Back in the House of Prayer...
We've been joined by 26 Japanese who have spent a week here at IHOP. The came for a weekend (from Japan?!?!) six months ago and returned for a week this time. They are part of a very traditional 75 year old Bible School is Osaka that has recently been touched deeply by the Holy Spirit. Part of what they're doing here is investigating how to change their school format from what they've used in the past to what we've developed here at IHOP. We will be sending teams to Japan every few weeks during the school year to lead sections of the school. They will be also sending leaders our way for further training.
One of their key leaders is now sharing via interpreter about her joy that the hand of God is moving on Japan. She says "Japan is no exception - we have been filled with idolatry and people are losing hope...so we are getting hungry and hungrier. Last year we came with ten students because I was believing that somewhere in the world there must be a place where God is overflowing, and right here, God met us....I believe that God is going to restore the years the enemy has eaten up and wasted. The land of Japan is hungry for the true love of God. God has poured out abundant mercy on us and promised us that more people would be given to us. Now we are looking forward to seeing the glory of God in Japan. He has been gathering those with the heart of God and those who seek His face."
Now another leader is saying "this is the second time I've been to IHOP. February of 2000 I came here. But even two years before, God began to teach me how to pray. I was getting excited about IHOP through the Japanese magazines. Already, right here in Kansas City a prayer ministry was being built! Although I didn't get a full understanding of IHOP. When I met the leaders of the Bible college, I told them they must investigate this place. Then I met Mike Bickle and insisted that we come again to investigate. From the beginning of our visit, God has made me weep and sob - I don't know why. Humanly speaking, I have no reason to shed tears, but finally God showed me the reason why...I realized that those tears were the tears of God - that sadness was the sadness of God and the tears signify that God can no longer bear the dead religiosity and traditional structures that have stopped the work of God in the past. He can no longer tolerate it - we must worship Him in spirit and truth. Please pray for Japanese churches so true worship and adoration to God may be restored in Japan. I believe surely that through this type of ministry in Japan, God will restore true worship to Japan. Please pray for us...we are nameless, faceless and little and short! Yet God will use us!"
I promise you, that's what the interpreter said.
Next up - a group from Tiawan...looks like a bigger group than the Japanese. Daniel, our resident Malaysian with the Burmese wife, is directing them to face the Japanese and pray for one another in repentance for generations of animosity.
As I sit here looking at the 26 stretched out across the front of the room, I feel rediculously provincial. This place is more international than I ever expected.