“I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert.” --Isaiah 43:19
Urawa Lutheran School, founded by the LCMS World Mission in 1953, is now planning to transfer to a new school site in the winter of 2014.
WHY ARE WE LEAVING OUR CURRENT SITE?
In April of 1953, LCMS missionaries helped to open the doors of Urawa Lutheran School (ULS) in a quiet rural area in Saitama, Japan as a means to reach the lost through the gift of quality Christian education. With the Lord’s rich blessings and following the model of other LCMS projects worldwide, the school has grown from its original four elementary students to almost 700 students in grades 1-12. Due to the growth of the neighborhood surrounding the school, leaders were limited in community outreach & expansion ideas. In 1987, the school purchased some land 20 minutes by bus away for students to practice sports. Desperate to impact the neighborhood, in 2004 the school acquired a historical house blocks away from the school and tried using it for seminars and special classes, but trudging teachers & classes to and from proved cumbersome, so the idea was abandoned after a couple of years. As student numbers have expanded, so has the need for larger and more stable facilities, and the lingering desire to increase ministry to local families has remained strong.
In 2007, the Japanese government raised the standards for earthquake-resistant buildings. After an inspection Urawa Lutheran School was notified that the school would either need to strengthen the foundations of some of its load-bearing and exterior walls, or be forced to move to a new building. Initially the school leaders felt they should pay to improve the existing facilities and stay in the current neighborhood with its well-recognized name, but later heard the Lord speaking through Isaiah chapter 43,“I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert.” They felt led to literally expand their outreach possibilities by building a larger school in a new location.
In 2008, under the Lord’s faithful guidance, land was found about 5 kilometers east of the current campus and, through a long negotiating process that lasted almost five years, finally rezoned from agricultural to commercial a few months ago. The area currently has no name recognition for marketing, but is hoped to develop into a new hub of growth around the now little, rural train station. With its rezoning, many new families will be moving in, bringing new opportunities for education and Christian influence. The area in which ULS finds itself building the new school is remarkably similar to the farmland on which LCMS missionaries built a small school of six classrooms in 1953, the First Grade room being used on Sunday mornings for Urawa Lutheran Church to worship.
The same hopes for urban growth and opportunities exist now as in 1953, as well as the same prayers for the Lord’s blessing on this venture. According to Toshio Shoji, former Principal (1972 – 2001) and current Chairman of the School Board, this enlarging and enhancing of the school is motivated by a desire to be more faithful to the Great Commission of sharing the saving Gospel message with even more students & families through Christian education. Mr. Shoji added, “We now feel much like the people of Israel must have felt when they departed Egypt for the Promised Land… having to fully trust that this transfer project cannot move an inch without the helping Hand of our Lord and Savior.”
WHAT WILL THE NEW CAMPUS BE LIKE?
The current design has been drawn so that over 900 students can be accommodated. The new facilities with grounds that include chapel and sports fields will create many opportunities for families of students to come to campus and be involved in activities there.
Only 1% of the general population of Japan is Christian. This makes for many unique mission opportunities. ULS is blessed to have 10% of the student body and 50% of the staff be Christians. The school is able to provide both a quality Christian Education for the children of our church as well as a safe place for families who have yet to come to know Christ. Even though not everyone is Christian, 100% of the students and staff can hear the Gospel and experience God’s love at ULS every day.
WHAT CAN WE BENEFIT OUR NEW NEIGHBORS?
The new campus will offer us the opportunity of community outreach — our new chapel will be opened for weekend worship, youth gatherings, etc
WHAT DOES URAWA NEED?
We at Urawa Lutheran School now feel just the way the people of Israel must have felt when they departed Egypt heading for the Promised Land. We are sure that our building project can’t move an inch without the Helping Hand from our Lord. We would like you to partner with us in creating a wonderful Christian education environment which will continue the mission to share Christ’s love with families in suburban Tokyo.
Total project cost: about 45 million dollars
・Land: 11 million ・Building: 24 million ・Re-zoning and development fee: 10 million
FUNDRAISING GOALS INCLUDE:
・3 million dollars from students, faculty and alumni
・3 million dollars from Lutheran organizations and supporters outside Japan
This 3 million dollars from overseas will be used for mission-focused purposes:
-Building our school chapel and installing musical instruments and equipment to launch our new outreach (youth gatherings, music ministry)
-A large cross for the outside of our new school building that will be a landmark of our new evangelism and outreach.
Period of Fund Raising
- From December 1, 2014 to December 31, 2017
Ways to Participate
|- Financial Gifts---There are three ways you can contribute: PayPal, bank transfer and postal money order. Donation by PayPal is the simplest.|
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- One way that you can get involved immediately is by lifting up this new project in prayer, asking our Lord to lead us through each phase.
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Phone : 81-48-711-8221 E-mail : email@example.com