Thank you for your prayer!

Last couple weeks, my father in law had many, many tests. The good news is that there is NO cancer in his lung! PTL!! We thank you so much for your prayer. God is Good!

However, there IS a cancer in his stomach now. So, he’ll be in hospitalized and will have a surgery in couple weeks. Please continue to pray.

This events makes me to think how our life is fragile and our faith is weak. Once our body feel suffered, everything suffered. Even a small part of body, such as tiny scratch, very small dust in eye, slight injury cut by a piece of paper, and even our emotions, tiny worries and small regrets. These things makes our whole body suffered. And, sometimes this suffering makes us feel desperate situation. It is like well- built Jenga tower falls by tiny, tiny suffered piece.

And, this makes not only one body suffered, but also the suffering spreads and affects to the others, as if the falling down Jenga pieces spread to the other’s Jenga tower. Although we want to encourage his suffered heart, we are also worried and suffered because of his tiny suffering. We ourself are fragile and susceptible to the others. “If one member suffers, all suffer together” (1 Corinthians 12:26a)

However, we want ask to ourselves “Is is really suffering?”, “Is it truly desperate?” “Is it literally end of the earth?”

Jesus was crucified on the cross. But, He conquered the death and raised again. And, He give us a eternal life. “When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”” (1 Corinthians 15:54)

We know that God already gave us the victory through Jesus Christ. We know this earth and our body is perishable but we have a promise for the imperishable life in Christ. And, we know our suffering is tiny, tiny suffering, although it seems huge, unconquerable giant. God never gives us desperation.

Romans 8:18 says, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”

Thanks to God, my father in law believes eternal life in Christ. And, he knows the suffering of this time is not comparable to the eternal joy. And, he knows there is in store for him the crown of righteousness.

As in children’s hymn “Jesus loves me, this I know,” we confess that we are weak and fragile, but, God is strong. This is the most encouragement for us to fight against this suffering.

Therefore, we Christians “suffers, all suffer together” (1 Corinthians 12:26a), However, one of Christian “member is honored, all rejoice together.”(1 Corinthians 12:26b), Because “that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.” (1 Corinthians 12:25)

Please Pray!!

I am writing about asking for your prayer.

My father in law is diagnosed as stomach cancer. It might be spread to his lung. If so, the situation could be really serious.

He is still in checking up, but it was sudden sentence. We are all shocked and depressed. My wife lost her grandfather couple months ago. This time it is her father.

We need prayer. We need God’s help. So, please pray with us.

 

In Christ,
Shohei Ueki

Christ Bible Seminary- Christian Glocalization

I am graduating the seminary next month. But, I won’t leave here Nagoya, I will remain in the seminary as a staff. Also, I will continue the international ministry, being a full time staff of All Nations Fellowship. I am happy that God called me to stay current mission field in Nagoya.

My primary role as seminary staff is “to be a Japanese staff” in this seminary. But, you might ask me “I know you’re Japanese. What’s the point?” Yes, you’re right. But, to be a Japanese staff at Christ Bible Seminary is something important. Here are two things that I have the role as “Japanese seminary staff”

Christ Bible Seminary is established by Dr. Michael Oh and other missionaries about 5 years ago. Since our seminary is Non-Japanese founder seminary, the “color” is not Japan or Japanese. Most of the faculties are not Japanese, and many of seminary students have international background. It is good because Christianity is not Japanese religion or even American religion. It is “worldwide truth.” As we face to the biblical truth, the seminary existence with international relationship is very important fact. That’s why we want to raise young Japanese Christian leaders through seminary education with international environment.  This is the part of God’s global mission.

Also, we want to develop our inner focus, the relationship between Japanese churches/Christian in existence and new generation ministry. Japanese Christian population is less than 0.22%. It means that Japan is definitely the mission field. However, it does NOT mean that there are NO Christians in Japan. In fact, there are about more than 280,000 Christians. It is not many, but there are! But, the fact is that the most of Japanese pastors and Church leaders are above 60’s and 70’s. And, the same situation is happening to the church members. Many of these churches are very traditional. Almost none of young generations. Moreover, there are many churches with no pastors, like “Sheep without a shepherd. (Matthew 9:36)”

The question is “Can you ignore these people?” “Is it God’s will to focus only the new generations?” “Can we justify our ministry with ‘Neither is new wine put into old  wineskins’ (Matthew 9:17)”?

My answer is “No.” We just cannot ignore the existing churches and their people. They are indeed one of the body of Christ. “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’ (1 Corinthians 12:21)” Rather, we want to connect each other as “fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God (Ephesians 2:19)” And, we want to help and develop their focus on the gospel from their traditions. Eventually, we want to build the one body of Christ.

Kenyan pastor, Oscar Muriu said during Urbana ’06, “Our goal is interdependence, not independence.” I believe that Japanese mission also needs to be interdependent, not independent. Japanese churches had been desiring for their independence from foreign missions for the 150 years of its history. As a result, there are strong formality to the traditions and legalistic tendency, but the luck of gospel and people in present churches. Interdependence and mutual collaboration are the necessary reflection of our history.

The world is being much smaller than before. Globalization is our reality. As the followers of Jesus Christ in the 21st century, we have to recognize this fact. At the same time, we should focus on our local. So, my role in the seminary is to be a bridge, connecting between local churches and seminary, also seminary and worldwide Christians. Another word, “Christian glocalization” is my job in the Christ Bible Seminary.