The quadrennial NYI Japan District Convention was held from the 16th of September to the 19th, in Hiroshima, Japan.
Even though the organizers were expecting a maximum of 50 attendees, the final group was slightly above that with 52 people from all over Japan: from Northernmost Hokkaido, to the subtropical island of Okinawa.
The slogan for the event was “Peace Be With You,” as the main goal was to allow attendants to reflect on the topic of peace from a biblical and historical perspective.
NYI Japan leader and main organizer of the event, Rev. Shouei Abe, said that Hiroshima is the perfect place for this kind of discussion as it was the first place in the world to suffer under the atomic bombing during World War II, a tragic event which had its 71st anniversary on August this year.
During the time of the convention, participants visited historical places, listened to sermons by guest speakers Ánderson Godoy and Janary Suyat de Godoy, attended workshops, and held discussion groups in relationship to their observations and experiences.
This convention was also the opportunity for Rev. Tomoaki Goto, from Hokkaido, to be introduced as the next NYI president. Though the transition won’t be official until next April, Goto Sensei will already be attending the regional NYI meetings in October, and he also said that he expects to work closely with the local leaders and to strengthen relationships with other Nazarenes around Asia-Pacific and the world.
This event was particularly important as the membership of the Church of the Nazarene in Japan is rapidly decreasing as a result of a pronounced generational gap and the failure to reach to a new generation. During the event, one by one, the different zone leaders reported about the scarcity of youth in the churches and the difficulty they are having to preach the gospel to non-believers. The group as a whole prayed for God to give them creativity and vision to reach youth and children even if this implies modifying the structures of the past.
The attendants were also introduced to the three core strategies of NYI (BE: Evangelism, DO: Discipleship, and GO: Leadership Development). For many of them, it was the first time to hear and understand these strategies and they were challenged to make them a priority in the practice of their faith thereon.
Now that the participants have returned to their places of ministry, we ask for prayers for the role that these leaders will have in shaping the future of the Church of the Nazarene in Japan.
Submitted by Ánderson Godoy S.