Reaching Out to “Salarymen”March 17th, 2017 | in Least Reached People | 0
International workers in Japan are focusing more on inner-city Tokyo. One of the strong prayer focuses we have as a team is to reach men, specifically Japanese office workers, “salarymen.” It has been difficult to reach men for a number of reasons.
The people we meet show a cross-section of the many issues men face in Japan. We meet these men through English conversation groups, at family BBQs (because their wives have joined outreach activities), or even accidentally.
Recently, four or five salarymen have been attending a weekly English Club, where it is natural to include the Bible in the topic of conversation. While they have questions and seem to want to talk, Japanese men tend to hang back and are uncomfortable sharing themselves, so it often takes a long time of meeting in relaxed ways before any "progress" is made. It is both a satisfying and sometimes heartrending part of our work.
Putting Two and Two Together
We have a few men in Bible studies who, over a longer period of time, have become more interested in the Bible and Jesus; however, they have a hard time putting their background and their interest together.
For example, two men are dedicated to their Buddhist temple and are active there, but they have also come to believe that Jesus is true and wonderful. One even asked how he could help a needy friend become a Christian! They don't know how to reconcile their love of Jesus and their need for a Saviour. These men need prayer, as this is a kind of decision that requires God's Spirit at work in their hearts.
We also have two men who have seen the changes in their
Work and family issues can be a barrier to new faith. One man's wife is opposed to his faith, and this makes it hard for him to be regularly involved.
Another man was involved in the group until his company expected him to work weekends on top of the weekly work. It has become hard for him to find any time to be involved.
There is yet another man who comes to meetings having worked all night. He puts in long hours every week too. He longs to do more ministry and is praying to see if he should seek new work that
This is the range of issues involved in reaching men in Japan. It also shows why nothing can happen without prayer, and why the involvement of people praying for Japan is so critical to all we do.
Don Love and Doug Woon
Don and Carol Love and Doug and Carol Woon are international workers in Japan.more stories by Don Love and Doug Woon