Ezra and Nehemiah of Biblical days were men who answered the call of God to leave their comfort zone. But where to? They returned to the ruins of the land of their forefathers, to not just rebuild the once mighty walls, but gather together from the remnants, a community of God fearing children of God.
Yumiko’s growing up years in Fukuoka, Japan, was tough due to her father’s alcoholism. When married to Eric and moved to Singapore in 1983, Yumiko was happy to get herself out of Japan and also its social norms. However, in 1998, during her “Love Japan! – Kyushu” mission, Yumiko realized that many Japanese simply do not know the Gospel! She felt God reminding her; “Yumiko, you are not just a Christian, but a Japanese Christian.”
It was a journey of faith, over 10 years, of seeking God’s will and submitting to God’s calling. When God calls and we respond in faithful obedience, His ways are always prescient. In March 2011, our good Lord brought Eric and Yumiko Lee home in Fukuoka City, after sojourning for many years overseas.
Indeed, the homecoming month of Eric and Yumiko coincided with the devastating Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. Something changed in the hearts of the Japanese in the aftermath of the disaster. Comradeship was born out of this devastation, and priorities changed from self seeking materialism to community and relationships. That long repressed hunger for something permanent, something real has finally stirred, in a society that has been thoroughly humbled and hearts contrite.
Eric and Yumiko use their home and over the dining table connect heart to heart with the locals, creating natural opportunities to share the Gospel. It is a recreation of Christian friendship ministry of Yumiko’s younger days in Seinan Gakuin University, where she found refuge and comfort and experienced the empowering love of God.
Friendship ministry creates the transformation of hearts by the Holy Spirit and provides shelter for the nourishment of the sheep. From the rudimentary but significant step of faith that Eric and Yumiko took, God has not just deepened their pioneering imprints of obedience, but has also impressed upon the hearts of a diverse group of us.
To join them on this journey, where our only commonality is a desire to respond to His love, by loving the Japanese whom He will place in our path. By the grace of God He has now brought together a small army of faithful servants in this vision.
Christ The Chief Cornerstone
The once vibrant flowering of the Christian faith in 16th Century Japan might have been short lived. And the seeds of faith might have lain dormant in the fallow ground for many years, but they are waiting upon our Lord, to sprout forth again upon His watering. The process of providing an oasis for the spiritually thirsty to gather and be sated has moved steadily forward.
But for ministry to be strong, the foundations must rest upon the rock our God. And we ask not just for your coming on board with us as the Spirit leads, but for your prayers that our hearts, will always be aligned only to the will of God. He is the author, and we are but the pen in the scripting of this miraculous chronicle of the great revival of His Kingdom in the Land of the Risen Son.