Two Years Later: The Fruit of ReTrain
Almost two years ago to the day I sat in a small class room at the Ballard campus of Mars Hill Church in Seattle with the nine men that made up the "Global Massive" cohort. Our assignment at that meeting was to spend twenty minutes presenting a final project that encapsulated our year at ReTrain. I can't say that I remember well all of the presentations given, but there was one in particular that I do remember and served as a bit of a catalyst for me ending up for ten days in Japan. That presentation belonged to Steve Sakanashi.
Steve is a fourth-generation Japanese-American. From the first day I met him at ReTrain in August of 2010 he was talking about his passion and the need that Japan has for the gospel. His aim was to do whatever he could, however God led and called him, to reach the nation of Japan as a church-planter. So in that small little room at Mars Hill Church as Steve shared his vision and plan to plant a church and make disciples in Japan I wrote down one note to myself in my notebook, "Steve is going to be the William Carey of Japan."
What I didn't expect in the two years between that presentation and today was that I would get caught up in the momentum of the Holy Spirit to reach Japan. I always figured I'd run into my ReTrain brethren at different Acts 29 Network functions or in Seattle whenever I had the chance to get there. I never figured my next rendezvous with Steve would happen on the soil of the country he was so passionate to reach.
Since that presentation Steve will tell you that a lot has changed. He is now married to a lovely lady and is expecting their first child. His vision has been sharpened and his skill as an entrepreneurial leader has magnified.
Today Steve is leveraging the few commodities that Japanese students eagerly desire to have from American's to place them in contact with faithful Christians. As a business leader Steve has developed a model of "faithful presence" that puts the Japanese in contact with American's to learn English and to give Steve and his team a relationship that is long-term and sustainable with these Japanese college students. He is leading entrepreneurial workshops for Japanese business leaders and venture capitalists.
Steve has launched the Megumi Iniative which includes Sekai Creator an entreprenurail training course for Japanese business leaders and Eigo Partner. On Wednesday Steve met up with our team in Tokyo to cast vision for us about his ministry. That conversation reminded me a whole lot of the vision casting Steve did two years earlier to his whole cohort at Retrain.
Honestly, I don't think I would have ended up in Japan this time if Steve hadn't been the first to call out the need of Japan to me. Sure I knew that Japan was out there, but I didn't have any sense of what it's spiritual condition or need was. Steve identified those needs to me. Now my adventure in Japan has come full circle with the vision Steve set forth two years ago. He has moved forward in accomplishing what God has called him to and he has helped me see a place that needs the gospel so deeply and is so unreached that I won't stop ringing the bell for mission work in Japan until that nation is reached.
I would like to ask you too to put your life and resources into the gospel-work being done in Japan. One of the ways you can do that is by supporting guys like Steve and others financially and with your time. You can support Steve financially by following this link. You can support his work with Eigo Partner by enlisting to be an English conversational partner.
I'm thankful for friends like Steve, thankful for his vision for Japan, and thankful that God allowed our lives in intersect two years ago in Seattle and then once again Wednesday in Tokyo.