Tuesday, December 7, 2010

November 2010


This time of year is harvest time in Kyoto just like in other places too. The changing colors of foliage present the changing of the season in its natural beauty. And, the events we have had at church reflect the feeling and sentiments of autumn.

We wrapped up our ten-month program for Lighthouse English Café last November 27th. 30 people attended it. Those who came were treated to a semi-art exhibition cum talk show with Masako Miyamoto as the featured guest. Ms. Miyamoto is an accomplished painter with annual exhibitions in prominent cities and galleries in Japan. She spoke with such candor dealing with personal experiences as well her encounter with Jesus, whom she now serves lovingly and faithfully.

On November 28th, we again held our fourth annual Thanksgiving Supper. Over fifty people joined and feasted on turkey, veggies, sandwiches, soup and several desserts. The highlight of the program was the reading of Biblical passages on praise and giving thanks to God. People also shared their testimonies around the table, set just like a big family gathering.

We also thank God for the brothers who visited to help in the ministries. Keith Bouy (Lake Villa, IL, USA), who comes to AKC twice a year stayed from Nov. 10 to De. 1. Pastor Leo Mirabuenos, a Filipino missionary candidate who stayed from Nov. 9-Dec. 7, joined many events and spoke in both the Filipino and the International services.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

October 2010: Missions Month

AKC International Ministry Spearheads Missions Month

Each year is different, but October has become a de facto tradition as AKC’s missions-emphasis month. Since 2008, we’ve done several initiatives to inculcate into the hearts and minds of our congregants the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ. We’ve also provided opportunities for hands-on outreach-related activities.

Although it rained both Sundays on October 3 and 24, a squad of committed people from AKC went out and about near Hankyu Saiin and Kyoto Stations. They were armed with umbrellas, copies of the Book of Hope and assorted church materials to distribute to passersby. Thirty-three people volunteered in the distributions, reaching some 100 people in the process and multiplying the blessings to everyone.

In the home front, we also raised funds by serving two sacrificial meals as people gave voluntarily towards the project. Proceeds are earmarked for causes and ministries to be decided soon.

The Gideons International ministry in Japan also received a considerable support from our group. We invited Dr. Toyoyuki Nishi, the Bible distributor’s Kyoto representative, who testified about God’s amazing work through their ministry.

Another significant event we held was the seminar by Dr. Kunio Sakurai on the “Biblical and Legal Study on Immigration and Labor in Japan” catering mainly to the foreign audience on October 3rd.

The month’s activities were capped by a film showing on the situation of Christians in a restricted country in the Middle East. It was disturbing, to put it mildly, but totally engaging and challenging our notions of our version of Christianity in a free country like Japan.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

June 2010 Update


We are seeing the exodus of many foreigners living in Kyoto beginning this month. From our congregation alone, we bade goodbye to four people, namely: Jason Brown, Kevin Otsuka, Elisse Ota (all three are from California, USA) and to Curtis Peters (Canada). We specially appreciate the help of Jason and Kevin to our worship ministry as they played musical instruments and sang for us.


Since we started our once a month Filipino service in February, we have seen their numbers steadily increase. Their presence is not only seen in the services and during fellowship, but also in helping out our special events. The Lighthouse English Café patrons were treated to a cultural experience when the Pinoys did a slideshow about the Philippines, performed a traditional dance and served halo-halo, Philippine-style kakigori (crushed ice dessert with lots of other ingredients). Yum!

Sunday, June 6, 2010



The beginning of this year presented to us a new vision for ministry. Pastor Hisoka Murakami, the Assembly Kyoto Church’s Senior Pastor, summed it all up in the verse spoken by the patriarch Israel to his son Joseph in Genesis 49: 22, “whose braches climb over a wall.” For our English-speaking congregation, it meant several images for growth and expansion. First of all, we would like to grow in our knowledge of God and in our relationship with Him. We cannot supplant communion with activity, time for the King with kingdom work. Likewise, we would like to grow in our relationship within our community of faith. There is a need for a more focused study of the Word of God and to the building up one another’s faith. Finally, we would like to glorify God by developing approaches to reaching out to those who are not of the faith yet.


The month of May is special in so many ways. Having five Sundays, we have filled–up the calendar and also have accomplished many things. On the first Sunday, we quietly remembered the 11th anniversary of this ministry. There was no fanfare, but only a solemn acknowledgment of God’s faithfulness to us. On May 16th, we heard a challenging and powerful testimony from Brother Nilo E., a Filipino missionary to a dangerous place in Central Asia. He talked about God’s call and purpose for our lives. We also joined the prayer campaign that started on May 13th and culminated on May 23rd for the Global Day of Prayer that happened on the same day as we celebrated the Pentecost, the widely accepted historical birth of the Christian church. Brother Patroba Odera (Kenya) led us in corporate prayer for this event.

In April we welcomed Pastor Takatani Mitsuyo, a new co-worker into our fellowship. This month, we were privileged to hear her lead us in worship and on the 30th she debuted as a preacher in our congregation. Her message was based on the Gospel of St. Luke 19:1-10.


This is a weekly event that takes place from 4:00 to 4:55 p.m. Topics for May included studies in I Peter.


It started in February but we hold it once a month every third Sunday. The first guest speaker we had was the Rev. Fernando Paunil, Philippine National Director of Prayer-Life Ministries. He preached last May 16th when we also got our first twenty copies of the Tagalog Bible that we used for the service.


Golden Week was a grand holiday for most people in Japan, however, around thirty people showed up for barbecue near Katsura River. We enjoyed playing games, chatting and moments of prayer too.

We also praise the Lord for the formal induction of Gordon Douglas Tippett into the membership last May 30. He is a missionary from Canada and has been attending and helping some of our ministries for almost four years now.


