After three and a half weeks of being in Japan (can you believe it!?), I think our predominating emotion is EXCITEMENT about what God is doing through CBI (which includes Christ Bible Seminary, Heart & Soul Cafe, and church planting efforts). One of the things we’ve gotten excited about is the future of Christian counseling in Japan.
Currently, though Japan is the world’s largest consumer of psychological drugs (or so I am told), there is no formal certification for counselors, Christian OR secular! Our Seminary, Christ Bible Seminary, is only able to offer one counseling course each year because there is no one to teach these types of courses. Students have to go elsewhere if they want to get a masters in counseling. And, if they want to see a counselor for themselves, they have to put their name on a long waiting list because there’s only one Christian counselor (that we know of) in our whole city of a few million. Sounds depressing, right?
Well, we’re excited because last week, Dr. Diane Powell (Riva’s supervisor in Seminary) came and offered an all day course on the Foundations of Christian Counseling at CBS. She also offered counseling to seminary students and missionaries while she was here. Since her time here, we’ve come to realize that there are so many students here who are interested in becoming counselors.
As most of you know, counseling is one of Riva’s greatest passions and part of her longterm plan is to help train Japanese Christians to counsel well. You should see how excited people get when they find out Riva is a counselor! We don’t know what will happen once we complete our language training, or even what the first steps might be, but please be praying for God to give Riva wisdom on how she might be a part of encouraging and equipping counselors through our partnership with CBI. Her skills have already been put to use and I can’t wait to see what God does going forward.