CJM Reporter - Japanese Gospel Church of Toronto

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CJM Reporter - Japanese Gospel Church of Toronto
Fall 2007
Published by the CANADIAN JAPANESE MINISTRIES
by Dr. David Tano, Chair of Camp Committee
P
RAISE GOD for another awesome week of ministry at Sunnyside Camp, Sylvan Lake, AB. on July 29 - Aug 4, 2007.
Under the skillful direction of David King and Robert Hasegawa, the camp was an overwhelming success again. Two people
from the Japanese group committed their lives to Christ, with many
others reconfirming their lives to Him.
T
he 21st NENCC was held
again at Crieff Hills Community Retreat Centre, an hour drive
west of Toronto ON. One of the blessings
this year was the return of Rev. Tetsuo
Kagiwada, the Japanese speaking pastor
from San Fernando Valley Holiness Church in California.
by Pastor Masato Murai, Chair of the Conference Committee
He has a keen sense of discernment both as an itinerant evangelist
and as a pastor of his church. The latter aspect was especially appealing to us as he expounded from the Book of Psalms. His messages were down to earth and spoke with deep conviction. The Spirit
of God touched both Christians and non-Christians alike. The work
of God’s Holy Spirit is to convict us of sin whether Christians or
non-Christians bringing us to repentance.
Ian King (L), Jason Matta, Aileen Lombardo-Matta & Nicole Geddes
For the very first time, CJM held its annual General Meeting at the
camp site during the camp week. The camp was honoured by the
presence of the CJM Board of Directors, several of whom spent the
entire week enjoying all the activities with their families.
The camp overall, was best described as having a sense of “peace
and maturity” with feelings of cohesiveness and unity that was
beyond that of other years. The English department was unusually
blessed with the husband and wife team of Jason and Aileen Matta.
Jason’s powerful challenges from the Word was complimented by
Aileen’s angelic ‘songs from heaven’. (Aileen is a Gospel recording artist and a Juno winner and subsequent nominee as well).
What a blessing they were during the camp week!
The Japanese department too, were blessed and challenged by the
ministries of three different speakers. Pastor Edward Yoshida
(Toronto), Rev. Ben Ichikawa (Three Hills) & Pastor Tetsuya Fukusaku (Vancouver). The reports from the campers from Japan
were great with some already planning on returning next year!
On behalf of the Sunnyside camp committee, we thank you for
your support in this ongoing ministry. It is clear that God continues to bless year after year and it is exciting to think what He may
do next year! Praise and Glory to Him forever. □
The second thing we enjoyed this year was the 8
full-time Japanese
working holiday young
people. Their fresh and
vibrant personalities
together with the ‘Jesus
Family’ music ministry
was an encouragement
to us all. Two of them
confessed Jesus as Lord and Saviour following the conference.
The third thing I want to highlight is to recognize the hard working
committee members in the background. Their commitment, sacrifice
and unity in the Lord, makes this conference possible. I, as the novice chairperson am amazed at the efficiency and the careful way the
committee carries out their responsibilities.
Please pray for this ministry. We want to reach many more for our
Lord Jesus Christ. □
o
On July 15, Lethbridge Japanese Christian Fellowship
(LJCF) had a baptism for Mrs.
Sumie Minamide, who is 82
years old. One year has
passed since she came to our
Sunday worship service. She
has attended our Biblereading time since last fall,
and the Word of God has
come into her heart. Her
daughter's family (Mr. and
Mrs. Ed Arinobu) has been
praying for Mrs. Minamide.
by Pastor Satoshi Akiyama, CJM Missionary
Satoshi & Mari Akiyama
Joshua 8 and Amy 6 years
O
n September 17, we finally received our permanent visa after applying for it in December 2005.
