Here are our most recent prayer letters. Enjoy!
As we approach the end of summer, we are so thankful for how God has given us the grace we need to serve Him over the last several months. Fall brings many opportunities to serve, and more opportunities to trust in His grace! Summer Family Camp August is the only month children have summer vacation. Because of that, it’s the busiest month for travel in Japan. The second week of August is the peak of that travel rush, but for a different reason. It’s called “Bon week.” It’s the week everyone travels back to their home town to celebrate and worship their ancestors, who are believed to return from the dead during this week. This is probably one of the most difficult weeks for your Japanese brothers and sisters here in Japan, as the families’ expectation for them to worship their ancestors can be intense. Several Baptist churches in the greater Tokyo area use this national holiday to encourage their church families by providing an opportunity to spend time with Christians from other church families. This year, Pastor Uchijima (who spoke at our church cookout) and I were given the opportunity to speak. It was so encouraging to see men, ladies, and ...Read more
God’s Kingdom is amazing! It’s so fun to see how He guides and conforms each of our brothers and sisters in our church family to display His glory through us. His power and glory displayed through our feeble faith is magnificent. Thank you Father! Judy’s Recovery Over the last several months, many of you have been praying for the recovery of Bethany’s mom Judy, who has undergone some complicated health issues that almost took her life. In our last letter, we were encouraged to report how her health had started on the upswing, and how she was recovering enough for Bethany and the kids to return to Japan. We continue to be amazed and thankful for her recovery. It hasn’t stopped! In fact, she has recovered to the point where she is able to resume normal life at home! She has a team of doctors who are able to care for her, and for now, is very comfortable with staying in the States without the need to come to live with us in Japan. We fully believe that her recovery has been a direct answer to prayer. We are deeply thankful for your interceding to our Father on her behalf! