The opportunity to evangelize in Japan rests in the university, according to statistics, which show that 51 percent of Japanese who are baptized did so when they were between ages 20-24. Chi Alpha, a campus outreach ministry of Assemblies of God (AG), knows how to use resources, like these statistics, to strategize its evangelism plan.
"One key to opening Japan to the gospel is university students," says U.S. A missionary Joyce Kitano, who has been in Japan since 1989. "Once they leave the university, the chance of them becoming a Christian drops dramatically."
Following by example of what works, Chi Alpha ministries in Japan have been teaching Bible studies in English. Take a person like Kitano, for example, who has been opening up new Chi Alpha chapters, teaching the Bible in English. The first chapter Kitano started was in 1997 on University of Tokyo. Later in 1999, Kitano began receiving help from British AG missionary Jackie Brook and other AG associates to open up Chi Alpha on more campuses. Today, there are 21 campuses with a Chi Alpha ministry thanks to mission strategy, which uses English as a medium to teach the word of God.
The outreach resources that Chi Alpha provides, such as Bible studies in English and English language classes, have been successful in helping turn more people to accept Christ than other methods in Japan. Chi Alpha ministries in Japan also distribute an English-written “Book of Hope” as an evangelism tool.
Chi Alpha ministries are now implementing its strategy in a country where 3 million people are students to 1,200 universities and one percent people are Christian among a country population of 126 million.
Statistics may be what keeps Chi Alpha ministries informed of Japan’s demographics but it’s the testimonies of the people Chi Alpha has reached out to that keep it going in Japan.
Minako Suehiro, a former university student, said, "When I would talk with my friends, our discussion was always that we were searching for something.”
What Suehiro found was more than the love of God but also a Chi Alpha chapter while studying at Keio University in Tokyo. Now graduated, Suehiro is preparing for full-time ministry at her local church. She testified, "I was so blessed because I found God."