Less than 2% of Japan’s population openly follow Christ, and there’s a need for strong Christian leaders. That’s why a dedicated group of women at Naka Church are working with Resonate Global Mission missionaries Jeong and MiSook Gho.
The Living Water Group is a small group of women at Naka Church who began meeting nearly 20 years ago. “Newly married or raising small children at the time, it was difficult for us to have a quiet fellowship with small children, but because of the common situation for all participants, the group became very active,” said Shoko Kurita, a member of the group.
Young children in tow, the group met every week to sing, read the Bible, and discuss Scripture-based parenting books together while their children played. But as the women grew older, so did their children, and soon the meetings were quieter—maybe too quiet. Shoko said the women felt a need for something more.
That’s where Resonate missionaries Jeong and MiSook Gho stepped in. The Ghos are leadership trainers, and after attending a vision trip with the missionary couple, leaders of Naka Church caught onto Resonate’s vision to equip leaders within churches—leaders who could then disciple and train other believers. Naka Church invited the Ghos to train people at their church, including the women of the Living Water Group.
Today, the Living Water Group has participated in leadership training with the Ghos for more than a decade. They describe Jeong and MiSook as being supportive and encouraging, and shared that God used the training to bring group members into deeper relationship with him.
“I am so thankful to God for sending us Jeong and MiSook … I was able to read the Bible in a deep and careful way,” said member Akiko.
“We realized that these ancient (Bible) stories are still alive and (we) are still receiving messages from God through reading,” said member Tomoko.
As members of the Living Water Group grew deeper in their relationship with God through the training, they wanted believers in other churches to participate in the training too.
“Gradually, they began to introduce what they learned to the churches (in their denomination) to help others to become joyful Christians and to be more effective witnesses of the gospel in Christ,” said Jeong.
The Living Water Group challenged one church to participate in leadership training, and church leaders told the Ghos that they’re discussing how they can continue equipping leaders in their congregation.
“We are now beginning to see the ripple effect started by the Living Water Group,” said Jeong. “The ripples are reaching neighboring churches … we are so happy to be a part of this great journey with them. May God use these ladies and churches for his glory greatly!”
This story was originally published by The Banner.