We give thanks to the Lord! Right after sending
all the documents, we thought that we had to retain a lawyer. However, we committed this to God, trusting that He
would allow the visa to go through in order for us to carry
out this ministry. That is, unless He had a different
plan for us. We waited for a year and eight months, just
trusting in God, who is the greatest lawyer. We have had
peace from God in the whole process. From the beginning of our Lethbridge ministry, we have stood on God's
promise that He provides everything we need for bearing
fruit and lasting growth in our mission field. We have
actually experienced this promise. Although we have
recently felt our insufficiency and weakness, the acquisition of our permanent visa gave us the confidence that
God surely called us to be His servants in this land. We
really appreciate the CJM, the Briercrest professors who
have helped us in the process of acquiring the permanent
visa, and those who have prayed for us.
You hold an important piece In
our “puzzle”. Without you, we
will not succeed!
Mrs. Sumiie Minamide
Our summer of 2007 has
quickly passed. Events included our fishing activity, youth and young-adult
camp, outdoor service, and Sunnyside Family Camp.
This fall, we have restarted Joy Kids, Praise Night, and
or Bible-reading time.
LJCF gathering on the occasion of Mrs. Minamide’s baptismal service, July 17, 2007
After receiving our permanent visa, we are planning our
deputation and reporting trip to Japan. We want the trip
to be an opportunity to report on our ministry and to ask
for continued support from the churches that have supported us financially. We want also to visit and encourage the young people who were saved in Lethbridge
and had returned to Japan. Please pray that we will be
able to conduct the deputation trip in the best way and at
the best time. ☐
For support of the AKIYAMA’S or the CJM GENERAL FUND
Donations
may be sent to:
BRENDA OHARA-PETERS
669 Hillman Cres., Mississauga, ON L4Y 2J1
Tel.: 905-949-4182 Email: [email protected]
p
From the desk of the General Director
The Reason why...
SETSUKO RYU
A LEGACY OF MOM SHARPLES
by Edward Yoshida, Pastor, Wesley Chapel Japanese Church - Toronto, ON
When we visited Kelowna five or six years ago, we were introduced to a postwar immigrant lady by the name of Setsuko Ryu from Japan. She was then
living in the Hinode Home and had come under the Christian influence of Nisei friends like the Kinoshita’s, the Hoshizaki’s, Winnie Nakano and Grandma
Sharples. Thus their love and witness had prepared her heart for Jesus to
become her Saviour. The Holy Spirit was just waiting for the divine time for
someone to explain the steps to salvation in her own language. We happened to be that instrument. Subsequently she relocated to Toronto to be
closer to her oldest daughter, and is now a resident at the Momiji Seniors
Centre. She has become a member of Wesley Chapel Japanese Church and
a faithful supporter of the monthly Chapel held in the building. What follows
below is the interview with her at Momiji Centre in September, 2007.
QUESTION – As much as you are able, please tell us
about your life in Japan.
RYU – I am a daughter of a Samurai family belonging
to the Tachibana clan in Kyushu. There were still
swords and spears in our house when I grew up. We
lived in Arao city, Kumamoto-ken, near the border of
Fukuoka-ken. Towards the end of the war an American
B-29 dropped many incendiary bombs over our city, and
a piece of that flaming ball landed on my mother. She
died immediately. I was with her at that time, but I was
lucky. I still feel a sense of guilt related to that time, and
a sense of sadness descends upon me.
QUESTION – If you can, please share something about
your marriage and family.
Mrs. Setsuko Ryu
RYU – I was 22 when I was married off to a man many years older. Even today I
believe he was motivated by greed, thinking that our family was wealthy. He was a
poor provider. So I had no choice but to work. At one time I held three jobs - sewing, cleaning at the public bath and working in a store. For a long period I had only
(Continued on page 4)
I sat to have coffee with a childhood
friend at Tim Horton’s last summer.
We had not seen each other for years
but on a couple of occasions a very
brief encounter at funeral services.
