Bridging the Gap for Japanese Worship

February 22, 2024 • Japanese


If you are subscribed to our prayer request emails, you may remember the name Yamoto. ReFrame prayer warriors have been praying for a man named Yamoto's requests and thanks for Christian programming while he is confined to his hospital room.

In the heart of Japan’s Fukuoka Prefecture, Yamoto has been confined to a hospital for nearly two years.

“I can’t go to church, but I want to worship,” Yamoto says.

Between Yamoto’s health condition and the ongoing potential to catch the coronavirus in Japan, he yearns for spiritual connection. Yet, he’s not completely alone. Yamato regularly tunes in to telephone messages that nourish his faith.

The messages, produced by ReFrame Ministries’ Japanese ministry team, include a daily devotional called Asa no Kotoba (Morning Word) as well as a longer, weekly, reflection The Hour of Christ.

“The messages are a valuable source of sustenance,” Yamato wrote in a message to ReFrame’s Japanese ministry team. “I listen to it every day. Thank you for your continued support of spiritual guidance. Please continue sending them.”

Yamato's plight echoes those of many isolated Christians in Japan who face similar hurdles. Christian communities are scarce in Japan, and many Christians don’t feel comfortable attending church even if they are physically able to do so.

Recognizing the growing need for accessible spiritual content in Japan, ReFrame partners with the Reformed Church in Japan to continue to develop new ways to share the gospel along with long-time programs like Morning Word.

Rev. Masao Yamashita and other members of ReFrame’s Japanese ministry team are working on launching a mobile-friendly website and a dedicated smartphone app. The app takes inspiration from the user-friendly "Bridge" app that many Christian Reformed Churches are currently using in Canada.

“Japan's fast-paced lifestyle and widespread smartphone usage make this new app a very important step towards making biblical content more accessible,” Yamashita said.

Yamashita’s plans to launch a new website designed with smartphone adaptability in mind, by June 2024. The app will provide a seamless and convenient way for individuals like Yamato to engage with faith-based resources.

You can bring this app and two more apps to smartphones around the world by making a gift on this page.

The envisioned app will not only host the devotionals that Yamoto reads from his hospital bed, but also offer video programs from the Church in My Town series. The 75-video series shares tours of the different churches throughout the RCJ as well as interviews with leaders and members of the churches.

“These videos have not only allowed seekers to see the churches, but also members of nearby churches who didn't know a lot about their fellow congregations in the Reformed Church of Japan,” Yamashita added.

As Yamato continues to find solace in the daily telephone messages, as well as his interactions with ReFrame’s Japanese ministry team, please pray for him and others like him who are not able to attend worship services.

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