Tsubasa@Tokyo 2020: Failure & Faith

Tsubasa: A Manga on the Failure and Faith of Christian Athletes

 

The newly released manga, Tsubasa: Searching for Wings, has been providentially timed for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympic Games season. Many athletes will be able to identify with the characters in the manga – seeking success and significance, fame and glory in winning (tsubasa is wings). Ultimately, however, one’s true joy can only be found in knowing Jesus Christ as the Saviour and realising one’s identity as God’s beloved.

The manga is based on a story of Reina, a reporter who is herself once a figure skating competitor who had to retire due to an ankle injury in her younger days. She had to interview three real life Christian Olympians and “research key to mental toughness” among these athletes – Brazil’s Paralympian Daniel Dias, American Sprinter and Bobsledder Lauryn Williams, and Japanese Taekwondo Athlete Yoriko Okamoto.

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Bangkok Alumnus – Lockdown but not lock out from ministry

Jonathan Yaesung (Son), Rachel Yaerin (Daughter), Jaesoon Kim (Wife) and Simon Chung (Alumnus)

Simon Chung Yongho, EAST alumnus who graduated with a Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies in 2011, has started serving in Bangkok, Thailand, with the Thailand Campus Crusade for Christ together with his family since 2012. EAST News caught up with Simon recently and found out how he has been doing in Bangkok. Below is a short write-up that Simon has sent to us.

“Due to Covid-19, Thailand had to be on lockdown for a while. But it was only closed temporarily and I was able to go back to mission on campus. With all the restrictions in Bangkok, I was not able to do all the normal things I did (on the campus) before Covid-19. In addition, we have reduced time spent on the actual campus, and moved a lot of events online. Online Zoom classes and other apps were able to help us become more involved than pre-Covid period. But I cannot say I am totally satisfied with this. We still miss seeing one another in churches and meeting up physically.

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The Lord is my portion

 

The word “portion” appears several other times other than this, such as in Psalm 73:26, Psalm 142:5 and most notably Psalm 16:5, which reads: “LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure.” but what does the word “portion” mean in this context?

 

In other versions of the bible, “portion” is translated as “inheritance.” When these writers say the Lord is their portion, they mean that he is their allotment, their inheritance, their source of security, and in this case, hope.

 

If you’ve paid attention to the last few verses, you may have realised that there has been a focus on gratitude and thanksgiving. While this verse may not explicitly call for that, it is relevant, especially when we are reminded constantly about the fallen nature of man, and how the world we live in is a broken one, waiting to be restored when Jesus returns. It can be difficult to read the news every day and feel discouraged by all the sin and suffering everywhere, but this verse reminds us to look to the Lord as our source of security and hope.

Esther’s Story – His Story

 

“I was six years old when my oldest brother, then 26, read the Bible and accepted Jesus as his Saviour,” begins Esther, 30, who is of Central Asian descent. “My parents, of another beliefs, felt very betrayed by him.” But her brother remained steadfast in faith and led hundreds in their hometown to the Lord. Six years later, Esther then 12, received Christ on her own when she chanced upon a gospel tract. In 2010, her father came to Christ in a Christmas meeting organised by her brother; soon after her mother accepted the Lord through her father.

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See the Goodness of God

Photo: Matheo JBT; Design: Jonathan Yao

 

I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.” (Psalm 27:13-14, NAS)

In Psalm 27, verses 1 through 6, King David expressed his confidence in a God of whom he has had deep communion with. Then in verses 7 through 14, he turned from praise to plaintiff prayer of dependence and hope in a redemptive God. This Psalm has been known as one of “composites” with extreme high of joy and jubilance in the first half and thence sinking to the depth of sadness and near despair in the latter part (Pulpit Commentary).

Read how verse 13, as part of the ending verses, unify these extremes to produce hope in us.

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