Takamatsu is a beautiful city on the island of Shikoku, facing Japan’s Inland Sea. It was a much smaller country town when Ralph and Stella Cox arrived 58 years ago to begin planting churches. It is now a very modern, progressive city that attracts many tourists every year. The beauty of this place is evidence of our Creator God that, unfortunately, most Japanese still do not believe in.
The Takamatsu Community Church (TCCh) was started on December 1, 1998, in the Takamatsu Christian Center. For many years, the Takamatsu Christian Center’s first floor had been used as a church birthing location. A church would begin and after a nucleus of people formed, they would begin working toward moving out of the Center into a new location and under a Japanese pastor. Once out, another church would soon begin. This was mainly driven by Ralph Cox’s vision and zeal. Although “founder” Ralph Cox passed away four years ago at the age of 82, the ministry continues. There are now six locations, two of which make their home in the Takamatsu Christian Center first floor, that function as churches under the name Takamatsu Community Church (TCCh). The Takamatsu Ministry Initiative utilizes a combination of long-term missionaries coupled with short-term missionaries. We currently have two Japanese pastors, four TEAM career missionaries, and two other independent missionaries in the TCCh church plant. We believe this has been a process of God orchestrating the opening and shutting of doors, bringing us to where we are today.
Mike Gray writes, “The laborers are few and the task so great. We would love to host a short termer to help us get the newest church plant of the Takamatsu Community Church off the ground. It is called the Mure International Chapel and functions with English as the first language. There are a vibrant group of Filipinos, Japanese, and North Americans all worshipping and serving together to reach the international community of Takamatsu. Many different avenues of evangelism are used including English conversation classes, music (through our band, the Messengers), cooking classes, street evangelism, mother’s meetings (parenting), and kids meetings.”
Stella Cox writes, “Giving the gospel to the Japanese people is my greatest joy and passion. Recently, wherever I go, I meet people who have known me, who have attended my cooking classes twenty or thirty years ago. They want to come and visit me. I gladly invite them and this opens the door for me to tell them the ‘greatest story ever told’. One dear lady will start attending our Bible class for the first time. The class keeps increasing in number. Pray for the unsaved ones to have open hearts to receive the Lord. I was recently privileged to have a cooking/Bible class at a church in Okayama area where we helped start ten churches more than twenty years ago. There were 70 women present, and two thirds of them were not Christians. They were young wives whose children attend the kindergarten operated by the church. Some of the believers who attended my classes years ago made a full course meal using my cookbook. I was asked to demonstrate how to prepare the meal and do some table settings for them. The Lord blessed the Bible message, and two women requested to talk to me. Both of them accepted the Lord that day! One of them asked me, ‘What do I do now?’ I told her to read the Bible and she said, ‘I don’t have one!’ An assistant pastor’s wife will follow them up. I had asked the Lord for one soul to be saved that day, and He doubled it! Praise God for using me in the lives of these ladies!”
May God continue to bring Japanese to Himself and establish His church in Takamatsu!
- By Linda Rudd
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