Dear Brothers & Sisters ,
Praise the Lord for being the vine of our lives because apart from Him we can not bear fruit but this also means that in Him there will be fruit in our lives and in His time.
Many missionaries through years of service learn to see the difference between man made fruit and the fruit that comes from regeneration, love for God, and passion for the Gospel of Christ. This year is has started with many blessings that come from the Word of God through bible studies, sermons and discipleship. Please help us in praising the Lord for the new believers and for the people that are preparing for their baptisms and leadership training.
A couple came to repentance and faith in Christ after a year of counseling and bible studies. The husband was baptized, but his wife was in a different phase. This lady started a discipleship with my wife some months ago and now is preparing for baptism. Praise the Lord for the fruit that comes from His word. Not everybody grows at the same phase, sometimes it takes years but there is power in the Word of God and the fruit that comes from Him lasts.
Praise the Lord for our English-speaking members of the church. They have being sharing the Gospel, giving flyers, and inviting people to the church. This year an American military family started attending our church and bible studies. They have a desire to hear from God and know him more. Please pray so this family will come to know Christ deeply and praise the Lord for the fruit of our English-speaking brothers sharing of the Gospel and outreaches.
Praise the Lord for our Japanese members and their hard work doing outreaches, discipling, and encouraging each other. Our Lord is blessing us with new Japanese people attending regularly and of them one just came to profess faith in Christ. Please pray for them as they prepare to share with their family about their desire to get baptized and plans to throw away all family idols and amulets from their life. Praise the Lord for the miracle of salvation.
Praise the Lord for seeing our new members growing in service and persevering in studying God's word resisting the penalties and tensions of the Japanese work system. In Japan, the work mentality is that you as an individual are not as important as the company interests and it deserves all your sacrifices and loyalty. It is not strange to see people consulting their bosses if the company is okay with a wedding date they are planning and having to postpone it or rescheduled as the company decides. Also, when somebody is absent from work due to sickness, the day you returned, everybody is expecting you to say “I am sorry” to each one of the workers for the inconvenience the sickness caused to the group and the whole. Please pray for all the people who are living in work systems that are trying to absorb all their time so there is not time for our relationship with God and His church.
This month had an outreach to the homeless on a snowy day. It was heartbreaking to see two of the elderly sleeping on the pavement with only a thin cover. We gave them hot drinks, food, clothing and bible verses. Please ask God about new ways to assist the homeless in our monthly visits. Also please pray for all missionaries and us to know that the burden we have of seeing them in the cold doesn't have to be greater than the burden of seeing them in the dark without our precious Christ. Please pray for a healthy balance between understanding their spiritual crisis and urgency of their physical needs. Also please pray that God leads us in sharing his word in the midst of the challenges of ministering to the homeless that are elderly; most of them with mental problems and emotional crisis.
Thank you always for all your prayers and support,