We had the Thomson family with us for much of July and August. What a delight it was to see their children participating in VBA and youth events this summer, and to see the family in worship with us so much.
End of summer means back to school, though, and for Peter, Wendi, and the kids, that means heading back to Japan. Along these lines, Peter recently posted a difficult to read, but very important story, about kids heading back to school in Japan. He says: “Why we are here. And as a parent with children in the Japanese school system, the amount of pressure on kids as they head into the second semester after summer break is brutal. I would even say shameful. Sure, high tests scores on standardized testing, but at what price?” Read the story HERE.
What else do the Thomsons do in Japan? I looked on their website, which is very worth visiting, and found this description of their work:
“We work alongside visionary Japanese pastors and congregations to help plant new churches throughout Japan. Our vision is to see already existing communities transformed into Christ-communities.
The disciples sent out by Jesus were to bring transformation. People already belonged to naturally occurring communities. A new disciple of Christ stayed in the community, seeking its transformation into a Christ-centered community through their presence.
With this same model, our ministry seeks to concretely support the transformation of new believers’ families, workplaces, human relationships, schools, cities, any venue where ‘community already exists’ into ‘Christ communities’ functioning on the principles of the Kingdom of God.
Additionally, we are constructing new Kingdom-based business and education models to see Kingdom expansion through being salt and light in our communities.
We do this on both the micro and macro levels. On the micro level, we are working to plant new, reproducing churches in regions of Japan. For example, from 1999-2003, we planted a church in Yamagata, a city six hours north of Tokyo. We are now planting a church in western Japan.
On the macro level, we are developing leaders and helping to foster a church planting movement. Our passion is not just for one church to be planted, but for a movement to spread that results in exponential church growth.”
There is real beauty in the Thomson’s work. Japan is not an easy mission field, and any work done there must be done carefully, and with great patience. Peter and Wendi represent incarnational ministry so very well. I’m reminded of Eugene Petersen’s A Long Obedience in a Single Direction when I think of Peter and Wendi’s work. They are faithful, as we are faithful to pray for and support them.