Pastor Ito Hiroshi knows a little something about restoration. Two years ago, a massive tsunami struck Japan. Hiroshi was there and witnessed the unimaginable destruction firsthand. He's also been there the last two years, helping to restore the country physically—through his work with Convoy of Hope—and rebuild a nation spiritually—through prayer and the gospel message.
The second annual Japanese Conference, coming to Springfield, Mo., March 12-14, will have the theme of "restoration" and feature Pastor Hiroshi as a keynote speaker. In addition to sharing graphic images of the intense destruction the tsunami left behind in Japan, Hiroshi will also offer evidence of how God is working through the devastation to reveal Himself to a formerly resistant culture.
"Pastor Hiroshi will also speak on how God can restore our own personal life, no matter what the damage," says Yoriko Yabuki, who with her husband, Daisuke, are appointed Japanese Assemblies of God missionaries and are lead hosts of the conference. "His personal testimony of how God healed his difficult health condition as he helped those suffering around him is very inspirational."
Hosted at Central Assembly of God, where the Yabukis serve as international pastors, the conference will also serve as an opportunity for pastors to learn about joining the Japanese Fellowship. Assemblies of God Ethnic Relations Director Scott Temple will host an informational meeting on the topic.
Other speakers for the conference include: Dr. James Bradford, AG general secretary; Byron Klaus, president of AG Theological Seminary; Dale Crall, pastor of Calvary Campus Church in Carbondale, Ill.; Jeff Peterson, pastor of the host church, Central Assembly of God; Steve Smith, missionary to the Japanese in Michigan; the Yabukis; and Sandi Bradford, wife of Dr. James Bradford, who will lead a women-only session.
"This event is targeted to the Japanese pastor who has U.S. credentials, the U.S. pastor who leads a Japanese ministry and those who have a God-given desire to reach Japanese and their Americans families for Christ," Daisuke Yabuki says. "We also welcome non-Christian Japanese people and we will have breakout sessions just for them to help them understand the gospel."