100 Years. 40 Years. Forever!
In Iloilo, in 1923, blessed with a generous gift from Mrs. Marguerite Doane, Dr. Raphael Thomas, Miss Ellen Martien, and others with the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society, founded Doane Hall Evangelistic Institute. 100 years later, in the year 2023, Doane Baptist Bible Institute, Inc., celebrated its centennial with joy and thanksgiving to God. When I consider the thousands of administrators, teachers, students, families, and churches that have been influenced by this school through these many years, I am humbled.
40 years ago, two missionary families prayerfully agreed to trust God to enable them to plant a church in Kagoshima Prefecture, in the cities of Kokubu and Hayato, Japan. Paul and Kathy Holritz, and Jim and Jan Ruff, with their families, and eventually the help of other missionaries with the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism, began with evangelism, Bible studies, and English teaching. Seisen Center became a Baptist church, and, as God added to the church, it eventually became Hayato Baptist Church. This year, after 24 years under the leadership of Pastor and Mrs. Nishino, Hayato Baptist Church is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the ministry we missionaries began by the grace of God.
100 years? 40 years? What are these periods of time in the light of eternity? Though ever so short, in the hands of the One Who inhabits eternity – the One who is faithful forever – these years have been filled with fruitfulness! To God be the glory!