During our conversation, he mentioned remembering the time I said I
had accepted Christ and something
had changed in me. At that time he
passed this by as some fad or a momentary belief that would not last. He
knew along the way, that I had gone
to Bible college and subsequently into
fulltime Christian ministry. “What
made you make a career out of the
Christian faith? I tried going to church
regularly but it did nothing for me” he
said. We were quite acquainted with
each others nominal Christian church
background. I informed him that I am
really not that different from him. What
I did that made the difference, I said,
was that I consciously prayed to ask
forgiveness for my sins and to accept
Jesus as my Saviour and Lord. Without receiving the forgiveness of sin,
we still carry our own life time of sinful
baggage that we cannot unload. Jesus deliberately went to the cross so
that God can free us from our life time
of sin that separates us from the God
who created us. Because of His love,
which know no boundaries, He sent
His only Son Jesus Christ, to bear the
penalty for our sins. God is holy and
righteous. Sin cannot be accepted in
His presence. Jesus becomes our
righteousness before His holy Father
in heaven. When we pray a simple
pray of confession, God hears and
accepts the sincerity of our hearts. It’s
now His move to cleans us from sin.
We cannot do this ourselves. The
word “Gospel” means the good news.
What’s that good news? It’s the fact
that Jesus came to
earth 2000 years
ago to take care of
your sin and mine on
the cross of Calvary.
“Can it be that simple?” my friend
asked.
(We’ll carry on in the next
issue)
Seniors monthly chapel conducted by Pastor Ed Yoshida at Momiji Centre
Nori Kanashiro
CJM General Director
q
(Continued from page 3)
three to four hours of sleep each night.
Then I started my own business. It was a family restaurant run
by the family. It thrived but circumstances in our family made it
necessary for us to get away from him. Then we found an advertisement in a national newspaper that a large retail outlet
was seeking for employees. We applied and then moved to
Tokyo without the father.
QUESTION – What made you immigrate to Canada?
RYU – My youngest of the four daughters was interested in
becoming a flight attendant. So she attended English classes
beyond what was taught in school. Her teacher happened to be
a Canadian, and he introduced her to his friend. They soon
became good friends and wanted to get married, but I was apprehensive. Later, a letter arrived from his mother, pleading
that I would give my blessing to this marriage. This letter revealed much of the character of the family and this young man.
I relented.
After they were married they settled in Kelowna, BC. I was
invited several times to visit. Around that time I was suffering
from arthritis and over-sensitive nerves. But when I visited the
Okanagan, each time these conditions disappeared. Thus I was
convinced to apply for immigration.
QUESTION – What was your spiritual/religious background
before you met Jesus?
RYU – Because of my husband and unhappy marriage I read
many books and looked into many religions. I remember one
of them as the RISHO KOSEI KAI. (one of new religions
popular in postwar Japan). I had a strong Buddhist background
from my samurai ancestry. Therefore, when a visiting pastor
from Japan advised me to take up Christianity now that “you
are living in Canada,” I was not so eager to abandon my traditional beliefs, though they did not give me any relief and answers.
by Cory & Masami Giesbrecht
G
reetings from Winnipeg! This summer brought a big
change to our Winnipeg Japanese Alliance Church.
The summer started with the resignation of Pastor
Samuel Saeki in May. It was a big shock to our group, which
is less than 15 people and the half of whom are seniors. However, the group has decided to continue to meet as a church
and
selected
new leadership
team that consists of Cory
and
Masami
Giesbrecht and
Masako Adachi.
At the beginning, none of
us were sure
Seniors enjoying the annual picnic
what to do
since we had been so dependant on the pastor couple in the
past. However, God has provided all the workers we needed
as preachers, Sunday school teachers, women’s group leader
etc. and we’re thankful to God for that. Also, we had a
church picnic in August which was attended by members as
well as people who don’t usually come to our Sunday services and a good time was shared by all. There were new
faces at our Sunday services which was an encouragement to
us all.
We are thankful to God who continues to protect, provide for,
and use this small group. Please pray for the Saeki family as
they are adjusting to a new church in Winnipeg. ☐
QUESTION - Please tell me about your decision to accept
Jesus as your Saviour.
