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What Happened In Japan

I can say with some confidence that there was a spiritual breakthrough in Japan during the first week of May, 2015

**This is a personal website and reflects my thoughts and convictions. It does not represent any official position held by Youth With A Mission.**

How do we know when there has been a breakthrough in “the heavenlies”? 

We know various scriptures refer to fighting “principalities and powers” and that Old Testament stories sometimes refer to, or illustrate, that idea.  But for most of us, the spiritual realm, or the heavenlies, is hard to understand.

In spite of my limited understanding of this dimension, I can say with some confidence that there was a spiritual breakthrough in Japan during the first week of May, 2015.  Though the population of Christians in Japan has been stuck for many decades at less than one percent, that is about to change.  Watch this nation because many more people are going to become followers of Jesus.

Just a few decades ago the Church in China was also stuck at less than one percent with persecution and martyrdom eroding the numbers fast.  In spite of those very hard times, the Chinese church has grown more than 100-fold. So it will be in Japan.

My confidence is based upon what we experienced in Kobe, Japan over a period of four days.  The four thousand people who gathered spent the great majority of the time in worship, and the Chinese setting the tone with their love for Jesus.  They were there in good numbers and for the first time so were the Koreans.  (These nations have invaded, dominated and plundered one another for centuries with Japan usually being the most powerful.)  The worship flowed into times of repentance, forgiveness and commitments to love one another.

Their mutual commitments were formalized in a statement in all three languages by which they covenanted to love on another no matter what politics, media or any other influence might do.  There were hundreds of pastors from all three nations and also from Taiwan and other East Asian nations all hugging one another in heart-felt commitment.

There were other breakthroughs too.  These cultures have not had loving family models.  Most men are aloof, harsh husbands and fathers.  People in leadership positions are expected to be even more stoic and inscrutable.  So when a senior Japanese pastor talked humbly and transparently about his failings as a father, it softened everyone.  When his two sons joined him on stage to express their forgiveness and their admiration, we could sense how their humility was changing a culture for the better.

This year marks the 70th year since WWII and 400 years since thousands of Japanese Christians were martyred.  Israel was exiled in Babylon for 70 years, and then restoration began.  So it will be with Japan.  With leading believers from China, Japan and Korea joining together in unity, we can expect extraordinary growth in the Kingdom of God in all of the Far East.

On a more personal note, I was surprised and deeply moved by a conversation with a leading Chinese “father”.  He is the senior leader of the largest network of churches in China and he greeted me with a big hug and tears.  Through an interpreter, he explained that our presence at the Hong Kong Gathering in August of 2013 had imparted a new level of missionary vision for the Body of Christ in China.  We had already been told that the government had given him a passport for the first time in his life, so the trip to Japan was his first time to be allowed out of the country.  (He has been in prison for much of his adult life.)  He went on to say that the government in Beijing has had a change of mind about the role of the Church and about foreign missionaries— at least partly based upon viewing the video of our act of repentance for the Opium Wars at that same event in 2013.  I was amazed!!

This entire journey with the Church in East Asia has been another illustration of a powerful truth:   God often presents us with a task that seems sacrificial, but when we say yes, He makes it a joy and also makes it more fruitful than we could ever imagine.  God is good—all the time!

Lynn Green

Lynn Green and his wife Marti first came to England and began the work of Youth With A Mission here in 1971. From 2004-2011 Lynn was YWAM’s International Chairman. He continues to convene YWAM’s global leadership meetings, and focuses much of his energy on international leadership development.

11 comments on “What Happened In Japan

  1. Thank you for this wonderful report. Japan has always been on my heart…Sometimes in the past when I have prayed in tongues people have told me I am speaking Japaneese. Blessings to all.

  2. Praying brother! God bless you as you serve HIM. AMEN

  3. Great report Lynn. That is so encouraging and we are praying for major breakthroughs in this part of the world…..

  4. Jamie Pryor

    Thanks for the update. Great news!

  5. As I am writing a book on reconciliation between China and Japan with my Japanese friend, Minoru Kasai, I am delighted to hear of this breakthrough. Would like to know more.

    Basil Scott

    • If you can ask specific questions, I will do my my best to answer.

      • Thanks. Do you have the text in Chinese or Japanese of the covenant commitment?
        Is the video of repentance for the Opium wars available anywhere?

        Basil Scott

  6. The presentation related to the Opium Wars and Unequal Treaties is available at:

    For the recent covenant, I wrote it out in English on a piece of paper which I gave to translators who wrote it out in Japanese, Korean and Chinese, but I did not get the paper back nor did I get it written in the other languages. Email my secretary, Terry, at and we will find it for you if possible.

  7. Glenn Wesley

    about 20 years ago I was blessed to meet a Japanese woman, Hiroko, in Philadelphia, PA. She was going through a very trying time and I was able to help her as well as share the true gospel of Jesus with her. She trusted in Him as her savior and sometime soon after returned to Japan. I am very pleased to read your report of what God is doing there!

  8. I think we are being trained to finally do what we have talked about for a generation.

  9. Peter Tan

    God’s timing is perfect! It is going to be an exciting year. 2015 year of alignment, 2014/15 year of the Tetrad Blood Moon – we will be going from wow to wow as we see God move in Asia. The world will know us by our love – finally. Praise The Lord. Can’t wait to be at the Singapore Gathering.

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