Updated 11/03/08
 


Japan 2008 Testimonies


From Pastor Lee - Hiroshima
 
Dear Tiffany Case

It was so nice time that you had stayed at my church. I and my wife have talked about you and your ministry cheerfully. You were God's present to our family and my church! About your ministry it was so powerful and a God pleased one! I want to do a ministry with you again and again.

My daughter Onyu is still remember all of you and want to meet again!

I reported about your ministry at Hiroshima on pastor's meeting at IGL group which you ministered. They were very interested in you and they wanted to invite you again. Individually I am so impressed by you not just by your performances but also your life.

It was a privilege meeting you in God. I appreciate you came here and please come again also.

In Christ

Lee


Matthew 11:28


Takako translated comments from the 'comment forms' they had in the programs at our performance at Well Tobata in Kita-Kyushu.

  • I’m grateful for your wonderful dancing.  It gave my heart the power, comfort and encouragement.  Thank you so much.

  • I like dancing, too.  So I’m very glad to see the worship dance of CMA.  It gave me a hope and I was touched.  Thank you so much.

  • Your dancing was so beautiful.  I especially like “What have I done” and “Amazing Grace.”  Dance with guitars was nice too.

  • It was the first time for me to see such a moving ballet dancing. Your dance gave me goose skin, and I was almost crying to see it.  I would be moved every time even if I see your dance over and over again.

  • My heart was healed by your wonderful dance with lots of smiles.  Thank you so much.

  •  What a wonderful dance you performed.  It would be nice to have this kind of dance classes here in Kitakyushu.  If you have a workshop or anything like that, please let me know.  I also realized that troubles and distresses that people had were same all over the world.  There is no border.

  • The concert was marvelous.  I think that your performance gets more wonderful year after year.  I believe it’s because of the power of your prayers for this ministry.   Your concert gave me the energy to stand up to mission from tomorrow and I was filled with the passion.  I thank you very much.

  • Your dance was great.  At first I thought “Worship with dancing?” because I couldn’t imagine by myself.  But now I think there are various ways of worship.  I realize that it’s great to use the talents given from God to worship Him.  I would like to live my life that way.


Testimonies from the members of the Kokubu Baptist Church, Kirishima, Japan

From Brother Arimura

        I thank you deeply for the wonderful dance you showed us. I am hoping that I will be able to see your dancing again someday. Through your testimony and dance, I was able to see how much you love God and His Son, Jesus Christ. I was able to see how great your burden is for the people of this world. Thank you also for the wonderful gift you gave us. I hope to be a help to your ministry, not only as a member of this church, but as a member of the same family. I will never forget the memory of your visit.


From Brother Bo Min Tan

        On July 11th, the CMA team came our church to minister to us. During the performances on the 12th and 13th, I was amazed how you could show such joy while serving the Lord. In your group there was a member who the same age as myself. Her name was Gwen. I was surprised how she could sacrifice so much for the Lord. Since I am the same age, I thought how I could the Lord as well. I have been practicing the guitar, but I have only been able to play it when my father is too busy or at Vacation Bible School. After seeing Gwen’s testimony, I thought I would like to serve the Lord through song. I am praying that the youth group of our church will continue to grow. Because CMA came to our church, I feel that something in me has changed.


From Sister Nagano

        It was though angels had some down from Heaven with beautiful smiles and wonderful dances! It was as though they were saying, “Lord Jesus, we are here. We are worshipping you through our dance. Please watch over us. Please receive our love. However, we have received a far greater love and grace from you.” Your performances looked very natural, but I thought of what sacrifice and hard work you must have endured to worship the Lord so beautifully. The performances were flawless and so wonderful. I heard that you have many different responsibilities in America. However, you heard Jesus’ call to got out in to the world to tell of his wonderful salvation. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your wonderful testimony.


