Nonogaki Reports – October 2019

Teaching Japanese students English – Oct 9

I teach Japanese junior high school students English at tutor school. I have made an arrangement that they can have an email correspondence with students at Harding Academy where Paul Goddard teaches. I do not know how it will turn out to be in terms of spreading the gospel message. I hope it will do something good in the future. I will keep my relationship with those students.

A Recent Addition to the Body – Oct 9

Recently a former Japanese member came back from the States to live in Japan permanently. He lived in Hawaii for 10 years and was working as a dental technician there.

Now he wants to study the Bible while he is working. He has decided to study at JTJ (a major interdenominational school) where it is possible to take a class by using DVDs. In this way, he can study as it fits his schedule. One of the Japanese preachers in our brotherhood teaches there.

A Church Open Day – Oct 14

We make a church open day twice a month. All of the members make a special effort to invite their friends and family. The service has lots of singing. But also the Lord’s Supper will be explained to visitors. There are no preachings and sermons in the service.

Studying the Book of Revelation – Oct 14

Although I took a class on the book of Revelation at both undergraduate and graduate school many years ago, I never understood the book’s meaning. Our graduate school professor, Rick Oster, didn’t tell us his interpretation of the book.

But I always questioned the teacher’s interpretation at the undergraduate level. I knew I need to study it for myself and the members of the church.

For the last few years, I have been studying this book, but still have not fully understood it. However, my overall understanding of the book has been much clear than before.

About My Wife – Oct 23

My wife, Mari saw a black spot in the middle of the left eyesight and realized something wrong with it. She was diagnosed as retinal detachment. This was something entirely new to me. Two weeks ago she had an operation on the eye, which was successful. She got out of the hospital last weekend. On October 23 we went to see the doctor for a checkup. It has been going well so far. She has gone back to work and gradually back to the normal routine.

Leaflets for New Christians and Visitors – Oct 23

Recently a number of visitors have come to the assembly. After I meet them, I have come to realize the need for some leaflets explaining who we are and what we believe. The most needed leaflet is about the Lord’s Supper. I have made one.

Next, I will make another leaflet about who we are and what we believe. This should be simple and precise but accurate. After that, I will make one explaining how a person can become a Christian. It will take me some time to complete this project.

The Use of Musical Instruments in Worship – Oct 27

I have been asked by visitors why we don’t use musical instruments in the worship service. I know this is a thorny issue. Japanese preachers have avoided this topic because just even discussing it may divide churches. In the past, we invited American scholars to study this topic, but have not come to a definite conclusion. A couple of congregations have been using instruments.

As a minister of the Yokota congregation, I feel compelled to answer the question of why we sing without instruments. Although I know that I am not qualified to give a concrete definite answer for it, I need to provide some kind of guideline for the congregation.

The leaflet will provide four reasons (1) biblical reason, (2) historical reason, (3) theological reason, (4) practical reason. I don’t think it will solve the issue, but at least it will help the members understand the issue and the reasons why we sing songs  A capella.