We just came back from a trip to Long Beach CA. When we happen to be in Simi Valley (we often are) we try to visit a few Encompass friends who live and minister in Long Beach. Cecil O'Dell, who spent 17 years as a missionary in Japan, oversees a ministry that reaches out to Japanese exchange students. He works with Nao, a Japanese Christian (also with Encompass) who runs a surf ministry to those same students. Lately they have seen a few Japanese students come to Christ in quick succession, which is an amazing thing if you are familiar with the history of Japanese responsiveness to the Gospel. Two trips ago, while we were meeting with the students in Cecil's home, we prayed for a Japanese guy named Kiseki. Another student (Shutaru), who was a brand new believer himself, would be sharing the Gospel with Kiseki that night. We prayed that the Holy Spirit would speak through Shutaru and that Kiseki would hear and accept the good news of what Christ had done for him.
The title of the blog post is a bit of a spoiler. Kiseki did respond. And we had the privilege to attend his baptism during our most recent visit and to witness firsthand the fruit of our prayers that night. It was an extremely impactful experience for Jen and myself as it was the first time we had seen a Japanese baptism. Not only that, but a Japanese student who had been evangelized and baptized by another Japanese Christian. It was amazing to see and gave us hope and urgency for our own mission to Japan, especially since we hope to create a compliment to this ministry by receiving these students once they return to Japan. To survive and flourish as Christians in their home country they will need discipleship and Christian community. This is what we hope to offer one day soon.
Please pray for Kiseki as he develops as Christian. Also pray for Cecil and Nao's ministry, that God would continue to move among the students and bring more and more of them into a saving relationship with Him through Christ.