One year of God’s faithfulness: General Baptist Church in Japan’s first founding anniversary celebration – by Englebert Andag
The General Baptist Church in Japan celebrated its first founding anniversary on August 15, 2021 with “Growing Stronger, Digging Deeper, Reaching Higher” as its theme. The celebration is graced with the presence of Pastor Eduardo I. Odoy, Jr. who delivered an impactful message that compares the attributes of an eagle to Christian living.
The church held its first service on July 19, 2021, at 364 Shimokosugi, Yaizu City, Shizuoka Prefecture, attended mainly by the three founding families of Kato, Odoy, and Batawan-Guimio. Aside from the strict measure against the novel coronavirus, the church faced many struggles during its first few months; the biggest of which is the rumor about the termination of rental agreement between the owner and the Odoy family, who live in the compound that houses the church. But through prayers, the truth prevailed in no time: the owner had no plan to terminate the contract, and he even wished for the church to stay much longer. Indeed, it is God’s will for the church to be built.
Despite the heavy, incessant rain that soaked the city on our anniversary day, almost all members still participated in the celebration with gratitude and joy. They were joined by a few visitors, including the guest speaker. Before the message, the church choir performed “You are Holy (Prince of Peace)”. Two young visitors also blessed us with their performances, one sang a Cebuano song in response to the message and the other sang the offertory.
The church hopes for another year of God’s faithfulness. We pray for His guidance and protection, especially in times when a “State of Emergency” has been declared in Shizuoka Prefecture. At the time of this writing, half of the members have decided to not attend service in person due to stricter measures against coronavirus. To address this issue, the church plans to hold service for those who opt to attend in person, and at the same time provides livestreaming of the service to members through a video teleconferencing program.
In this time of trouble, let’s not forget that God is greater.
“So, do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteousness right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
To God be the glory!