Japan (MNN) ― Japan's opposition swept to a historic victory in elections Sunday, following the theme of "change."
The new Democratic Party of Japan promised to rebuild the economy and breathe new life into the country.
As a result, the opposition swept 300 of the 480 seats in the lower house of parliament, ousting the Liberal Democrats. 54-years under the same rule has come to an end, but in that time, the government has acknowledged things have gone astray.
According to Asian Access (A2), leaders in Japan have
characterized their own nation as "a super power without a moral
compass." This is a relatively new phenomenon in a country that was
guided, for centuries, by a moral and religious ethic that came out of
Shintoism and Confucianism.
However, at the same time, disillusionment is running high. In a country known for its traditional ways, this could mean many open doors for the Gospel.
Tim Clark with A2 says the election results are an example of that. "People of all ages are chanting, 'Yes, we can! Yes, we can!' I think that shows a desire for change. And then, this week's election is really very remarkable as decades of rule have ended, and political shift has been dramatic."
More importantly, it signals a paradigm shift in thinking. "Asian Access missionaries, along with Christians throughout the country, are hoping that this change will really come forward in a desire for change, spiritually."
Clark says people are very open to the Gospel now, making it a ripe harvest for summer evangelism teams, called J-Teams. These are teams of 3-5 people who work with a Japanese church to do community outreach through English classes, coffee houses, children's ministry, camp and other relationship-building activities. Team members' specific interests and abilities can usually be incorporated into the ministry as well.
Clark says this year "teams were able to build relationships with many non-Christians who normally would not be at a church. But because of this new openness and this new search for hope and encouragement, they found their way to a church."
Despite the needs in the church and the culture at large, the greatest need is for people who faithfully live and represent the reality of Christ and the power of the Gospel. The Japanese need the Life and hope that Christians can bring. You can help. Click here for details.