Monday, February 28, 2011

Mission trip in Shinshiro

After all the hectic times last week during which I submitted a paper, finished my VISA application submission (which has to be resubmitted because of a mistake >_<), preparing for conference and attending mission trip, finally I returned back to Chiba!

The mission trip was really a blessing for me. I was really feeling the presence of God through his church. I realized how important it is to pray for revival, to free people from satan's bind, and to crush the control of the demon. And I experienced how Holy Spirit gave me the courage to go and tell other people about Jesus.

It is really encouraging to see a church that is really full of Japanese people, as other churches in Japan have so few people, much less young people in there. But in this Shinshiro church, not only there are all kinds of people from children to old people, but in the Sunday service there are 300 people worshiping there!

What is different about this church is that this church has the vision for Japan's revival, and all the staff are one in heart. Like many other churches in Japan, they also had times where they were stagnant and experienced how hard it is to reach Japanese people and tell them the gospel. But they learn from many churches, and also from missionaries from Indonesia, including from our head pastor that once served as a missionary in Kalimantan.

In July 9, 1992, they were told by God to start a spiritual warfare, although they didn't understand at that time. But they started to pray to break the bond of idolatry and spirit worshiping in Japan. Then they found out that their region was the place where once a huge war happened, and in 6 hours around hundred thousands of people were killed, and since then people started to worship the dead spirit, afraid that they will receive curses from those dead spirits. They then told by Holy Spirit that this is the veil that blinds the eyes of people, that caused them to not be able to see the light of the gospel. So after they started praying to break the bind and to lift the veil that blinds people, God starts to guide people towards the church.

In rural area such as Shinshiro, people's bond are very strong, and it is very hard to become a Christian because of that. Especially because the custom of praying for the ancestor's spirit is very strong in Japan. Before, even if one person become a Christian, other 10 people will harden their heart because of that. And somehow people didn't stay for long in the church, one week they were attending and the next week they stopped coming suddenly. But after they started the spiritual warfare, mysteriously people started to go to church and asked them to break down the butsudan (place to put the picture of ancestor or buddha statue) for them! After they are praying for the veil to be lifted, God opened the eyes of the people, and those that are sensitive spiritually can see that real form of what they are worshipping, are evil spirits! And they want to be freed from them! After people become Christians, their problems (which are caused by evil spirit summoning and worshiping) are vanishing, and other people that see the change that happened in those people are attracted to church as well. People are now staying in church, and influence their surroundings, just as God want us to be.

Almost 20 years has passed since the spiritual warfare started, and Shinshiro church is still growing healthily with a vision for Japan revival through spiritual warfare. Later God opened their eye that Japan spiritual realm is based from the Jomon era, and people from Jomon era are the sailor tribes that came from Indonesia! After that Yayoi era came, where people from Korea came to Japan and eradicated Jomon people. And they found out that the Buddhist culture in Japan is a mixbreed from shamanism (which was rooted from the Jomon period) and confucianism (which came from Yayoi people from Korea). In Buddhism they believe the reincarnation, so there should be no need for grave nor ancestor worshipping, because they will be reincarnated. But what is taught in Buddhism in Japan (and in China or Korea) is that they should worship their ancestor spirit, which is taught in confucianism. And one of their worshipped god, inari, which is a fox ridden by a god named Dakini, is the name of a god in Hinduism, which can still be found in Bali.

So they slowly uncover the hidden truth behind the history, where most Japanese people wouldn't even stop to think about. Most Japanese people would think that Japanese were originated in Japan and they are special people selected by their god Amaterasu, but in reality the custom to worship Amaterasu and the emperor was started in Meiji area, and there are no such thing as pure Japanese because they are originated from Jomon and Yayoi people, which were moving from Indonesia and Korea!

So during the mission trip, we as representation from Indonesia, prayed for the revival in Japan and for breaking the chain that binds the people in Japan, especially in Shinshiro. The spiritual realm in Japan and Indonesia is strongly linked, and victory in Indonesia will mean victory in Japan and vice versa. We were also doing home visit, and telling people about Jesus and the gospel, although we were mostly rejected by people there. But we learned from this experience not to depend on our own strength or wisdom, but to ask for God's power and Holy Spirit's blessings to empower us to spread his Words. I myself experienced how Holy Spirit turned my fear into joy and the willingness to reach out to people.

