Shin Nagahara
Tokyo, Japan

Two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ expounded the way of religion in the Holy Land of Israel, and His disciples had delightful experiences of walking His path. This is called the original gospel.

Ikuro Teshima, the founder of Makuya, or the Original Gospel Movement began his ministry, proclaiming, "Return to the original gospel!" While tracing the lineage of our faith, I came to realize that there were two headstreams.

One is the stream of the Non-Church faith which was begun by Kanzo Uchimura. Teshima learned closely from one of his leading disciples, Toraji Tsukamoto. Therefore, Makuya people earnestly study the Old and New Testaments, following the tradition of the Non-Church movement.

The other stream is the faith of Sundar Singh, an Indian saint; Ikuro Teshima, at the age of 17 or 18, encountered with his spiritual faith through his writings and biography.

Reading Singh's writings, I feel as if I am reading a modern manifestation of the Bible. His jewel-like ideas were the outcome of his deep meditation at Christ's feet.

Today, the world is filled with excessive materials, and one's spiritual thirst is imprisoned in the depths of his heart. In such circumstances, to testify that Christ still lives as the Holy Spirit, one must devote oneself to prayer and become filled with the love of the Holy Spirit and God's power. Sundar Singh provides a good, model example.

Several young people of Makuya across Japan are currently engaged in ministry while working. These bearers of the future of Makuya have an earnest wish to be useful servants for God. However, I am afraid that they may later come to a deadlock unless they learn deeper meditative prayer. It is essential for them to attain a spiritual state in which they commune with God and receive His teachings.

I was inspired, "That's it!" Let me go to India with these young men and trace Sundar Singh's figure through his footsteps! I hope we can experience deeper prayers over the course of this trip while feeling the wind blowing in the land that bore Singh. These experiences will undoubtedly open a greater future for them. Something may also happen within me through walking with my own feet in the places where Sundar Singh once traveled and seeing with my own eyes what I have read in his books. Thinking so, my heart was kindled.

(2016)