Christian Today 6/18 Article: “One Week To Shine” Week of Evangelism Events at Locations Around Tokyo & Prayer Meetings At Ochanomizu Christian Center
“One Week To Shine” was a week of evangelistic activities carried out by an international team starting on the Global Day of Prayer and running until Global Outreach Day. Team participants came from 12 cities in 7 different countries to do dances, musical events and flash mobs at locations around Tokyo. They passed out testimonial newspaper and prayed with passers by.
Pentecost this year was on June 8th, and had been celebrated by both Protestants and Catholics throughout the world as the day the Holy Spirit descended. This was also a day of prayer around the world. Started in 2000, the Global Day of Prayer (GDOP), including the 10 days prior to Pentecost and the 90 days afterwards, had spread to 220 countries around the world.
“One Week To Shine” also started on Global Day of Prayer. It began with a prayer gathering focused on different aspects of Japanese society at Tokyo Union Church in Omotesando, Tokyo. Yokoyama Daisuke led the worship, and young people with a burden for the future led prayers with video introductions for youth, children, business, and for the disaster-affected Tohoku areas. Participants from many different denominations joined together in prayer.
For the 5 weekdays afterwards, from June 9th to 13th, participants gathered at a meeting room in Ochanomizu Christian Center to pray every morning before heading out to evangelize in Akihabara, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, and Shibuya in Tokyo, as well as Sakuragi-cho in Yokohama.
There was a large overseas contingent from many countries including America, Canada, Australia, Switzerland, Singapore, China, and Korea. The team of about 50 engaged in flash mobs and prayer walks, handing out newsletters of testimonies as well as wristbands with logos on them to passers by. While in the Kabukicho area of Shinjuku, Andy Game who was in charge of coordinating this outreach stated, “We were able to witness to yakuza and hostess-type people. There were some people who cried.”
“We went out every day to different parts of Tokyo doing a number of exciting activities – hip hop dances, parkour, music performances, and flash mobs. We made some great connections with many people, and we had opportunities to pray for them on the street. We prayed that they would be blessed, and we introduced them to Jesus.” Everyday, there were many people who wanted to receive Jesus into their lives or learn more about Him. “We would like to connect these people with churches in these areas,” said Andy Game.
Despite the amount of heavy rain during the 5 days, they continued evangelizing under umbrellas bearing logos that symbolize the message of the Bible. Used as props for the flash mobs, the umbrellas also functioned as an evangelistic tool.
On the final day, June 14th, there was a let up in the heavy rain, and they were blessed with beautiful weather. From the morning, they took part in dance and flash mob evangelism from Shibuya to Harajuku and held the “Joy Festival” in the outdoor concert venue at Hibiya Park.
Many artists performed at the Joy Festival, including New Hope Yokohama Gospel Hula, Samuelle, Yamamoto Kaori, Yokayama Daisuke, MARISA, Hallelujah Gospel Family, and Ray Sidney. At the side of the stage there was a booth featuring a design company that helped to create the One Week To Shine evangelism tools alongside booths for healing and sports outreach. “There were many different collaborations. We love collaboration,” said Andy Game.
G.O.D. has been a movement whereby everyday Christians have used their individual talents and opportunities to evangelize. On this day, evangelism took place in many different forms all over the world that were unlike the typical evangelism meeting with a speaker giving a message. Likewise, the “Joy Festival” did not have any specific time set aside for a message. Instead, the performers conveyed the love of God through testimonies and praise.
At the end, Pastor Toru Majima (New Hope Yokohama) said, “There is good news written in the Bible. The God you were all singing about is the God who loves you all …. I hope that you can all come to know and share in this love of God.” After this, he sang “Oh Happy Day” together with the artists who performed and the 500 people in the audience.
While the Global Day of Prayer movement entered its 15th year, G.O.D. was a relatively new movement on its third year. G.O.D. began in 2012 with the leader of the No Limit missionary group, Werner Nachtigal. However, the number of participants has shown incredible growth with 2.5 million people participating in the last 2 years.
G.O.D.’s official partner in Japan is 7Media, the company Andy Game head up as CEO. Andy Game met Werner Nachtigal at an evangelism conference in Indonesia and took up the role of igniting a fire in Japan. Last year, they had one flashmob in Shibuya, but this year they organized a whole week of activities under the name of “One Week To Shine”.
“’One Week To Shine’ is a new prayer and evangelism initiative unique to Japan,” stated Andy Game. “This year is the first year we have held it, and we want it to get bigger and be held every year. We’re not doing it for ourselves, but so that the name of Jesus is made known in Japan.”
Andy Game introduced the evangelistic program The Alpha Course from the UK to Japan. He established Alpha Japan and worked as the leader of this operation for 10 years. He then established 7Media in August 2011 as a new media ministry with the purpose of evangelizing in seven areas of society – arts and entertainment, business and the marketplace, communications, the disadvantaged, education, families, and government and leadership.
They have already created: (1) THE4POINTS that provide cutting-edge tools for evangelizing to youth, (2) Young Professionals with breakfast and dinner meetings for evangelism to business people. (3) One Week To Shine, which we have already mentioned above, and (4) HopeForLiving.net, aimed at reaching the victims of the Tohoku Earthquake disaster.
“We set aside a lot of time for prayer. We prayed every morning. Participants got together from 10 cities around the world and we prayed corporately,” stated Andy Game. “We are hoping that this movement will encourage and give everyone in Japan a push to evangelize to friends and family.”