Taking Biblical Counseling to Japan

posted in: Counseling, Missions | 0

Last summer one of the pastors at Chapelgate Presbyterian Church, Patrick Allen, approached me and

asked if I would be interested in joining a team he was heading up to go to Japan to serve missionaries. I

had never thought of going to Japan ever. But he wanted me to consider it so I gave it some thought and

prayer.

 

This would be a follow-up from a trip Patrick had taken the year before. He didn’t have a solid plan

yet but felt very confident he wanted counselors on the team he would be taking. He also asked Tonya,

our counselor for children, to join the team. After a bit of a roller coaster ride of “going/not going” it was

finally decided. We were a part of the Japan Missions team. What we were going to be doing was still

being determined but we were told to keep a flexible spirit. So that we did.

 

We were going with Mission to the World to the Japan Church Planters Institute conference. It became

clear that there would be a great need for counselors to support the missionaries who were serving

throughout the country. While the rest of the team served in vital areas of the conference (set up,

registration, and an amazing children’s ministry), Tonya and I connected with missionaries and their

families to encourage them and offer support for the many emotional struggles that come with ministry.

 

Japan is an amazing country. The Japanese are efficient, productive, wealthy, and healthy. Things run

smoothly there and the people have it together and have purpose. Or so it seems. Despite Japan looking

like a well-oiled machine, there is great need.

 

It is a culture of shame and honor. Your reputation is everything and your value comes from what you

produce. This creates emptiness and pain that makes Japan the country with the highest suicide rate in

the industrialized world. Karoshi is the Japanese word that means “workdeath.” It is a far too common

cause of death in this country where your work is everything.

 

This is why the gospel is so needed and yet less than 1% of the massive population is Christian. Japan is

in great need and the missionaries there have a significant weight to carry as they seek to bring gospel

hope to this self-sufficient nation.

 

It was an amazing privilege for us to serve in this way and provide biblical counseling and support to

those who have chosen to give up all that is familiar to reach the people of Japan. Even though these

missionaries are serving in an economically stable area the sacrifice is significant. They were so grateful

for the encouragement they received from our visit and we were humbled to be a part of the work

there.

Counseling Team At the CPI Conference in Japan included Life Counseling Center counselors Eliza Huie and Tonya Cherry
Counseling Team At the CPI Conference in Japan included Life Counseling Center counselors Eliza Huie and Tonya Cherry
Life Counseling Center was asked to provide teaching on how to build effective mercy ministries in church planting efforts in Japan. Over 50 church planters engaged in this workshop taught by Eliza Huie.
Life Counseling Center was asked to provide teaching on how to build effective mercy ministries in church planting efforts in Japan. Over 50 church planters engaged in this workshop taught by Eliza Huie. (Thank you to Chris Paulis Photography for taking pictures of our trip!)