A Taste of Japan
Pastor Del Riemer
Just 2 weeks ago, Dave Gregory and I returned from a 9 day ministry trip to Japan where I taught 2 courses at the Capernwray Torchbearer Bible School and Dave volunteered in a variety of areas on the School property.
Japan is a beautiful, diverse and progressive society but with a shadowed under side which causes their population to put their best foot forward in terms of appearance & posture, while dealing with much under the surface... hopelessness and striving for honor. The idea of a ‘free gift’ of Grace from God through Jesus Christ is a very difficult concept for Japanese people to fathom since they are driven to ‘earn’, ‘achieve’ and ‘deserve’ everything they get. For those who do accept God’s forgiveness and favor, they become amazing ambassadors for Christ and want nothing more than to share their acceptance by a perfect and sovereign saviour with their countrymen.
The Torchbearer (Capernwray) Bible School is located near the base of Mt Fujii in a National Park. The scenery is rich in diversity, color and terrain and is meticulously manicured by the pride and skill of the Japanese population. Dave and I had the chance to visit many cultural and traditional sites, both natural and historical. A Bamboo forest, Buddhist shrines, cycling around Yamanakako lake, visiting the ‘Suicide forest’ (ask us about that one!), The 7 Pools, Traditional Drum demonstration and even a traditional Sumo ring… were some of the sites visited.
Japanese food is… interesting and unusual to our North American palates. A traditional ‘Hamazushi’ restaurant sends a small railway track of sushi plates around the restaurant and one simply takes what you want off the track. (Raw squid, salmon, shrimp, eel, fish eggs etc.) Very unique flavors were had but nothing I would suggest for our next SBC potluck!
The Teaching I offered covered 2 subjects:
1. Song of Solomon: which addressed issues of Godly courtship, Marriage and relationships and how to be the Man or Woman that God created and intends for us to be. This series concluded with the men at the school putting on an amazing ‘Chivalry Banquet’ for all the Ladies. What a special night for all involved… and one that we believe honored not only the women at the Center, but the Lord Jesus Himself.
2. Outdoor Leadership: I taught this course mostly outdoors using 9 team building apparatus that Back Porch Gospel and I built on the property 4 years ago. These sessions dealt with themes such as: problem solving, communication skills, a pioneering spirit, leadership, team building etc.
The long term impact of our trip is still emerging as I have had many emails from students and staff about the significance of this training in their lives and relationships.
It is important to remember that 100 % of our lives, skills and time are designated as ‘representing and reflecting’ Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. I am forever grateful for a church family that sees the value and significance of such trips in furthering the Kingdom of God of which we are all a part.
Dave and I thank you SBC, for your prayers, support and encouragement as we embarked on this adventure as your representatives.