Konnichiwa TRC! This is Annie Lee giving today’s update on the adventures of your Japan team. Today we got to go on a sightseeing trip to Fushimi Inari temple. We learned that Fushimi Inari is dedicated to Inari, the god of rice. The temple’s structure was very elaborate and filled with many statues of foxes. During our walk through Fushimi Inari, we saw a lot of people who came to pay respects to Inari. The team was able to look inside one of the shrines and witness a priest praying for a group of 6 people. I learned that people have to pay money in order for a priest to pray for you. If you pay more money, the priests will pray more for you. Fushimi Inari is also located on the base of a mountain. There is a long hike up the mountain with many, many stairs and you can see mini shrines scattered all over during your climb. The team climbed up for about 45 minutes and we finally came to a stop at a location where you can overlook Kyoto. It was very beautiful and we stopped to pray there for Japan. After Fushimi Inari temple, the team was treated to Japanese ramen! Personally I could barely contain my excitement, because I love Japanese ramen. I think other team members liked it too, because everyone looked really happy. We headed straight over to J-House Kyoto in order to do street evangelism. The team was able to bring in a good number of new people for J-House Kyoto and we all went out to eat afterwards at a burger place called First Kitchen and wrapped up our day.
I feel like God taught me a lot of things today. I had been praying that God would show me his heart for the Japanese people and I think he gave me a glimpse through the Fushimi Inari temple. The longer I stayed at the temple I became more panicked and aware of a heavy spiritual presence. It scared me because the spiritual presence was obviously not of God. This helped me to become aware of the reality of spiritual warfare in Japan; many live worshiping false idols. Awareness of spiritual reality also made me aware of how important it is to pray constantly for God’s provision. God has also been teaching me what a blessing it is that we are able to approach him in prayer through faith, not works. I was shocked to learn that people at the temple pay money for someone to pray for them (apparently a really good prayer is 2 months’ salary). In J-House Kyoto, God taught me that he alone has the power to change hearts. A man I gave a flyer to came to J-House with his son, but I don’t think he was moved by the Gospel. I was disappointed, but grateful that God allowed the J-House team to plant the Gospel seed and even teach me a valuable lesson.
It would be so awesome if you guys could pray for the following:
1) Please pray that we would pray more. As the team grows physically tired, it’s easy to shorten our prayer time to get more rest. But regardless, please pray that we would persevere and pray more as a team.
2) Please pray that we would be a blessing not only to the Japanese people, but also to J-House and to each other. I think many of us realize that ministry involves serving team members as well. We don’t want to neglect serving each other :)
Thank you so much for keeping up with us! I really apologize for posting so late, but I’m so thankful to know that people are praying for us anyway. As cheesy as it sounds, we really would not be able to persevere without your prayers. Thank you so much for loving us and caring for us, TRC!