From Brother Tsumagari

        In the passage of Mark 1:35-39, it tells of how Jesus would go alone to pray and with the disciples, went from town to town, ministering to the people. We can see the wonderful commitment of Jesus to His ministry. He would stay up late, preaching the Word, and then get up early the next morning and move on to the next town to preach the Gospel. He always put the will of God first. Through this, we can see how much love the Lord had for us.
        There are many ways to serve the Lord. At our church, we have a choir and we often go out to sing for people. I had the opportunity to see CMA’s ministry with Brother Tokumaru. This was a first experience for me. I did not know the was such a thing as Gospel Dance. Through this experience of seeing God worshipped through dance, when I read the Bible or sing hymns, my approach to God has changed. The Gospel Dance is a wonderful to minister to people. I will pray that you will be able to continue to serve God in this wonderful ministry. Thank you for the wonderful experience.


From Tim Board

Tim Board        What a wonderful experience! I would like to thank each and every member of the CMA Dance Team for their wonderful ministry and also the people back home in the states who made many sacrifices that the team was able to come to Japan. Your efforts were not wasted. Even though the language may be different, the message of God is able to overcome all barriers. The ladies of the team gave wonderful testimonies, and their smiles, dancing, and obvious love for our Savior reached the hearts of the Japanese in so many ways. I hope that this is not the last time, but the beginning of a friendship that will continue to tell the Japanese people what a wonderful God we serve. May the Lord give you the strength to continue in this wonderful ministry.


From Brother Tokumaru

        Psalms 149:3 “Let them praise his name with dancing.” I first read this passage twelve years ago. Before I became a Christian, it was my ambition to be a dancer and I practiced day and night in lessons. For twelve years, I did everything I could but the most I was ever paid for dancing was 30,000 yen (roughly $300). I could live on this so I had to work part-time jobs to support myself as I continued to dance. However, it was a strict world, and from my physical limits, I finally gave up dancing. I had lost all hope for my future, but God was merciful and He led me to salvation.
    I had given up dancing, but God shone a light on it and gave me hope once again. There is a group called JCFN. This group supports Japanese Christians who were saved overseas and returned to Japan. Ina meeting for JCFN, God gave me the opportunity to worship Him in dance. Until now, I had danced only for myself, but I was now able to dance for the Lord. It was a wonderful experience for me. At this meeting, I first hear about the ministry of CMA. My heart danced when I heard about CMA. I had to wait for two years but in the summer of 2007, I heard that the New Life Church in Fukuoka was going to have a dance workshop with CMA. I went up to Fukuoka by myself and took part in the program. The dancing was different from anything I had ever seen. It is difficult to put into words, but there was a great difference from what I was used to. I had always danced for myself, but the dancing that was for God was full of freedom, joy and peace. It was an amazing experience for me. It brought me to tears and I felt something I had never felt before.
    I now had the desire to have my fellow church members in Kokubu to experience the same thing. In July 2008, God gave us the wonderful opportunity to welcome CMA to our church. I was amazed at the blessings of God. In my church, we had four members who could do the translating and the way was provided. The ministry of CMA was a great success at our church. The wonderful expressions of joy on the faces of the members of CMA were so uplifting! Many people who came to the services expressed great joy and thanks for CMA’s ministry. They expressed a desire to take part in CMA’s ministry again. I believe that CMA’s work here in Kirishima has just begun. I am looking forward to continue our relationship with CMA. I pray that God will look upon the people of Kirishima and Kagoshima and that through our ministry together, that many people will come to know the wonderful Savior.


From Sister Asakawa

Praise the Lord’s name. When I heard that our summer ministry was going to involve the CMA dance team, I wondered what it would be like. What kind of dancing do they do? On the first day, I was overwhelmed by the beauty and grace of the dancing. As I watched the dancing, I could not take my eyes off the wonderful smiles of the dancers. What beautiful smiles! Just the dancing alone touched my heart. I was reminded of the Bible verse that says to “Rejoice in the Lord always.” Even though the dancers were very young, they had a steadfast faith and they were able to stand on the stage and dance so beautifully. I sometimes forget to smile as I server the Lord but after seeing the wonderful smiles and hearing the testimonies, I hope to keep a smile on my face as I serve the Lord. I look forward to the day when we can meet again. May there be many blessings on the CMA team.



