Mission in Japan was such an amazing experience. There are so very few Christians there (about 1 in 5000 where we were) that even the little we did was a huge help to the Japanese church. What did we do? We visited many preschools, ran a lot of English classes and helped the missionaries as they planted two new churches.
It taught me a few things: the huge cultural differences did not matter to the Gospel, these people are sinners and need to be told about Jesus and shown God’s love. But the cultural differences also showed how mission must be made culturally appropriate, both in Japan and home in Australia. Most people in Australia are unwilling and opposed to talking about God and the gospel. Japan was very different in that so many people were willing to listen and ask questions about Jesus and the Bible, for to them it is almost entirely new. But despite how much interest they show and how much they learn, the Japanese people are sadly reluctant to confess Jesus and commit their lives to him. In Australian culture verses like Romans 10:9 are not too significant, for almost everyone who believes the gospel will confess Jesus. But in Japan they will not. We met a few who even after more than ten years contact with the church and learning and believing far more than many Australian Christians, will still not commit to and confess Jesus. Whether they feel pressured from their families or work or just don’t want to, I don’t know. But it is sad and something that definitely needs a lot of prayer.