This groundbreaking ministry got underway as an initiative by the members who attend the English service. In our desire to serve God and the community, we hold this event every fourth Saturday of the month, by transforming the fellowship room into a mini-coffee house. The volunteers engage guests in English conversation while enjoying specially prepared non-alcoholic drinks with a slice of cake. A typical afternoon averages 40 people (both guests and volunteers) and with some of our gifted musicians singing or playing music. There are also games and other features highlighting foreign culture, for example. Last May 22nd, Praveen Singh (India) presented his country’s wedding custom while Allan Alipio (Philippines) narrated a very inspiring story. Michelle Tonks (Australia) and Muhannad Fakhoury (Jordan) played the flute and classical guitar respectively.


1. We praise the Lord for two American young people who help us in the worship service. Kevin Otsuka and Jason Brown are exchange students now studying at Doshisha University.

2. We also thank God for the harvest of souls. We have seen four individual professions of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ both from our congregation and from the English Bible classes in the universities.

3. We are also seeing a growing desire from our contacts to explore the Bible and the Christian faith. Two mothers of our English students are now studying the Bible with Jo Ann Ricohermoso and Pastor Keiko Murakami. Likewise, a couple who attended LEC is now attending services and the Bible classes.


1. We would like to covet your prayers for God to touch the hearts of seekers that they would come to the saving knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

2. That more souls would come and join our events, services and Bible studies and for God’s glory to be exalted in all areas of our endeavors.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Facebook Users Beware

Here is a fair warning to our constituents who are also using the social networking site, Facebook. There are many privacy concerns raised against this site and we want you to be aware of them for your own safety and protection.

Here is a link to one of many articles already written about the said controversy.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Why do Jews succeed? | The Japan Times Online

Why do Jews succeed? | The Japan Times Online

Here is another article that I've found interesting.

I reckon that this blog site is another portal for widening our understanding of God, ourselves and the world around us. Watch out for more of this kind in the future.

Pastor Joseph

Monday, April 5, 2010

Adora Svitak: What adults can learn from kids | Video on TED.com

Adora Svitak: What adults can learn from kids | Video on TED.com

Might want to listen from someone younger than most of us. Please let me know what you've gained from this video.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

April First Twenty-ten

I am trying hard to avoid mentioning the name this day is more popularly called lest this message be misconstrued as prank. NO, it's real and here are some facts to know why I'm serious:

It's a bit of concern because we have special events going on over the weekend. We are having a picnic or cherry blossom viewing (Jp, hanami) on Saturday (April 3rd). The following day is, of course, Easter or Resurrection Sunday. Yet, it has been forecasted that it would be rainy today and in the coming days. The weather is really acting strange lately. Have you seen snow in spring? Yes, it happened here on Monday night!?

It is good to remember though that God controls nature. We recently launched our new ministry, the Lighthouse English Cafe (LEC). This coffee ministry serves tea and of course, brewed coffee to a growing group of customers who also want to hone their English-speaking ability by chatting with foreign hosts (volunteers from our church). We also offer free program in the course of the afternoon every fourth Saturday of the month plus a surprise slice of cake or quiche prepared by our hospitable ladies. With the consecutive LEC events we held on February 27 and on March 27, the days surrounding them were really gloomy and wet. But God, in answer to the prayers of many, made the skies lit up on the day of our LEC ministry. Praise the LORD!

Did you know that we now have a FILIPINO ministry? This on and off ministry has finally taken off the ground with a monthly worship service conducted in the Filipino language (Tagalog) to cater to the growing Filipino community in Kyoto City. Currently held once a month (every 3rd Sunday) from 13:00-14:30 P.M., we meet in the main sanctuary with less than twenty people. The first meeting was last February 21st and the next one will be on April 18th. Please spread the word. A new link on our website leads to it, but it is still being developed.

By the way, I already finished preaching on the series covering the names of God. After this Holy Week, we will again consider a new series of messages. Please pray for my preparation and watch out for it!

In March, we said our sayonara (farewell) to Miki Liu, an exchange student from University of Queensland at Kyoto's University of Foreign Studies, who has since returned to Australia to graduate. We also miss Phil Jimmieson, Miki's friend who came to visit. Likewise, Mami Morioka has gone back to Australia to pursue her PhD.

There's a rhyme I've seen on my wife's pillow case some years ago when she was still my girlfriend. Somehow it stuck with me:

March winds and April showers
Bring forth May flowers.

Spring is here! God bless everyone. Happy Easter!!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Welcome 2010!

Time Flies Fast

How could I have missed it? I noticed that it’s already February and I haven’t written anything in January. It’s 2010 by the way!

Here’s a litany of things that took place early this year until now:

1. New Year’s countdown at Miyamoto-san’s place.

2. New Year’s Day worship service with free osechi ryori (Japanese traditional New Year’s dish).

3. IBC, a new Christian organization at Doshisha University, was accredited.

4. Hosted a South Korean Youth With A Mission (YWAM) team.

5. Church prayer gathering.

6. Hosting the Calunge family in their mission exposure trip.

7. Developing new leaders to do ministry.

8. Forming some ministry committees.

9. Ushering ministry seminar.

10. AKC annual membership meeting.

11. February 14th church fellowship.

12. Launching the “Love Haiti” campaign to gather donations for the said country.

Here are some things to look forward to this month:

1. IBC hosts a camp at church from February 21-24.

2. Our first attempt to form a Filipino service on February 21st.

3. Launching of Lighthouse English Café on February 27th.

“For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake.” 2 Corinthians 4:5, NKJV

“I (we) can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (us).” Philippians 4:13