To be read on Sabbath, September 25, 2010

The Special Sabbath School Offering will be gathered
on Sabbath, October 2, 2010

Japan is a country that is very well known for its wealth and advanced technology. It consists of four major islands and more than 4,000 small islands, covering 145,880 square miles, or 377,915 square kilometers (land and water). With 130 million people (872 per square mile), the country is very densely populated and also very strong economically. Most of the people are atheist or Buddhist.

It has been well over a century since the message of Revelation 18 began to be sounded to the world. It is a message that will enlighten the whole world with the glory of God. But the work of the remnant church that has to spread this mighty angel’s message has been relatively powerless in East Asia. There was no remnant church in Japan before 2009.

In East Asia, our church was first rooted in South Korea, an East Asian country, in 2000 through the efforts of Brother Branko Cholich. The Korean church has been putting forth efforts to take the message to China, Mongolia, and Eastern Russia ever since. It also tried to share the message in Japan as opportunities arose, but it was not easy. Indifference to the Christian faith in Japan and the great expense of missionary activities made it very hard to work in this country.

With much prayer, we looked for an opening to start the Lord’s work in Japan. It came on February 15, 2009, when a Japanese sister who had belonged to another movement made the decision to become a member of our church.

It was an amazingly rapid work. There were other dear souls who belonged to the same movement who also recognized the IMS as the true Reform Movement. Although it was very difficult for them to leave their former church relationship, they all decided to join our church as soon as they learned about the message.

After just three months, we had the first camp meeting and conference in Okinawa, the southern island of Japan. During those meetings three souls were baptized and the mission was organized with 12 members. Since the work in Japan has been so delayed, they wanted immediately to put the evangelistic efforts into high gear. They do not yet have their own place of worship, so they need a church building urgently. And funds are needed to support the fledgling ministry. Some of our sisters in Okinawa are nurses, and they have a dream of establishing a sanitarium on this beautiful island.

In Japan the cost of living is very high, so with the few members in the newly established Japanese Field it seems impossible to cover the needs of the Lord’s work in Japan very quickly. But the members decided to go forward by faith, for they know that their great need and their sincere pleading with God will be met by His mercy and your generous offerings. I earnestly appeal to you for your earnest prayers and generous offerings so the gospel may be spread quickly throughout Japan, an advanced country that is nevertheless in great spiritual want, and the glory of the Lord may be revealed.

–Masahiko Matsumoto
Your brothers and sisters in Japan
and Japanese Field President