, VA 23325
Non-Prof it Org.
U.S. Postage
PAID
Chesapeake, VA
Permit No. 48
Field Address;
4-17-12 Rokkakubashi
Kanagawa"k\ji
Yokohama-shi 221 Japan
Box^2427 Association
Knoxville, TN 37901