Japan - a land famous for its technological advances, cuisine and aesthetic tradition. Yet in spite of all the good things the nation has to offer, Japan is steeped in false religions and beliefs. Missionaries have said that ‘Japan is a hard nut to crack’ and with such a very small percentage of professing Christians in the nation (2.2%) this is no surprise.
We are told there is such a major lack of sound Bible teaching in Japanese, so it was exciting when a Japanese Pastor recently wrote to us, saying:
I was born and raised in Japan. I accepted Jesus Christ when I was a college student in the US. I studied theology in Fukuoka, Japan, and now I am a Pastor in a Baptist church in Aomori, Japan. I had a difficult time in the seminary because of their liberal teaching. Recently, I found Pastor Derek's teaching on the internet and I have obtained deep understanding from his teaching that I cannot learn in Japan because of just a few Japanese resources about spiritual learning in the Bible.
Japanese Bible teaching
At DPM, our heart’s desire is to enable Pastors and believers in Japan to have ready access to a wide range of Derek’s Bible teaching. So over the past two years, our Japanese translator, Yoshie, has been very busy translating a variety of teaching and we’re delighted to announce that the following Japanese Bible teaching resources are now available:
• 50 Teaching Letters on the DPM-Japan website
• 30 of Derek’s most significant teachings, including the "Laying the Foundation" messages are available on the Japanese App.
• Many of the 168 two-minute messages which Derek entitled A Word from the Word are presently being voiced in Japanese and put on the website.
Yoshie tells us: Japanese people are busy, and that includes the Christians. Many Japanese Christians desire to study the Bible daily or to seek God’s will, but it’s not easy to get time for it. Each "Word from the Word" message is short, but has very simple, clear and important keys to help believers grow in their faith and relationship with God. I believe spiritual breakthrough will happen in the lives of many Japanese Christians through these messages.
Glued to the phone
Graeme Fawcett (a Pastor from New Zealand, serving in Japan) explains the need for Bible teaching in Japan:
As a Pastor in Japan, I am always trying to help overly busy people who sleep too little, jump out of bed late and run all day, to connect with the Lord through His Word and prayer. They are glued to their phones on the long commute to work and school and being able to access a sharp, two-minute word of encouragement that takes them into the powerful Word of the Lord is going to be a huge blessing to so many. I look forward to being able to direct our people to this resource!
Self-Study Bible Course
But that’s just the start. Yoshie is now also beginning to translate Derek’s books, starting with the Self-Study Bible Course. This title was translated many years ago, but requires a number of editorial changes. We will then move on to smaller booklets.
Population: 126 million
Largest religions: Shintoism (79.2%) and Buddhism (66.8%) (total exceeds 100% because many people practice both)
% professing Christians: 2.2%