One of the things that breaks our heart is the state of institutionalized orphan care in Japan. We have had some people ask us to explain what this means, and so we thought it might be helpful to provide you with this recent article from The Japan Times on the subject: “Child welfare laws revised but tens of thousands remain institutionalized in Japan”.
As our family prepares to go to Japan, our hearts and minds are focused on how to share the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ with the Japanese people. We want tell everyone about all of the great things that God has done for us, and we want to show them, through our speaking and way of living, that the gospel changes everything for the better. Part of the message we want to share is that Jesus came not just to save us from the punishment we deserve as sinners, but to make everything new and perfect through the establishment of his kingdom. And while this won’t be fully realized until Jesus returns, we can and should allow Christ to govern and positively affect our present way of living, including how we treat orphans. We want to “visit orphans. . . in their affliction” (James 1:27) with the love of God, because of the great mercy and grace shown to us by God in adopting us as sons and daughters into his spiritual family and making us fellow heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:15-17).
While we have not partnered to work directly with any specific Japanese orphanages as of yet, we hope to share our conviction with the Japanese people, especially Christians, and to pray that God changes the hearts of Japanese society to value the lives of those tens of thousands of abandoned children, because they are precious and worthy of care and affection. Our work at Genesis International College is a ministry serving underprivileged youth from various backgrounds, including those who age out of the orphanages and are looking for meaning in life and questioning their significance and worth in this world.
If you would like to watch a video to further understand the plight of these children and young adults, please visit this former blog post.