PrefaceIn 2017 David Jun presented this during Japan Night.
Song of Songs 2:1
I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys
1. My Ph.D. studies and family
Nagasaki UBF was born when I entered Nagasaki University as a foreign student in April 1990. Later my wife Sarah Jun and first daughter Sarah joined me. During my Ph.D. studies I often fell asleep on my desk to the point of suffering from facial paralysis. I wrote my thesis spilling my saliva. By God’s grace my thesis was recognized by the Japanese Academy. I received an award for the thesis, which enabled my thesis advisor to create a job for me. I became a fulltime instructor for 6 years at the College of Engineering. Then I worked in the industry as a team leader for consulting engineers for a year. I became an assistant professor in April 2001 at the College of Education. Now I am a full professor with tenure. God gave me seven children and raised them as a disciple candidate. The first daughter Sarah attended the Nagasaki University, became my coworker and played the piano for the church. She lived an exemplary life of faith. She was hired as a teacher in her own elementary school. After finishing the graduate study she will start teaching from this April. I praise God for my wife Sarah, the pillar of my family, and for all my children being a disciple candidate: Sarah, David, Abraham, Joseph, Grace, Anna and Joanne. I thank God who, I believe, will raise 12 disciples.
2. Raising disciples
From the start of entering Nagasaki University I diligently studied the Bible with students. Although I was poor in Japanese, I taught the Bible and delivered the message as I learned Japanese. Many sheep studied the Bible and attended the service. Among them Kimyong Lee remained as a disciple. He was a Chinese student from Malaysia. He studied the Bible for nine years from the freshman till he received Ph.D. He received baptism and established a shepherd family with Missionary Mary Kim. In obedience to God’s direction he entered the NSK Company. When he went to Thailand for his work his family participated in the UBF Thai ministry. His family returned to Japan this year and started planting a church in Fujisawa. Other missionaries and shepherds worked closely with me, experienced the power of God, graduated successfully with a diploma, and went out to their mission land. They live like the flower of Sharon in their mission land.
3. Christian history of Nagasaki
The Catholic priest Francis Javier was the first missionary to Japan, who arrived in Kyūshū in 1549. After one year a church was planted in Hirado of Nagasaki. After 13 years daimyō Omura of Nagasai received baptism, the first Japanese believer as daimyō. He built six beautiful villages along the seashore with a church at its center in 1570. In 1580, a decade later, he made the villages as the Portuguese territory and wished that it would be the center of foreign trade. His action amounted to the offering to God. This was the first planned city, Nagasaki. So Nagasaki implies a special church village in the Japanese history. Seven years later in 1587, however, Toyotomi Hideyoshi found it out and prohibited Christianity in the entire Japan. He is notorious for waging war against Korea in 1592. He took Nagasaki away from the Portuguese and made it subject to Edo in 1588. Nagasaki became the city of Tokyo daimyō. The image as the first Christian city was annihilated. Later, the Nagasaki believers were severely persecuted and martyred. No believers in the village could survive. For 300 years, Christianity gradually died away. In 1858 Japan entered a trade agreement with USA and permitted the freedom of worship. People in Nagasaki began to sing hymns from 1859. The season of Christ had returned. The hidden Christians came forward and confessed their faith. This is known as the Discovery of Christians in history. Although they went underground they had kept their faith.
In Aug. 9, 1945 USA dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki, the Christian city, for purely strategic reason. Sadly, the bomb was right on the top of the church. Many Nagasaki people, especially Buddhists and Shinto believers, mocked at Christianity, claiming that the church deserved the punishment from heaven. We Christians also view the horrible event with a similar attitude, except that it was the punishment for Japan and Nagasaki. Dr. Takashi Nagai was different. He took care of many patients due to the atomic bomb. In his writing he considered the suffering patients as a Lamb of God. They were the sacrifice for God. The destruction of the churches and believers by the atomic bomb was an offering to God like Jesus, the Lamb of God. Through their sufferings peace came to the world. The Nagasaki believers have been the chosen servants of God. In 1990 God added one more to them among the UBF believers. I am the one.
4. Rose of Sharon
Much of Sharon in Israel was swampy and malarial. Nothing could survive, yet a rose did. It was beautiful and stood out in the midst of the arid plain. Some hymnists compared Jesus to the flower of Sharon. His life is like that. His environment was harsh. He had no place to put his head. He suffered much on the earth. At the end of his life he was crucified. Nobody considered him important. Yet, his life is like the flower of Sharon. He is like the lily in the valley. If one approaches him, he is moved and overwhelmed by his abundant grace and love.
The Japanese Christians are one percent of the population. The Japanese Protestants are 0.3 % of the population. The environment is harsh for them. Yet their life is beautiful. They are like the flower of Sharon. Since they are in the valley, they are hardly visible. Yet those who are near can smell its wonderful fragrance. I am one of them.
The sea needs at least three percent of salt for purification. Please pray for the Christians to grow, at least, to the three percent of the population. So they can influence Japan as the salt purifies the sea. Please pray for three percent of students in Nagasaki to study the Bible and grow as a disciple of Jesus. Above all, pray for our missionaries to live like the flower of Sharon. They may be like the lily in the valley that fills the area with its fragrance. We may learn from Jesus, the flower of Sharon and raise his disciples to be like him.
One word: Jesus, the flower of Sharon