BUILDING BRIDGES WITH MANGA
In one week, Japan buys more manga, or comics, than the United States does in one year. So what better way to reach Japan, which is 99 percent unreached, than through Christian manga?
Drawbridge Creations is an online manga outreach with the goals to reach the unchurched, provide resources for the Church and to empower Christian artists. Created by Robin White, who has been a Global Partners missionary in Japan since 2008, this ministry project has been in progress for about three years and launched with the first series in August 2021.
To jumpstart the ministry, Drawbridge created the project “Waypoints.” This is a series of short stories taken from the Gospels, each told from the perspective of someone whose life was changed by an encounter with Jesus. These stories are also illustrated by different artists in their own styles.
For Robin, the process of revisiting the Gospels to consider the historical context and perspectives of the stories has brought the scriptures to life in fresh ways.
“One thing that stands out to me from adapting these Gospel stories is just how many
of these stories involve ‘outsiders’ — people that would have been discriminated against because of their race, occupations, backgrounds, past sins, sickness, age or gender,” he said. “Jesus has a ‘place at the table’ for everyone!”
Throughout this whole process, Robin said this ministry is a vision that he has had to trust God with time and time again. Even in the face of setbacks and challenges, God provided what Robin and his team needed when the timing was right.
Robin said they still have their hands full with Waypoints, but he expects their future series to be less overtly Christian, while still providing a “bridge” to conversations on spiritual topics. This directly ties into their goal of creating a variety of manga series targeting readers who are at different stages in their spiritual journeys.
Moving forward, Robin said the prayers for this ministry are that God will expand their team, and that the word will get out in the missionary and church community in Japan.
All of the Waypoints manga stories can be read online in both Japanese (www.waypoints.jp) and English (www.waypoints.jp/english).