About YWAM Sendai¶
This page outlines some of the main values we share as a pioneering missional community in Sendai. We are praying for more people to join us, so please read our values and we welcome you to prayerfully consider joining us!
Where is Sendai?¶
Tohoku is the northernmost region of Honshu, the main island of Japan, and includes 6 prefectures. The total population is just over 9 million. It is one of the least reached areas of Japan by the gospel.
The vision to pioneer YWAM in Tohoku has been growing since the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Since then, we have been taking vision trips there to seek God’s guidance, and sense that Sendai city in Miyagi prefecture is the place to start!
Sendai, populated by over a million people, is the ‘hub’ of Tohoku. We feel Sendai is to be a springboard to pioneering further Operating Locations and ministries in the rest of Tohoku. YWAM Sendai was officially established in Summer/Autumn 2018.
Building on YWAM’s Foundational Values and a desire to worship God in all that we do, we feel that the following values are also foundational to what God wants us to do in Sendai.
Authentic Japanese Christianity¶
Japanese identity is deeply entangled with Shinto and Buddhist related culture and customs, being especially strong in rural Tohoku. Because Christianity is relatively new to Japan, and that it often looks and feels Western, the Japanese tend to view it as being a “Western religion”. It is common to hear someone say “I would love to be a Christian, but I am Japanese.” We long for this to change!
We believe that for the gospel to truly take root in Japan, we as missionaries need to communicate the gospel in a Japanese way. For this reason, as a community, we will be intentional in functioning bilingually in English and Japanese, and doing our best to be culturally fluent. All foreign staff will be expected to study the Japanese language and culture. (Having said that, our hope is for YWAM Sendai to become an international mission ‘hub’ for YWAM in Tohoku, so we also acknowledge the importance of English!)
Churches and mission organisations in Japan struggle to communicate, pray for, and work with each other. But we believe that church unity holds the key to true revival in Japan. Therefore, we wish to actively seek relationship with believers from every church and mission organisation. We want our lifestyle and work to reflect our desire for church unity. Having said that, we must not be afraid to offend the ‘status-quo’ and be all that God wants us to be. This is because we also believe we are called to radically live out the Bible in 21st-century Japan- however way that looks!
As Tohoku is a large region that is mostly unreached by the gospel, we want to see a YWAM community pioneered in all of the other prefectures. Therefore, it is our heart to not only grow as a community in Sendai, but also to champion and release our members to spread God’s work through YWAM in surrounding areas from an early stage. Many smaller YWAM communities are more effective than just one large base!
A vast majority of people in Tohoku do not know Jesus. We should seek the creativity of the Holy Spirit in order to share the gospel by means of media, arts, preaching and supernatural manifestation, as well as simply sharing our lives with people. Looking ahead, we want to be involved in outreach during the 2019 Rugby World Cup which will include one town in Tohoku: Kamaishi. We also want to intercede for and send a team down to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics!
We are committed to disciple the Japanese, and those who God places in our community, through teaching the Word, helping them realise their original design, encouraging them to wholeheartedly pursue God and to receive all He has for them. In the future, we would love to have a bilingual DTS ran in Sendai, as well as other YWAM schools and discipleship programmes aimed especially at the Japanese.
Just as Jesus walked in love and mercy, we also seek to respond to the physical and spiritual needs of the area. Although Japan is a wealthy nation, there are many areas of need in society such as depression, loneliness, and homelessness. We also want to play an active part in the work of bringing healing and restoration among the victims of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.