Gwen Kennicutt
Gwen Kennicutt

One of the things that really stuck out to me on this year's trip was getting a small glimpse of the Lord's heart for Japan.  Here is a country and a people that are bound in so many ways, trapped inside of this expectation of who and what they are supposed to be:  God just wants to give them so much freedom from this bondage.  There is such a life and freedom to be found in Jesus Christ, but the choice to turn to Him when there is so much adversity is so hard for the Japanese. 
   It also amazes me how God chooses to use such broken, imperfect vessels such as myself to spread His life and His message.  There were many times after a performance when I felt like my testimony was so useless, so (for lack of a better word) lame.  And it was those times when God chose to remind me that it is not an amazing testimony or a perfectly performed dance that works in hearts--GOD is the one who works in hearts.  All that we can do as His servants is be open to what He would have us do, and be faithful to do it. 
     The last thing I would like to say is that it is amazing to see how the Lord works out the most minute details, giving us just the amount of strength and endurance we need, and even unexpected things.  There was one day when we had to make a connection at this crowded train station, and this was a day when all of our injuries were acting up.  It was pretty amazing, we ended up not having to go up and down any flights of stairs, which was incredible!  Our God is so good!  He knows exactly what we can and can't handle.
 
~ Gwen





Hannah Krohn
Hannah Krohn

   One of the things that impacted me most this trip was getting to visit a Shinto temple on the island of Miya Jima. It is one thing to hear about the hopelessness of the Japanese religion, but it is another to actually see it with my own eyes. It is hard to have compassion on something you have never experienced.
   The temple was very beautiful, ancient and majestic, but also stern and rule bound. It is a place to inspire one to work harder on one's own, trying to be good enough to be noticed, not to come and be yourself. It is a place to put on your best face and hope you look good enough, not to be honest before God.
   It was heartbreaking to see the Japanese praying, bowing their heads to an empty room that is called holy, or paying money to shake sticks in a box and hope that the one that comes out will give them the answer to their prayers. Somehow I do not think it is God restocking the slips of paper with answers on them.
   Being in the temple also led me to think of the greatness of Jesus Christ. All around shrines or temples there is a bad presence, just like there are some places where you can feel God's wonderful presence more strongly. But even though the feeling can be very strong, all I have to do to get away from it is to walk far enough. This temple was a very important one in Japan, but even its presence only was strong to about halfway across the water to Hiroshima.
   My God you cannot escape from.  His presence is everywhere, no matter where you go. No matter how far you run, no matter where you hide, his presence will still be there. And he is still working in Japan.


~ Hannah



Katrina White Katrina White

   I tend to view the world through the lens of my camera. I love creative compositions and angles, and the ability to crop out those pesky little things that I don’t want ruining the photo. But sometimes, I get so caught up in the details, that I miss the big picture. On the last day of our trip, God removed my camera that I might see through His eyes.

   As we boarded our bus that morning, I realized that I’d forgotten my camera battery. My heart sank with the knowledge that I wouldn’t be able to take any pictures. It was a hard blow for this avid photographer and sadly I didn’t handle it well. As I fought back tears I begin to pray, asking God to help me think rightly and change my attitude. I immediately felt my heart begin to soften, and I was freshly struck by the grace that is available to us as believers when we call out to Him.
   Later that day, on the Island of Miyajima, I saw Japanese put their coins in a shaker box, pull out their number, find their paper answer, and tie it to a metal prayer rail. As they stood there, praying to gods who will never answer, I stood near by trying to discreetly watch out of the corner of my eye. It was then that I noticed it…   a tiny scrap of paper, someone’s “answer” to their prayer, was lying on the floor. I watched as a gentle breeze blew, knocking it off of the raised wooden platform, and dropping it into the mud below. In that moment, my heart broke for the Japanese in a new and profound way. It was a powerful visual reminder of the futility and hopelessness of their prayers.
   It strikes me that had I been taking pictures that day, I would have most likely missed that scrap of paper. God in his infinite wisdom removed my camera, reminding me of both the potency of prayer, and of the hopelessness of praying to a false god. The stark contrast between their prayers and mine further solidified that picture. The image has stayed with me in the months since we’ve been back. I often think of it and am prompted to pray for Japan. And I am so thankful for that gift…

~ Katrina


 
Jesus Christ is Lord

Magnify The Lord!





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