We continued our tour of Eugene/Springfield area churches this morning. The body at Eugene Japanese Baptist Church meets in the fellowship hall of Rivera Baptist church on River Road. This small fellowship welcomed Arielle with open arms from the first time she stumbled her way into their meeting. No, she wasn't drunk. She had worked closing the night before, got lost, the ushers of Rivera sent her to the wrong service, and finally she realized the service didn't appear to be a Japanese church and so she walked out. On her way out she heard Japanese, investigated and ultimately found the Japanese church.
Arielle loves the Japanese food on birthday Sundays, she's been introduced to Japanese exchange students and is motivated to begin her Japanese lessons again now that she has a semester under her belt.
Arielle's family also felt very welcomed on our first Sunday. Our eight were noticeable in the group of 30. The service is Japanese/English and the word was solid. Hayashi Sensei spoke from Romans 5 - his title was "Keep Standing in God's Grace." We discussed the Principle of Earned Wages, the Principle of Grace, and the Results of Suffering. All very good. He shared how there are many gods in Japan. Each one guarantees happiness, wealth, health etc......but the Bible tells us we will suffer and that in suffering we receive an outpouring of God's grace.....and endurance, character and mature faith are built in us. For me, this illustrated how important it is to TEACH THE WORD in Japan (and everywhere).....that if we say "God guarantees you health, wealth and happiness" - our God appears no different than their many gods.
I enjoyed talking with several of the men who had served as Japanese missionaries, hearing a solid sermon and hearing Japanese again. All in all, it was another great Sunday in OR.