Tonight I went with our church to the kick-off event for the 2014 Hokkaido Hope Festival.
The event tonight was for participating churches to come together to worship God and pray for the upcoming festival, which takes place on May, 9-11.
Our church, along with many others on the island of Hokkaido, are working together with Franklin Graham Festival, to put on the first ever "Hope Festival" on Hokkaido. Our pastor is one of the leaders among the participating pastors. I'm so proud to be partnering with a church that understands the importance of cooperating within the larger body of Christ, rather than hunkering down within our 4 church walls.
|Pastor Kaji introducing the other Hokkaido pastors and the roles they will be playing.|
We were blessed to be lead in worship by two women with voices as beautiful as their hearts; Lena Maria, and Alfie Silas. The later of whom touched my heart, and I'm sure those of the Japanese as well, when she sang a medley of traditional Japanese songs. The whole auditorium sang along with the songs of their childhood directed towards Jesus.
I was encouraged that the main purpose of the festival is to build a bridge between the local church and people who don't know Jesus. If you've followed this blog or our newsletters, you'll remember that that is my heart as well. They used the image of an iceberg to drive home the point to the church leaders sitting in the crowd. The 3 day festival itself is only 10% of the focus. The other 90% is the work that is done within local churches before and after May 9-11th.
Even though the event itself is taking place after our terms ends, I feel like the timing is really good. I'm glad we can take part in the preparation before hand and help this event through our church's partnership.