ko te manaaki i ngā kaihākinakina | caring for New Zealand's sports community
Photo of Mt Fuji, Japan, host country for Rugby World Cup mission,Photo by Manuel Cosentino on Unsplash

World Cup outreach in Japan: ‘It is tough here – not many hands and feet’

Following the success of Engage 2011 in New Zealand, and Engage 2015 in England, the Japan International Sports Partnership is busy preparing for Engage 2019, a mission project during the Rugby World Cup. They have invited teams from participating nations, including New Zealand, to be a involved. During the Cup, each team will work with local churches to engage with their community through events like cultural nights, sports festivals, rugby clinics, and tag competitions.

In Kobe, Japan Rugby has offered a central park to Engage for the purpose of holding a rugby festival. Meanwhile, in East Osaka, 40 churches are planning to work together on a family-friendly fan zone and rugby festival.

A call for help with mission during Rugby World Cup

At a meeting in Kyushi, pastors appealed for international help during the World Cup. Here are some of their comments:

You need to understand that in our setting here it difficult to try something new.

I spoke with other church pastors and they didn’t think it would work in our city.

We need help. My church has no young people. My family and I are the youngest in our church with only 20 people.

If we don’t do anything then we go to zero.

I want to say thank you and please keep praying for us.

We want to do something.

We want to do something for our country.

It is tough here- not many hands and feet.

We want to be part of the Rugby World Cup and the Olympics.

Pray we can ask for help – we know we need it but it is hard to ask.

It is much easier to do nothing.

We know God loves Japan.

Are you interested in being part of the team from New Zealand? Please contact Sue Morris sue@innerfit.nz, as soon as possible.

Find out more about the Engage 2019 Rugby World Cup mission project.

Author Info

Rebecca Hawkins

Rebecca is the Communications and IT Manager for Sports Chaplaincy NZ. In her younger days she played cricket and football with great enthusiasm but very little skill. Now she spends a lot of time supporting her four sons in their sport. She especially loves scoring their cricket matches, which she insists on doing the old fashioned way, with pen and paper.

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