Park Joo Hyun

Recent Ministry

The majority of the people who come to our outreach events live close to the church. The area is known as a historical area with much Japanese Buddhist influence. The district has two names, Shimodera and Amadera. In Japanese, when a word contains a ‘dera’ or ‘tera’, it means a Buddhist temple. So translated, Shimodera means temple in the lower corner of town and Amadera means Buddhist nun temple. The streets are narrow, some even too narrow to drive cars. The main road in the city is named after Taishi Shotuku, an ancient political figure whom historians claim to be the father of Japanese Buddhism.

Historical Area near the Church

Many youth started playing at the Shimodera Youth playground. This location was abandoned for a while, but recently it has been maintained by the parents of the youth and others who keep it tidy. The children who attend the church enjoy spending time at this playground. Some of these children live in the blocks of Shimodera, their names are Miri, Yakuto, Himika, Juno, and Ibuki. They attend the Shizumi Elementary school which has over one hundred and forty years of history.

Studying about Baptism

  • Pray for our outreach to the district and for opportunities to engage our neighbors in conversations regarding Jesus Christ.
  • Pray for the courage to stand up to the influence of Buddhism in the community and to witness to its followers.

Mrs. Yoneshima came to the service with her daughter while her husband was getting a haircut. As she desires to be baptized, we are continuing to have a Bible study with her on Wednesday’s. Continue to pray for her husband to understand and accept her salvation and desire to be baptized.

  • Pray for Mrs. Yoneshima to be able to opening attend the church service and for her husband to come to accept her salvation and desire for baptism.

Quite a few of the youth had been absent in the past months but recently some of them came back this month to Sunday school. We saw Misora and Seira at the beginning of the month. Ibuki came another week. Meguru enjoyed spending time with my son playing the guitar. His mother has come to church events in the past, but Meguru informed us that he decided by himself to attend Sunday school. We pray he will be here every week. Miri is preparing to be baptized, and we are praying for her family to understand her decision. We are joyful for our daughter Ye Ji’s confirmation of faith.

Youth Group during Sunday Service

  • Pray for the youth to be comfortable and feel at home at the Sunday School.
  • Pray for those who are saved to grow in their faith and understanding of God’s Word.
  • Pray for those who are still questioning to come to understand salvation in Jesus Christ.

Our new outreach to ‘Moms and Kids’ will start in April. We are gearing this event for infants through kindergarten children. The mothers will meet every third Thursday in the morning. We are praying for God to use this opportunity to touch the mothers and toddlers with His love. Our activities include arts and crafts, Bible talk, Kids worship and snack time.

  • Pray for this outreach to the community and for opportunities to reach the neighbors with the gospel message.
  • Pray for evangelism to the local area.

On the recent Monday holiday in Japan, I was the translator for the keynote speaker, Dr. Kim, at the Freedom of Faith Network prayer conference. Dr. Kim is the head of the mission institute, a chairman of the Korea Presbyterian History Society, and has been on the faculty at a Seminary. Dr. Kim was also the former chief editor of Korea Christian Newspaper. He addressed the issue of the relations between churches, government, and society. The theme of the conference was Freedom of Faith in the Nation having Enthroned a New Emperor.

Freedom of Faith Network Conference
Dr. Kim- keynote speaker

  • Pray for the nation of Japan and Japanese Christians at this time of transition.
  • Pray for the upcoming conference for our denomination in the western part of Japan.
  • Pray for the pastor’s children, Ye Shin, and Ye Ji, as they study in school. Ye Shin is preparing for the entrance exams and desires to be a pastor.
  • Pray for the pastor’s wife, Hyeon I, to have good health and for her search for a job to help pay for Ye Shin’s tuition costs for college.

Pastor Park Joo Hyun Testimony 

My name is Park, and I was born in the town of Daegu; located in the middle of South Korea between Seoul and Busan. I began to go to church when I was in the fifth grade of elementary school. I attended the summer program for elementary school students, and it was at this time that I began to go to church.

When I was a freshman in junior high school, I accepted Jesus as my Savior. It was at the church summer camp on the last night that the evangelist was preaching about Jesus and the Cross. At the end of the sermon, an invitation was given to us to pray and become a believer in Jesus. Everyone was praying desperately. However, I did not know how to pray since I went to church to have fun with my friends. I was troubling to me when the preacher said, “If you do not know how to pray, call on the name of Jesus and just say, “Please Jesus help me.”

At that time I decided I would like to believe in Jesus sincerely. I called on the name of Jesus three times in my heart. At that moment, my heart became hot, and my tears stopped. All of the sins I committed until that time projected as a panorama in front of my eyes. Then for three hours, I prayed a prayer of repentance, and the tears did not stop. I believed in Jesus, and He heard me. On the way back from camp, it looked like a beautiful new world. In my second year of senior high school, I got baptized in the Korean Jesus Christian Presbyterian Church. After receiving baptism, my faith gradually grew strong, and God has given me explicit faith.

As an adult, I felt the call to the church, and after several years of study, my wife and I began serving in Japan. We are eager for the Lord to use us and for many people to become disciples of Jesus.

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The Nara Prefecture is located at the very center inland of Kansai region, surrounded by Osaka, Kyoto, Mie, and Wakayama regions. Nara is known as an area with a long history. It used to be called Yamato which goes back to the 6th and 7th century and was the center of culture and politics and was also the state capitol. Around that time Buddhism was brought in to Japan, and with its creation, the first-generation Buddhist temples and sculptures were built in the region. There are quite a few archaeological sites in town that are all Buddhist related. Later Kyoto was set as the capital in the middle ages, Nara was no longer as influential as it was and Kyoto became what Nara was. Yet influences by Buddhism in the community are still evident in local customs and traditional performances. People still hold on to these Japanese traditions.