Better together

Tags: Asia, Japan, Discipleship, Story

SEND's workers around the world see our new vision statement — a global movement of Jesus followers making disciples among the unreached — taking root in each place they serve. Today we focus on “movement.” Close to 3 billion people remain unreached with the gospel message. No one organization can (or should) do it all, so SEND collaborates with like-minded organizations to tackle this enormous task. Below, a SEND missionary in Japan shares how his involvement with the group Hi-BA (High School Born-Againers) played a role in bringing peace to one troubled young Japanese man.

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By Kevin Cochrane, SEND missionary in Japan — I was at International Hi-BA when one of the students, Josh, started sharing his buddy’s story:

“My friend Ken's dad is a pastor, but not a really good example because he does drugs, among other bad things. So you can see why Ken has a bad image of Christianity.

“Ken has a friend who is a little intellectually disabled. He wanted to encourage him by taking him out to do something fun. When they returned, the friend's parents were upset that their son was brought out in public. They punched and scolded their son, in front of Ken, for going out in public.

“Naturally, Ken was quite upset by this. Back at home, he started to think about committing suicide, because he felt like he couldn't do anything right. He even made plans to travel to the northern island of Japan to commit suicide, so fewer people would notice and feel responsible. 

“Before leaving, he decided to go to a different church as a last resort. And he came to my church. We welcomed Ken and made him feel very loved. Pretty soon, he surrendered his resistance to Christianity and finally believed in Jesus and became a Christian!" 

I was listening to this story and thinking, “Wow, this is awesome!"

But then another student interjected, "Kevin you know him!"

"I do?"

"Yes, you met him at Hi-BA Japanese camp this summer."

I thought for a moment. And then I remembered. It was the same Ken I’d talked to after chapel, listening to why he didn’t believe in God.

The same Ken with whom I had an hourlong conversation at 3 a.m. during our night hike.

The same Ken I’d started praying for after camp was over, for his salvation.

The same Ken who, I later found out, had many people praying for his salvation. Praise God for bringing another lost son back from the dead! 

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Click here to read about some of the organizations with which SEND partners as we join the global  movement of Jesus followers making disciples among the unreached

Join the movement yourself by praying, giving or going.  

More disciple-making stories

Continue in Christ: Alim’s story exemplifies how SEND workers are making disciples all over the world.

From the nations to the nations: Multinational teams that effectively use each member's unique strengths help fuel our disciple-making efforts.

A role for everyone: We explore our vision statement with the story of how God is multiplying one gift to soften hearts in a Thai village.

Couched in love: A Central Asian believer takes what he's learned from SEND workers and uses it to reach a troubled man in his community.

Growing in a new land: Hours spent studying the Word with one of our workers have prepared a student — the only Christ-follower on his campus — to serve as a powerful witness.

Mentoring Aigerim: Sometimes, ministering among the unreached means sharing a kitchen and letting discipleship naturally develop.