Returning back here in Chiba, I wonder if the people here in Tokyo is also bound by the evil spirits, in different shape. Most people in Japan still worship their ancestor or go to temple wishing for good luck even though they would say that they don't believe in the spiritual world. I hope God would give me wisdom to find out the truth about the reign of evil spirit in this area and Tokyo, too.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sooo many things to do this week...

Just heard from my professor that I have to make a hard cover for my thesis, and that would require two weeks to finish. Also I would need to start writing my VISA application as well.

Why would things go everything at once in this busy week?
I'll need superhuman strength to do this all...

God, you know me, and I know that all things I'm facing right now is not out of your will. If you allow me to go through this, I know you will give me enough grace to face them all.

Your will be done....

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Busy days...

My final graduation defense is over, well, that means that busy days has ended, right?

That's not the case it seems. Other than preparing for next week mission trip, I have to finish a paper to submit to a journal that is due on Thursday, and make a presentation slide for 28th's symposium on Saturday. Oh did I mention that I'll have to attend our lab's undergraduate defense and farewell party on Thursday and Friday?

Thank God that He helped me though. I was so deeply immersed in the thought of preparing the paper that I entirely forgot today is the day for our usual lab meeting, and I have to present today! But somehow the lab meeting got canceled and I was able to get away today, and have more time to prepare my paper.

Still, with only two days to prepare and eight more pages to write, I can't really afford to waste more time. God, please help me, as I won't be able to do this with my strength alone. May your name be glorified through me^^

edit: I wasn't able to get away today >_<
Thought that today's meeting got canceled, but it wasn't.
I didn't make any preparation so I can't present anything, and the meeting was finished earlier. Still, I feel bad about not doing my presentation.

Well, hope I can do better in the new term!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Six characteristics of a servant

Taken from Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Life, day 33.

People always measure greatness by the ability to lead, to be served by others. But Jesus taught us that what God really values is the heart of servant, and he measures our greatness by how much we serve. This is so contrary to the world's idea of greatness that we have a hard time understanding it, much less practicing it. The disciples argued about who deserved the most prominent position, and 2000 years later Christian leaders still jockey for position and prominence in churches, denominations, and parachurch ministries.

God often tests our hearts by asking us to serve in ways we're not shaped. If you see a man fall into a ditch, God expects you to help him out, not say, "I don't have the gift of mercy or service." While you may not be gifted for a particular task, you may be called to do it if no one gifted at it is around.

How can you know if you have the heart of a servant? Jesus said, "You can tell what they are by what they do."

1. Real servants make themselves available to serve.
When God calls upon us for an act of service, do we grumble? Do we reject it, saying that our schedule is already filled to the brim? Real servants don't fill up their time with other pursuits that could limit their availability. Just like a soldier, a servant should be ready for duty anytime. Are we available to God anytime? Can he mess up our plans without we becoming resentful?
Let's remind ourselves at the start of each day that we are God's servant, so that interruptions won't frustrate us as much, because our agenda will be whatever God wants to bring into our life.

2. Real servants pay attention to needs.
Servants are always on the lookout for ways to help others. John Wesley, an incredible servant of God, once said, "Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the places you can, at all times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can." That is greatness.
We can begin by looking for small tasks that no one else wants to do.

3. Real servants do their best with what they have.
Servants don't make excuses, procrastinate, or wait for better circumstances. God expects you to do what you can, with what you have, wherever you are. Less-than perfect service is always better than the best intention.
One reason many people never serve is that they fear they are not good enough to serve. Well, the truth is, almost everything we do is done poorly when we first start doing it - that's how we learn.

4. Real servants do every task with equal dedication.
As servants, whatever we do, do it with all our hearts.. The size of the task is irrelevant. The only issue is, does it need to be done?
You will never arrive at the state in life where you're too important to help with menial tasks. Jesus specialized in menial tasks that everyone else tried to avoid: washing feet, helping children, fixing breakfast, and serving lepers. Nothing was beneath him, because he came to serve. It wasn't in spite of his greatness that he did these things, but because of it. And he expects us to follow his examples.

5. Real servants are faithful to their ministry.
Servants finish their tasks, fulfill their responsibilities, keep their promises, and complete their commitments. They don't leave a job half undone, and they don't quit when they get discouraged. They are trustworthy and dependable.
Faithfulness has always been a rare quality. Most people don't know the meaning of commitment. They make commitments casually, then break them for the slightest reason without any hesitation, remorse, or regret. Every week, churches and other organizations must improvise because volunteers didn't prepare, didn't show up, or didn't even call to say they weren't coming.
Can we be counted by others? Are there promises we need to keep, vows we need to fulfill, or commitments we need to honor? God is testing our faithfulness. Imagine what it will feel like one day to have God say to you, "Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let's celebrate together!"
Faithful servants never retire. They serve faithfully as long as they're alive. You can retire from your career, but you will never retire from serving God.

