Since moving to Tokyo almost three years ago, the vision of the Tokyo Metro Ministry Initiative (TMMI) has been to create a place that provides unique opportunities to share the gospel, and to establish it in the local community to meet and build relationships with people. In October of 2009, we started the SonRise Café, open during the week, and SonRise Church, open each Sunday.
This September, a young woman came to the café at the recommendation of a fellow TEAM missionary. She enjoyed her café experience and began talking with our staff member, Midori, and co-worker, Kelly. It became clear that she was very interested in Christianity and was trying to read and understand the Bible by herself. Kelly invited her to church and she has been attending ever since. A month later, another team member, Sarah, met with the young woman to chat and study the Bible. The woman explained how she had become interested in finding a deeper meaning in life and became curious about a church she saw from the train as she travelled to work. When she saw the billboard for the church, she could not understand all the Biblical words easily, and so she felt she could not go inside. She mentioned a Japanese phrase: “the entrance was too high to enter,” referring to a perceived barrier to entering into a group or place. She told us how easy it was for her to come to SonRise Church after having been a customer at the café and feeling comfortable and accepted there. We felt so encouraged to hear this!
Sometimes, the day-to-day challenges of running a business get us bogged down, but it is so exciting to see how God is able to use our efforts, no matter how inadequate we feel! There are others, too, who have attended church recently after having been customers in the café.
God is using Café Evangelism here in Tokyo!
- By Owen Ames
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