Our final payment is due on February 28th. We hope to have repairs and renovations completed by next summer. (We do ask for your prayers for God to provide the necessary finances for repairs and renovations. Since May the US dollar has lost about 15% of its value versus the Japanese yen. This has resulted in a loss of close to $200,000 of the value of the raised funds. Please pray for a turnaround of the exchange rate and for the continued generosity of God's people!)
This new home for Christ Bible Seminary will now be in the heart of downtown Nagoya, which is also a central hub of Japan. From our front door we can be in Tokyo in about one hour and forty minutes. The city of Osaka would be about 50 minutes away. That would give us access to nearly 50 million people! It may be one of the only places in the world where you can access 50 million people in one hour and forty minutes.
The first floor of the new ministry campus of CBI Japan will be home to the Heart & Soul Cafe. This will be the fulfillment of the "safe space" vision that I mentioned before. It will be a place where young people can come to drink coffee and tea, enjoy arts and media, receive counseling, and find true spiritual safety in the shadow of God's wings.
As dramatic as this summary may sound, it was actually much more dramatic. For those of us who lived through all the ups and downs, the last minute decisions, the cancelled contracts, the unfulfilled promises, and the last second rescues of the past year, it was a hair-whitening process. I've told people that it felt like living through a Korean drama. When asked what a Korean drama is, I responded, "It's like a drama... but more dramatic."
But it was a glorious drama to live through. It was a reminder that God's purposes will stand, and they will stand for his glory and his glory alone. And that his most important purposes are people-focused, seen in the sanctification that he worked in the hearts of our team, in the mobilization of global prayer that he effected, in the unleashing of generosity and provision even through missionaries giving their two mites for the Lord, and in the Egyptian-plundering-like opportunity to buy prime real estate in downtown Nagoya so that the light of Christ might shine and bring hope to the lost in the largest unreached nation of the world.
Before I left the Desiring God offices to head to the airport, John Piper put his hands on the pictures of the Nagoya property and prayerfully exclaimed, "Lord do it!!! Provide this property!!!"
The Lord did indeed do it. And he did it in his way, in his timing, and for his glory.
You can read the episode-by-episode account of the drama at cbijapan.org/campus. For updates on the transition to the new property and the establishment of its new ministries, like the Heart & Soul Cafe, subscribe on Twitter to @ohfamily.