6. Real servants maintain a low profile.
Servants don't promote or call attention to themselves. Instead of acting to impress and dressing for success, they "put on the apron of humility, to serve one another." If recognized for their service, they humbly accept it but don't allow notoriety to distract them from their work.
Serving in order to impress people with how spiritual we are, is the sin of the Pharisees. They turned helping others, giving, and even prayer into a performance for others. Jesus hated this attitude and warned, "When you do good deeds, don't try to show off. If you do, you won't get a reward from your Father in heaven."
In our bodies, we have several prominent parts that we could live without. Most people could go on living without an arm, a leg, or even an eye, but nobody could live without a brain, or a heart. It is the hidden parts inside our bodies that are significant.
Knowing this, let's not be discouraged when our service is unnoticed or taken for granted. Keep on serving God! Even the smallest service is noticed by God and will be rewarded. Remember the words of Jesus: "If, as my representatives, you give even a cup of cold water to a little child, you will be surely be rewarded."

Which of the six characteristics of real servants offers the greatest challenge to us?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Thank u Lord, I've gone through the defense.
Still feeling unsatisfied because the result wasn't good enough, but I know that everything I do should be done for your glory, not for my honor.

Lord, I've decided on what I would want to do, but sometimes my heart is wavering.
But I know that you are faithful and will never let me go alone.
One year is a long time, but still in this time a lot might happen and I might lose my spirit along the way, but I know that the righteous fall seven times but will stand up again, because you are with him.

I offer my whole life to you, every moment shall be for your glory alone.
Blessed be your name, blessed be your kingdom, and may you alone be glorified through me.

Monday, February 7, 2011


At last, tomorrow is the day of my final defense...

Although I've prepared all the materials, still I am afraid to face tomorrow.
Trying to not think for the worst...

Lord, I turn to you, whatever will be, Your will be done.

Friday, February 4, 2011

You will reign forever

G                                      D
Over all my problems and my fears
You are God....
G                                             D
I watched in awe of all your mighty works
                 C   D
You are my Savior...

G                                D
O Lord, I will praise Your name
Forever will I live for You and
You will reign forever

G                          D
O Lord, I will worship You
Forever You will reign over all the earth,
You will be forever
My God

Keep going in the darkest times

“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” John 12:27-28

As I struggling to keep writing my thesis yesterday, I prayed this prayer:
"I'm so afraid. Lord please help me to go through this time."

Still, God didn't give me an instant way out. Nor did I suddenly become fear-free, finishing my thesis with incredible speed. Not at all. I still struggled, and slowly, words by words, minutes ticking, several times of despair as I dreaded the closing deadline.

But still something happened. Although with much hardships, I managed to increase the page number. From twenty to twenty five, to thirty, and now thirty six! I don't know how, but I managed to write my thesis slowly, and in one day I achieved much more progress compared to days before.

Is it fear that forces me to write? Probably.
Is it desperate situations that makes me able to do that? Maybe.

I don't want to deceive myself by rejecting that I was in state of panic. But Lord used my weakness, and gave me comfort in my heart slowly, and I can somehow write them in a calm manner.
I am still struggling to fight my tendency to procrastinate, but I know that God will shape me through my life, and form me into his humble servant by my daily life, and through circumstances and people around me.

I love you, Lord. You are the best! Never once did you leave me alone, never once did you disappoint me. Even if you don't save me instantly, your grace is abundant and always enough for me.

Thursday, February 3, 2011







Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Yesterday I talked with a close one about purgatory. I was curious about it and today I searched and asked a friend about it.
Turns out it is like a temporary placeholder for people who are going to heaven but need a time for purification first, by being punished, and the punishment is as heavy as hell itself.
Catholic churches believe this, but protestant churches, started by Luther movement, deny this and claim that people are saved by faith alone.

I think I will investigate this matter a bit further, right now I can't say anything about it other than I myself don't believe the existence of purgatory, as there are no proof of it, writings in bible that explicitly teach it, nor I can see any impact of it on our spiritual growth. I think that it's much better to spend all those energy and fund raised for the sake of purgatory and use it for helping other people in the world and spread the gospel further.