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Triangle Park

Have you ever seen a church without walls or roof, springing up without any previous planning, and thriving without any apparent organization? I have.

It all began with a dream. The Lord sent me a dream about roses – a bouquet of roses that was beautifully wrapped but left in a garbage bin. Dreaming, I recall thinking that this was not the right place for such a beautiful gift! I felt a sense of urgency, a need to rescue these flowers from out of the garbage bin and bring them to the banqueting hall, where they could adorn the tables at the wedding feast of the Lamb. I awoke that morning with a certainty that something precious was being overlooked. There were roses among the refuse, and I needed to find them and bring them to Jesus.

Then, four months ago I joined a team that was beginning to do street evangelism in an impoverished district of Nishinari. We met regularly in a place called Triangle Park. To call it a park is a bit of a stretch, as it is little more than a grim fenced-in triangle of gravel with a few trees. Those who gathered there seemed equally grim: struggling day labourers and homeless street dwellers. The park felt as neglected and shabby as a garbage can. I knew that Jesus was there, and that there were roses to be found.

Masami and I have always had a heart for the poor and marginalized. This kind of ministry tends to be unstructured, unpredictable, and often seemingly unfruitful. Yet the last three months have been some of the most fruitful ministry we have experienced here. Men who would never dream of entering a religious building are now attending an emerging street church. They have an insatiable appetite for the Word of God. There have been instances of healing and deliverance, and now there is an eagerness to invite their friends to hear about Jesus. In three months, we have seen eight baptisms, and more are on the way! 

Faith does not always take root quickly, and that can be discouraging. How do you persuade a rose that it is so much more than a broken branch? With care we are seeking to lift these discarded, beautiful souls out of the garbage can of despair, and present them as a fragrant bouquet to the Bridegroom. 

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