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Phone Friends

Phone Friends


I’m here in Tokyo,
one of the world’s largest cities, and I’m surrounded by new friends
and potential friends. But even though I’m surrounded by people it’s really hard to connect
heart to heart. They’re isolated, lonely,
even though we’re surrounded by people. So let’s go check out
an urban center of influence that’s making a difference
to the lonely hearts. I’m here with my friend,
Pastor Kobayashi, and he’s the Sabbath School
and Personal Ministries Director for the Japan Union Conference. Pastor Kobayashi, it’s so good
to be here with you. Can you tell us about how long has
the Christian Telephone Friend Ministry been going? This Ministry was started in 1997
so it’s been around for about 20 years. As I continued talking with my friend,
Pastor Kobayashi, he shared with me that in Tokyo
there are a lot of lonely people who need help. They shut themselves and their homes
and disconnect from society. It’s a defense mechanism to cope
with the overwhelming amount of people. Despite being in such a large city,
they find a way to isolate themselves. The Adventist Church in Japan
started a ministry called Christian Telephone Friends to reach those isolated people
and to serve their needs. A team of volunteers goes through
extensive training to be effective listeners
by trained counselors. Church members distribute cards
and post ads throughout the city, and then people have been
contacting them. This creative urban center
of influence in Tokyo has allowed the Seventh Adventist Church
in Japan to minister to countless lives. Yet Tokyo isn’t the only city
where people feel alone, and in the cities around the world,
many have managed to isolate themselves, not just from others, but also from God. This type of outreach
can be replicated in other places under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. For anyone who wants
to disciple and minister to those who don’t know God yet, how can you use
this model in your city? Thank you for joining me in Tokyo,
the world’s largest city. I hope that you were inspired by the story
of this urban center of influence, Christian Telephone Friends,
and how they are able to meet needs in the community and then be able
to step-by-step make disciples just like Jesus did. Join me in praying for this city as well as all the other cities
around the world as we uplift Jesus as we continue
our mission to the cities.

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