Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Praise the Lord for the gift of physical life, as well His gift of undeserved eternal life. In these times where the world accepts and promotes the killing of babies through abortion, we still have a gracious God full of mercy and forgiveness that opens the eyes and changes the heart of many. During the past six months our Lord blessed an unmarried couple to change their hearts and minds concerning their desire for an abortion. They came to the church because of financial worries, but the precious word of God renewed their understanding and made them value the sacredness of life. They grew in the understanding that every life belongs to God and is a gracious gift. The word of God didn’t stop just the murder that they were going to commit, but the Gospel made them change their focus off their financial needs to their spiritual condition. Through the process of weekly counseling and prayer, as we debated the Divinity of Christ and the power of God to forgive, this couple understood their need of forgiveness and surrendered their lives to Christ. Praise the Lord for His ways and because His grace is most abundant; it overcomes and is more powerful than the slavery of sin. Please pray for the spiritual growth of this international couple while they work towards ordering their lives and learning from Him in our Bible studies and counseling times.
We praise God once again for the privilege that we had of working to collect donations and traveling to another location in Japan to take the Gospel to Lucas, a Peruvian boy that passed away some weeks ago. It is so humbling and it was an undeserved blessing to be able to share the Gospel with a boy whose life was ending in a hospital. But at the same time we could see God’s grace, power, and mercy in connecting him with us so he could listen the Gospel in Spanish in a country where Christian Spanish speakers are very few. When our Lord wants somebody to listen to his Gospel, it doesn’t matter if there is only one person that speaks your language in the country where you are, God will find a way. There is no distance, age, or culture that can stop Him when he wants to reveal the Gospel. Praise the Lord for His mercy and grace! We would appreciate prayers also while we continue assisting and providing donations to Lucas’ single mother, please pray that while she mourns the absence of her son, she can understand that our Lord Jesus is her only hope and He is eager to help her and to protect and sustain as well.
Praise the Lord for blessing us with a church retreat! We were planning for a long time a retreat and it was a great blessing to find new ways to serve, work together, and remember that we should not stop focusing on our Lord. The theme of our retreat and daily studies was: “Our Identity as the Body of Christ.” We are an international church and we have more than six languages and cultures but as Christians we were reminded that passport, age, culture, education, titles, color of skin or even gender are not our primary identification. We are servants of Christ first, we are his people, and new creation because we belong to Him and He prepared to make us a new creation before the foundation of the world. When we describe ourselves we should first point to Him and know that we are the branches of the tree, we are the members of his body. The hand will never say I am a just a hand but will say I am the Hand of Christ; He gives us a new spiritual status and meaning.
Let’s encourage each other to grow as the body of Christ and work daily to become in all aspects conformed to the image of the Head, our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 4:15-16 says: “but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.”
Praise the Lord for the fruit of His Gospel, we were sharing about Christ with parents at our children's school with the hope that God will open their hearts and they will be able to attend a church close to their home-as the school is quite some distance from our home. But our Lord surprised us last month when one Japanese lady and her daughter started attending every Sunday our church and now our bible studies. Praise the Lord for bringing people to His word and we pray that they will find salvation soon through the precious and miraculous Gospel. This Japanese lady and her daughter are now inviting their family to our church; just this last Sunday it was her sister and brother in law's first time attending a church. Let’s pray for more fruit.
Please help us praying while we adjust to the blessings, challenges and joys of preparing for our third son to enter Kindergarden and that we could have more opportunities to share the gospel with more school parents. Thank you always for your commitment to pray and support the preaching of the Gospel here in Japan.
All Glory to God, Luis Tokyo-Japan.