Reflecting on the first year of the Samurai Projects 【Spring 2022 Newsletter】

It has been almost a year since Samurai Projects started in April 2021. As we look back the year it was filled with frustrated plans, such as James Ballinger who is the director of this project still hasn’t entered Japan yet because of Covid 19. But at the same time, it has been a year of experiencing God’s faithfulness and greatness regardless of the situation. Please read the testimony of one of the participants, Shutaro Sugawara, who shares how God is working in his life through this project.

The first time I heard about the Samurai Projects was when I visited the church where I am currently interning. I had originally planned to go to Turkey for ministry, but since I couldn’t go due to Corona, I decided to stay in Tokyo and asked the pastor if I could be involved in the work of the church. He told me about the Samurai Projects, which was more than what I was seeking, and even offered me the opportunity to work as an intern at the church if I wanted to participate. I was only thinking of working part-time, but what I was given was training through the Samurai Projects and daily work at the church. I was given abundantly more than what I was looking for, and I joyfully decided to join the project because I felt that this was what God had given me.

Since joining the Samurai Projects, I have learned a lot of good practical theology, listened to church planters and missionaries, and have been blessed with many opportunities to think about what it means to work for God. Through the work of the church, I have been thinking about how I can be a part of God’s work here in Tokyo. I have been given opportunities to preach, to write and lead Bible studies, and I have been able to face the Bible more than ever before to gain a deeper understanding of what God is trying to say and why we need Jesus, as well as to look at my own relationship with God. Of course, the teachers and church staff helped me a lot in these experiences, but for myself, the relationships with the other Samurai Projects participants were a great help. It was a great blessing to be able to encourage and pray for each other with people my age who were also involved in the work of the church. We were able to go to each other’s churches and help each other in the ministry, which allowed us to see God’s work in many different ways. I am so grateful for the wonderful opportunities, teachers, and friends I have been blessed with, and I hope to grow as a Christian and a servant through this. I’m grateful that so many people are supporting the work of the Samurai Projects!

“the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Matt 9:37-38)

Thank you for partnering in this work through your prayers, encouragement wisdom and financial support. May God continue to use this project for His great purposes.