Posted by: whereintheworldismike | June 7, 2013

A New Kind of Treasure Hunting

I hope you enjoy this post by a guest blogger who happens to be my daughter:Takoyaki

I met up with my friend J the other day at Ikebukuro station in Tokyo with plans to do a treasure hunt.  J just graduated from her first year at the HRock School of Supernatural Ministry, and we both have a heart for Japan so we were very excited about this opportunity to try treasure hunting in Tokyo.  I say “try,” because we really weren’t sure how it would go.

This special kind of treasure hunting came out of Bethel Church in Redding, California and involves first asking God for specific clues, and then going out and looking for who the clues point to and offering to pray for them because they are God’s treasure!  The idea is for ministry to be a joyful game with our Papa God, rather than a chore or an agenda to get people to church.  The clues may be locations, physical traits, apparel, objects, names–pretty much anything that could be used to lead us to a specific person.  As we listen to God and jot down a list of clues, what’s great is that we can’t mess it up.  There are countless stories of people doing treasure hunts who thought they were just making up a clue but then it turned out to be freakishly accurate and/or God did something amazing.  Even if we didn’t get any clues about someone, if we feel like we want to approach them we should go for it, cause we’re all God’s treasures anyway, right?  =)  It all comes down to enjoying Holy Spirit’s presence as we bless precious people and share God’s love for them–what fun!

So J and I ate takoyaki (fried, breaded octopus ball) in a small food court in Ikebukuro station (NW Tokyo) and scribbled out our lists of clues.  We mostly got objects, apparel, and a couple location clues.  Then we set out into the gray train station hallways flowing with masses of people in a hurry to get somewhere.  We wandered through the crowds overwhelmed.  Soon we realized we needed a better plan for how to approach people.  J could speak some Japanese, but not enough to explain that we were on a treasure hunt or to pray for people, thus I was responsible for communication, whether speaking for myself or translating for Josie.  This meant what we could say was limited to my vocabulary and ability to communicate–which I don’t even have confidence of in English.  How would Japanese people react to being approached by a stranger telling them they are God’s treasure and asking to pray for them?  With all the cults in Japan, I knew Japanese people were often very nervous about strange religious people and practices.  None the less, we decided to just explain things as best we could.

“We’re on a treasure hunt, but it’s a special kind of treasure hunt.  We asked God for clues and got [this] and [this] and see, you match that, so we believe you’re God’s treasure.  Would you mind if we pray a prayer of blessing for you?”  –was basically the awkward, fumbling script we decided on.  I was terribly nervous because I couldn’t imagine a Japanese person responding well to that.  However, we decided that as long as we honored Holy Spirit and stepped out in faith and love, we couldn’t fail.

It was so scary for me!  We wandered around for a long time and finally J suggested we start with a location I had gotten as a clue: Starbucks.  At Starbucks we ordered drinks and headed up the stairs to the second and third floors.  It was so packed we had trouble finding a seat!  We scanned the room looking for clues.  One of J’s clues had been a dog with floppy ears, and she noticed a baby holding a toy dog made of plastic with floppy cloth ears.  “I think she’s my treasure, but you’ll need to do the talking.”  J said.  I cringed.  The room was filled with 20 or so Japanese people sitting around studying, reading, chatting, using their computers, but it was so quiet and the woman with the baby was sitting right in the middle of the room.  “I don’t think I can do it.”  I said, looking out the window at the rainy sky and gray buildings.

“That’s ok, no pressure,” said J.  I sighed.

I sat there for a long time, struggling internally and making excuses externally, but finally I finished my drink and looked over at the woman and her baby with determination.  They were God’s treasure.  Holy Spirit wanted to bless her–it was time to have some faith and get over myself.  Ha!

So we went over and J said “Hi” and I started to translate, when the woman asked us if we’d prefer English.  I was shocked.  So Josie stepped up and explained the treasure hunt to her and blessed her and her baby and had a nice little conversation.  I was so relieved not to have all the pressure on me, and my fear started to dissipate.  We knew it was a God thing!

After that we returned to the station and had a number of other encounters.  One of my clues had been orange wedge high heels, and we actually found a woman with those exact shoes.  She was Chinese but spoke great Japanese and we had a nice little talk with her and were able to pray for her.

The last encounter was one of my favorites though, because J had gotten “chocolate” or “a chocolate shop” and we’d been looking but hadn’t been able to find one, even by checking the directory.  Then we wandered into a different area and all of a sudden there it was.  A shop devoted to chocolate!  There were three women working in the little shop, but I had also gotten black rimmed glasses and I felt like we were supposed to pray for the woman who wore those glasses.  When we approached her and explained about the treasure hunt and how she fit the clues she got so excited.  Just hearing how she had been chosen specifically by God was so overwhelming to her.  We told her how much God loves her and how precious she is to him and that we had come to bless her (I don’t know if this made sense to her but she was still very happy).  J prophesied over her and I translated and it was just so awesome!!

Even with our often clumsy attempts to bless people and share God’s love with them, I believe Holy Spirit was with us and honored in our interactions.  Though I had been worried about the reactions we would get from our strange explanation of what we were doing, everyone we approached actually greeted us warmly and I felt like they saw us as real people, rather than as potential creeps or religious fanatics, so I was really thankful for that.  lol

I want to add that, though I think doing ministry is great, I believe it’s also really important not to stop there, but that it truly become a way of life rather than simply an event we go out and do.  If we’re not comfortable blessing the people around us in our daily lives, how authentic is our outreach?  Do we put on an act during times of intentional ministry or is it really who we are?  Let’s not forget to pursue the greater, all-encompassing lifestyle of the Kingdom.

God is good!!  =)


This is a great pre-evangelism strategy…and a lot of fun! This kind of approach can work in a post-Christian (like America) or pantheistic (like Japan) culture.


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