RYU – When I moved to the Hinode Home, the Christian
friends mentioned above were so kind and patient. Mrs. Sharples would sit with me and talk to me even when I could not
communicate and respond. One summer, we were passengers
together in the car with Bill & Dori Hoshizaki when we attended the Sunnyside Bible Camp. There, I heard the Gospel
message of Jesus dying on the cross for my sins. So when Pastor & Mrs. Yoshida shared the Good News of the Bible with me
at the home, the Holy Spirit flooded my eyes with tears. They
came gushing out. I could not help myself. Today, I have no
regrets or afterthoughts about my decision for Christ. And
though my four daughters and five grandchildren are not Christians yet, I have a burden for their salvation and pray daily for
them. ☐
Church summer picnic enjoyed by all.
r
The Unique Ministry of Tyrannus House
I
by Pastor Yuri Nakano
f you were to visit the Edmonton Japanese Christian church
for any length of time, you will come across this strange
word “Tyrannus House”. What does this mean? Well, it’s
a house that has been used by the church for over 10 years now
and it has a unique ministry. It’s a house owned by a relative of
one of the members of our church.
Tyrannus House fellowship time
Many have asked, “Is it a house related to dinosaurs?” The
answer is no. “Tyrannus” comes from Acts 19:9b which says,
“… He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in
the lecture hall of Tyrannus.” So, the house was named after
this hall that Paul preached in while he was in Ephesus, in
hopes that this house too would be a place where the Word of
God would be discussed, preached, heard and received.
This is the place where every Wednesday night, bible studies
Winnipeg Japanese
Alliance Church
Retreat
Nov. 16 - 18, 2007
Fri. & Sat. - Spiritual development and
encouragement sessions
Sun. - Special Outreach service
Location: Trinity Baptist Church
549 Gertrude Ave., Winnipeg, MB
Guest Speaker:
Rev. Edward Yoshida
(Wesley Chapel Japanese Church)
Toronto, ON
For further information, please contact:
Cory & Masami Giesbrecht
337 Victor St., Winnipeg, MB
204-779-6279
are held and people from different walks of life will come and
be nourished not only physically via a nice warm Japanese meal
but more importantly, spiritually, through the Word of God.
Since our church does not have our own building, we have
made use of other venues for meeting together during the week.
Many have come to this house to feed their souls, fellowship
with others who hunger for more and to have a place to come to
as a refuge.
Over the years people
have been transformed by
the ministry of this place.
Many students from Japan
and also elsewhere such as
Korea and other parts of
Canada have come to live
in the rooms upstairs. It is
part dormitory/hotel for
short-term guests/place for
various events and has
been the location of the
church office for many
years. So, there is never a
dull moment here! Soulsearching discussions,
passionate prayers, and life transforming decisions have been
made here. I guess I would know since this has been my home
for the last ten years.
As I leave the pastorate at the Edmonton church and transition
to another ministry, the ministry experience of Tyrannus will be
cherished and remembered. Please pray that God would continue to use this ministry to reach out to many people who need
Him. Pray also for the Edmonton church as we look for a new
pastor. ☐
CJM Board of Directors 2007 - 2008
Rev. Robert Brown
Rev. Tetsuya Fukusaku
Mr. Ben Ichikawa
Rev. Iwao Ikenouye
Mrs. Cathy Nakao
Mr. Nori Kanashiro
Mrs. Izumi Kuriyama
Rev. Brian Lavender
Mr. Masao Morinaga
Rev. Masato Murai
Mrs. Brenda Ohara-Peters
Mrs. Tina Sakon
Mr. Kevin Ueta
Rev. Edward Yoshida
Executive Committee:
Nori Kanashiro
Tetsuya Fukusaku
Tina Sakon
Brenda Ohara-Peters
Vancouver, BC
Vancouver, BC
Three Hills, AB
Calgary, AB
Edmonton, AB
Toronto, ON
Lethbridge, AB
Calgary, AB
Vancouver, BC
Toronto, ON
Toronto, ON
Calgary, AB
Toronto, ON
Toronto, ON
General Director
Vice General Director
General & Membership
Secretary
Treasurer
Sat. Dec. 1, 2007 - 7:00 pm
Location:
Chinese Gospel Church Scarborough
2610 Birchmount Rd., Scarborough, ON
(corner of Huntingwood Dr. & Birchmount Rd)
Guest Soloist: Aileen Lombardo
also
Japanese Churches in Toronto
will be performing
Admission Free (Donations received)
Net Donations to Japanese Social Services
and Nikkei Inter-Church Council
Childcare will be provided
Special Children’s Christmas Party
For more information: 416-429-4151
s
Pastor Yoichi Taniguchi - Japanese Department
T
his year our church celebrates 40 years of Gospel ministry begun by Rev. Robert Akutagawa, who was a missionary/pastor under the Canadian Japanese Mission.
Since then, several pastors in their turn, led the church here. In
1986, God provided us with this church building. One of the
blessings of our group was that most were saved as couples.
The core group was made of several believers who centered
their ministry on fellowship, praise and worship. They supported each other, bringing up their young ones. These children have now grown with blessing of the Lord upon them and
have Christian homes and have children of their own. Presently, our church is filled with many more young children. One
of our goals, is to raise the third generation as children of God.
The people of Israel headed towards the Promised Land and
traveled for 40 years. CJGC’s walk with the Lord was similar
to that of the Israelites’ because Jesus was our pillar of cloud
and our pillar of flame. He led us and walked with us every
step of the way.
by Pastor Akemi Nakahara—Japanese Department
T
hank you for your prayers and fellowship in the Gospel.
The blessings of the Lord this summer were numerous
at NWEFC.
Items of thanksgiving:
* Rev. Kenneth Strom was installed as the English department
pastor. (His uncle, Wally Strom, was one of the initial supporter and leader of CJM in Lethbridge, back in the 40’s and
was a Board member from 1948 - 1976).
* We were favored by the gifted Ms. Hiroko Kato, as a guest
soloist at our summer Church Concert.
* Summer affords great opportunities for ministries. We met
Japanese young people and Christians who are staying in Canada for English studies. They participated in our VBS, church
camp and picnic during the summer.
* The blessings of the Alpha course have been many. In our
Bible study, we are currently studying the Gospel of Mark.
Three people who are seeking our Lord are attending these
meetings.
* One of the ways we are able to keep in touch and minister to
friends in other areas is by sending outline of preaching notes
and prayer items each week
* English as a Second Language (ESL) class has started again
and people who usually do not come to church are beginning to
attend regularly. We appointed a staff member for this ministry.
Amongst the many who attended the 40th Anniversary
Celebration were church members and friends from
near and far. Mrs. H. Koizumi (L), Mrs. T. Komori and
Mrs. S. Ikenouye. Mrs. S. Aita (seated)
Our forefathers from years past
have built a strong foundation
for our church today. Our new
journey is like the crossing of
the Jordan River to the Promised
Land. It is like Joshua’s age of
battles. As we live for the Lord
today, we must always bear in
mind, the responsibilities to our
family, and the church families.
We must teach our youngsters
the Word of God and how to
walk victorious with the help of
the Holy Spirit. Our prayerful
hope, is that such would be our
future walk with the Lord.
Baptism of Satoru Nosho
by Pastor Taniguchi,
Aug. 11, ‘07
“One of you routs a thousand, because the LORD your God
fights for you, just as he promised. So be very careful to love
the LORD your God.” Joshua 23:10-11 ☐
Prayer request:
* Pray for spiritual growth of our church members and preparation of others to become church members.
* Pray for the young people who are attending our church; that
they will accept Jesus as Savior and Lord and follow through
by baptism and dedication to His service.
* Pray for people who are taking membership classes.
* Pray as we have opportunities to meet new people, that close
relationships can be established through our ESL classes, concerts etc.
* Pray for seekers who are yearning for the truth of God, that
they will open their hearts to Jesus and receive Him.
* For families in our church who are not Christians, to be
saved. ☐
t
by Ray Ebisuzaki, Pastor of the English Department
T
he Japanese Gospel
Church of Toronto
has been basking in
the blessings of God ever
since the wonderful experience of the 40 Days of
Purpose campaign back in
the early months of 2005.
