I had the privilege of speaking in seven of the ten 2018 Japan Keswick Christian Life Conventions, January 21- February 25. My travels took me to conventions in Okinawa, Kyushu, Tohoku (Sendai), Osaka, Kobe, Forest Park (near Tokyo) and Tokyo (the Yodobashi Church.) I preached twenty-five times and held numerous personal meetings. Rev. Dr. Tatshuhiro Mineno is chairman of the Central Keswick Committee and gives oversight and leadership to all ten of the Keswick Conventions in Japan. Each location has a local committee and chairman that oversees the local convention. The Japan Keswick Committee system works like a “well oiled machine.” In addition to fine leadership there is an army of workers who carry out every detail of a convention.
Japan Celebrates fifty-seven years of Keswick Convention ministry. Japan Keswick leadership has built a relationship and fraternity with the original Keswick Convention in Keswick, England. Many of the guest speakers in the Japan conventions come from England and many of them have been speakers on the English Keswick Platform. Dr. George Duncan, known as “Mr. Keswick” during his years of ministry at St. George’s Tron in Glasgow, Scotland was a frequent speaker in Keswick Conventions around the world, especially in England and Japan. My mentor, Dr. Stephen F.Olford (British) was a well known Keswick speaker and much loved in Japan. Many spiritual giants have occupied the pulpit of the Japan Keswick Conventions. Each time I speak there I am aware that I am standing in the shadow of Holy Men of God and genuine Bible Expositors who have gone before me.
This was my ninth trip to Japan in ten years. I spoke in the Japan Keswick Conventions for the first time in 2008. Stephen Olford was instrumental in opening the door for me. Since that time I have made many meaningful and lasting friendships with pastors, laypeople, translators, committee members and Keswick leadership. I have made five trips to Japan to speak in the Keswick Conventions since 2008. Dr. Ken Horiuchi of Grace Mission Ministries in Osaka has invited me numerous times to speak in South Korea, Hiroshima and Sapporo. Dr. Horiuchi’s Bible Conventions are designed to be an extension of and a support of the Keswick Ministry.
Japan holds a special place in my heart. Less than 2% of the people are Christian. The door is open to preach the gospel and to minister to the attentive and respectful heart of the Japanese people. Each year in the Keswick Conventions thousands of Japanese Christians are encouraged to live a fully surrendered life to Christ and to walk in the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Each year many young people and some older ones surrender to the call of God to Christian ministry. Each year many receive Jesus Christ as their own Lord and Savior.
Each sermon in each Keswick Convention is audio recorded. Many of the sermons are video recorded. Many of the sermons, selected, are transcribed and published in an annual book of sermons from the Keswick Convention. CD’s are purchased and distributed. Books of sermons go into circulation. Many of the video recorded sermons are aired on Japan Christian television in Japan, South Korea and other parts of the world. The multiplied, ripple effect of the Japan Keswick Conventions will not be fully known until we get to glory.
It is my prayer that the Keswick Conventions in Japan will be instrumental in bringing a Great Spiritual Awakening to Japan and that many, many people will be swept into the Kingdom of God. Will you join me in that prayer?
Pictures are worth a thousand words. I am posting a few to depict the fellowship and ministry.
Roger D. Willmore, 2018