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  • Ms Kelly Chan (GPC)

EPJM Testimony

“How beautiful the feet that bring

The sound of good news and the love of the King How beautiful the hands that serve The wine and the bread and the sons of the Earth”

– How Beautiful, Twila Paris

 


After the EPJM recce team returned in April 2023, our small team of four set forth in October to kickstart the resumption of monthly EPJM trips. It was my first with EPJM.

 For me, this was a trip witnessing the local pastors and missionaries, persistently and diligently labouring to bring the gospel to their community in many different ways.


It was truly beautiful, like the lyrics above. I am so grateful to be one of their hands and feet in October together with our team. Elder Susan shared about the ministry of presence during one of the monthly EPJM prayer meeting before and I now have an experiential knowledge of what it is like…

 

At a coastal church, we met the pastor and his wife for the first time to learn about them and their work. Their work is lonely and met with many discouragements. We prayed over their burdens and concerns together, offered them “manpower” support that could potentially come with the next team of trippers in November and December for the season of Christmas’ outreach. During prayer, they gave thanks to God for answering their cry for help, through our team coming to meet and connect with them. It was a sweet time of fellowship and prayer… tears flowed and hearts were encouraged.

 

To understand their ministry better, they led us around the community they have been reaching out to. When we walked past a public housing (single apartments for elderly who lost their homes during the 3-11 Tsunami), the pastor spontaneously initiated to visit an elderly sister-in-Christ who could not go to church because of health issues. She took some time to open her door and it turned out she was having a terrible nightmare which was so real and traumatic, that she awoke from it only after we knocked on her door several times and called her on her phone. She recounted her nightmare in tears.

 

The six of us spent the next twenty minutes talking to her. Mainly, it was the pastor and his wife speaking ever gently in comforting tone to her and opened the Word of God to read with her. We sang her favorite hymn “I worship You” – the pastor and his wife sang with the elderly sister who memorized the song by heart while we hummed. We also sang the only hymn our team could manage in Japanese for public housing ministry - “What a Friend we have in Jesus”. Our theme for English Café session was about fears vs courage, with Jesus being our Protector. Our team leader had just the right verses from our trip preparation and devotions to share with the elderly senior, soothing her fears with relevant Scripture verses. By the end of it all, the elderly brethren had calmed down and was grateful for the comfort she received.

 

All of these were so spontaneous and timely, that only God could orchestrate the meeting of a need so personally in this manner. The ministry of presence – through us to the pastor and wife, then through the pastors and us to the elderly sister-in-Christ.

 

My other deep impression from the trip was to hear the Japanese pastor literally cry out to God during our prayer time to save their people, that their people needed Jesus. The pastors and missionaries are working hard, most of them are doing many things on their own week after week. We can support them by being their hands and feet with EPJM teams going in month after month, year after year.


One brethren ever asked me what difference can non-Japanese speakers like us make in a mere 10-days trip? I would think of the boy who had little but offered all his five loaves and two fish up to Christ… and God just multiplied his offering to meet the needs of multitudes. Brothers and sisters, we can make a difference in that land, would you consider signing up for a trip too?


Ms Kelly Chan

GPC

 

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