One of the blessings has
been the launch of our
Pastor Ray & Minako Ebisuzaki with building project. Since
son Sean 5 yrs. and Christy 3 yrs. June of this year, when the
bulldozer and backhoe
equipment came on site the project has moved forward in earnest.
Although this project is largely volunteer based, we are deeply grateful for two God-fearing men, David Noble (Project Manager) and
Roger Hill, whom we have hired to lead our project. Skilled volunteer
tradesmen are coming from various parts of the country to assist in
this “mission project”. We too, both men
and women of the church, after a brief
training, are part of the volunteer work
force. Many of us have purchased construction boots, and labored under the
hot summer sun, moving piles of wood,
David
shoveling sand and gravel, and driving in
Roger
Noble
Hill
3 & 4 inch spikes. Day after day, the
Lord has kept us safe. Please pray for
continual safety on the site, safe travel
and adequate numbers of
skilled
Larry
tradesmen and a continual loving and
Peter
caring hearts by people of the church
to build towards His kingdom.
Another large part of the project is the
Food Services Team. Many women of
the church volunteer to prepare lunch or
dinner and deliver it to the work site for
the volunteer workers. Saturdays and
holidays have been a grand barbeque
street party for lunch adjacent to our
property. Billets for out-of-town volunteers are also being provided by
homes of church members. The Lord
has been good and we have been able
to manage everything so far. It has
certainly been a journey of faith for
our church family - we still have
months to go.
Summer is the opportune time for an
intentional outreach ministry through the
Bible camp. We were encouraged that
there was a large increase of campers in
the younger ages (many of them having
little connection with our church). Jason &
Aileen Matta were our senior camp speakers, and God really used them to bless our
camp. I heard reports that when Jason &
Aileen & Jason Matta
Aileen shared with different cabins during
their devotional times that there were lots of tears--"weeping" was the
word I heard. The Spirit of God touched their hearts and many of them
opened their hearts to the Lord. Russell Sugimura was our junior camp
speaker and his lessons were very helpful and meaningful to the children.
Please pray for our camp ministry. After 53 years at Fair Havens Camp
grounds, we may need to find a new camp location. Fair Havens Camp
and Conference is revisiting it’s mandate and vision which may necessitate us relocating to another camp
facility.
Another significant development
in our church is that we have a
new part-time youth pastor.
Kevin Ueta grew up through our
youth program and has been preparing for ministry. His new
bride, Michelle too, has been a
member of JGCT for sometime
and together had led our youth
department for the past year. We
are very pleased to have Kevin as
our youth pastor. He is dedicated
to the Lord and has a shepherd's
heart; he is also very gifted in
music.
One final item of note, JGCT’s
weekly worship venue has change
to 220 Duncan Mills Rd., in North
York. This move was necessitated
by the second floor renovation
project that began this month at
the Japanese Canadian Cultural
Centre. Our new location, until we move into
our new facility, is the
Chinese Pentecostal
Church and is part of
the first floor in an
office tower complex.
We deeply appreciate
the generosity and
kindness of JCCC for
the past 5 years. ☐
Kevin and Michelle’s wedding
day - Sept 23, 2007.
Kevin’s sister Charlotte (L)
The CJM REPORTER
is published semi-annually by the
Canadian Japanese Ministries.
News items, reports, testimonies
and notices of events are
welcomed by the editors.
Next publication: April 15, 2008.
Published in Toronto, ON
CO-EDITORS:
Nori Kanashiro
56 Wakefield Cres., Toronto, ON
M1W 2C2 Tel: 416-321-5831
Email: [email protected]
Rev. Edward Yoshida
3650 Kingston Rd. PH-09, Toronto, ON
M4C 2C4 Tel: 416-261-4302
Email: [email protected]
JAPANESE TRANSLATION:
Miki Nakano, Minako Ebisuzaki &
Pastor Haruo Sato
11/01/2007
To view or to download this newsletter from the internet, please log on www.jgct.com