Worthy of Thanks

By Jill Kropp, serving in Japan

Jill and her husband, Alan, are nearing the end of language school and preparing to move to Nagoya to begin full-time ministries.

Thankfulness. It’s something for which we all took time as we celebrated Thanksgiving with family and friends last month. A recent chapter in my Japanese textbook led me to an interesting discovery about thankfulness and Japanese culture. I learned that playing sports in Japan isn’t just about winning; it’s about learning to be polite, respectful, and thankful.

After competing, Japanese athletes bow to the room in which the competition was held, expressing thankfulness to the room. Japanese athletes meticulously care for their sports equipment, not simply out of gratitude to the person who supplied the equipment but also out of thankfulness to the objects themselves.

Watching Japanese news recently, I saw a report showing high school boys from a Japanese fishing village swimming in frigid waters to express their thankfulness to the ocean for sustaining the village’s livelihood again this year.

My Japanese teacher explained, “The Japanese are very careful to practice this kind of thankfulness, to objects and to the god of the object, as a way of life.” As Christians, we know that thankfulness is a way of life. The Bible tells us, “Give thanks in all circumstances . . . .” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). But, we also know that our thankfulness should be directed to the one God who is the source of every blessing.

Please pray that God, through His Spirit and His Word, will reveal Himself to the Japanese people as the one true God who is worthy of their thanks and worship.

Learn More

Read more stories about Alliance work in Japan.

What You Can Do

Pray for Jill and Alan as they finish language school. Pray for God’s provision for a place to live and His leading in their ministries.

This Christmas, consider giving a year-end gift to the Alliance Great Commission Fund. In doing so, you partner with overseas workers, like the Kropps, to shine the light of Christ among those walking in darkness.


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