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Blessed to bless others

CMS missionary Chenny Thie works with the KGK (a Japanese university ministry affiliated with IFES) encouraging and training Japanese and international students. She shares how the ministry of KGK has been a blessing to many.  

 Solitary Christians 

In a country where Christians number less than 1% of the total population, it is not unusual for someone to be the only Christian in their university.  Therefore, university can be a lonely place for Japanese Christian students. In these situations, the university ministry, KGK (Kirisutosha Gakusei Kai) is an immense blessing.  

Gathering together 

KGK runs many student camps throughout the year and for Christian students in Japan this is perhaps the highlight of their time at university. The first KGK camp this year was the National Conference (NC) which had to be held online. National Conference is a gathering of all Japan’s KGK groups, organised by senior students and staff. While there is a national meeting of KGK groups every year, the student-led version of National Conference is held once every three years.  This was the first online NC and possibly the only online NC in KGK history. 

All the guest speakers at NC2022 had a personal connection to KGK—the evening speaker, Yamaguchi-sensei, had attended KGK NC 40 years ago! Many pastors and prominent Christians in Japan are KGK graduates. This is well known among Christians, but every time I hear this directly, it warms my heart. It’s like a word of promise from the Lord that he will take care of ongoing gospel proclamation in this land for his glory.  

For many Christian students in Japan, university can be a very lonely time. In these situations, the university ministry, KGK (Kirisutosha Gakusei Kai) is an immense blessing.

Farewelling students 

The university calendar in Japan starts in April. So, every year we say goodbye to graduating students before we welcome the new students. KGK has a special, if surprising, term for this thanksgiving farewell: ‘Kick-out Event’. 

At this event each graduate shares their testimony, which is often a recap of their campus life and involvement with KGK. After that, a junior student prays for them and the KGK staff then give a Bible message to encourage graduates to keep ‘living a gospel life wherever they’re sent’. 

Kick-out Event is perhaps my favourite of all KGK events. It is an encouragement for both graduating senior students and the remaining junior students. It’s a reminder that wherever they are sent by God, whether into university campus or into the working world, Christians ought to live a life worthy of the gospel. 

Farewelling staff 

This year we also farewelled staff who have finished their term with KGK. Yu, Shuji, and Asami were KGK student leaders during their time at university. They then followed God’s calling to ministry and took up two years of ministry training with KGK. They started as staff trainees at possibly the hardest time, when campus ministry was turned upside-down due to COVID. By God’s grace they got through two very difficult years of ministry. 

Praise God for raising up young Japanese Christians. Please remember them in your prayers for Japan. They are the future for a Japan that knows Jesus for the glory of God. 

GO 

There are many opportunities to engage in mission in Japan including student work with the KGK. Get in touch with your local CMS branch to find out more.