by David Hino, (December 17, 2010)
Last week, was a major transition for me, my dad went into a retirement home after living in his home for over fifty years and I left my denomination, Pacific Coast Japanese Conference of the Free Methodist church (PCJC), after serving with them for twenty-five years. Major transition!
Two weeks ago, my father fell at his home and then he went from the hospital to rehab and finally to the retirement home. Long days have been spent preparing for his move. A week ago, a deep feeling of sadness took place as I signed the papers to admit him into his new home. The transition for my Dad has been necessary but sad.
Also during this time, I met with the Pacific Coast Japanese Conference (PCJC) and asked to withdraw from the conference. A public announcement was made to the PCJC churches on Sunday, Dec. 12, 2010 about my withdrawal.
The many of the hundreds of subscribers to my newsletter do not have a relationship with the Free Methodist church but there is a sizeable number of readers who are Free Methodist and I am sure are very curious about why I made this decision.
Many of the reasons for the decision are private. The decision was not made in isolation or in reaction. Some things at The Light were causing questions for some in the PCJC. For over a year, I have been processing our relationship to the PCJC with The Light leadership. Also, I have sought counsel with at least a dozen Free Methodist pastors and non-Free Methodist pastors.
One factor to withdraw from the PCJC was the number of prophetic words given to me from mostly strangers and all had no knowledge of what was going on with me and the PCJC. These words were timely, powerful and very specific to the situation that I was facing. Some of these words were given over a year ago and some were given just last month in November.
Over the years, I have heard a number of things said about The Light that simply do not define our church. Some stories are either distorted or are so insignificant to the core life the church. I grieve about the misperceptions about The Light and that I may never have the opportunity to clear up those misunderstandings.
For that past four years, I have been affirmed by many in the Free Methodist community from the PCJC, California, Washington, Oregon, England, Latin America and Asia who have shared a similar understanding of the role of Holy Spirit. Also, many leaders from many other denominations have spoken and written to encourage me. I have a deeper understanding of the supernatural encounters of John Wesley who founded the Methodist church. (The Supernatural Occurrences of John Wesley by Daniel R. Jennings)
Years ago, I left Maui, Hawaii to join the Free Methodist church and it has been my home for twenty-five years. When we started The Light four years ago, we believed that the Holy Spirit would break new ground and through experimentation we would learn much. I believe that the church should have both a manufacturing division (produces a product) and a research and development division (experimentation). Research and development divisions will make mistakes. Mistakes help us learn and ultimately produce what God wants. I believe that God has been able to use a group of people at The Light who have been willing to break free from past methods, make mistakes, and risk their reputations.
My first thirty years as a Christian, I believe I saw five people who were healed after I had prayed. But in the past four years, at The Light we have seen hundreds healed of physical, emotional and spiritual bondage. We have seen a number of dramatic healings: cancers, ADD, a near death brought back to life and a woman was healed of total deafness in both ears a few weeks ago. We are not focused on signs and wonder but our focus is on Jesus and learning to follow the Holy Spirit. I am so privileged that we have been able to see so many signs and wonders these past few years and believe this is only a foretaste of what is to come.
Like my father, I leave my home. The PCJC has been my spiritual home for twenty-five years and I move to a lot of unknowns. We have had many great memories, friendships and God moments in the past twenty-five years. Like my Dad, it is a necessary but sad move. I grieve that this had to happen and in the manner that it happened.
The human side of me wants to say more about the process and the decision, but I want to be right before God rather than look right in the eyes of others. My lack of specifics of why we are leaving may cause more questions.
After writing the first draft of this article, another God set of events were set into motion. In 1985, twenty-five years ago, I moved back to the mainland to join the Free Methodist denomination and attended a conference where I heard John Wimber, pastor of the Anaheim Vineyard Fellowship, for the first time. Last night, I attended my first kingship group from the Anaheim Vineyard Fellowship. At the beginning of the meeting, I jokingly said that I wanted to attend your group for twenty-five years. During the small group prayer time, some of the leaders started to pray over me and speak prophetic words about my ministry. Later in the meeting, I started to connect the dots. In Sept. 1985, I joined the Free Methodist denomination and God used the Anaheim Vineyard ministry to touch me. Twenty five years later, in Dec. 2010, I withdraw from the Free Methodist denomination and God uses leaders connected to the Anaheim Vineyard ministry to touch me. Also, in the Fall of 2006, The Light consisted of only my wife and me and a group of Vineyard pastors from Tustin prayed over me and gave specific prophetic words about the church that have come true.
At this point, I am a guest speaker in my own church. The church will have their own process to consider with the denomination. We continue to meet as a church and continue to do His kingdom work. At the Sunday service, Dec. 5, I shared with The Light my decision to withdraw from the PCJC. As we ended the service, Jon Honda and I prayed for the PCJC and that God would bless them and their leadership.
This has been one of the most difficult articles to write. I have done numerous revisions. I am not sure if this is the final version but it is the published version. I wonder if I could have said things differently or maybe deleted or modified something I should not have said. My heart's desire was to be a blessing to the PCJC and this still has not changed.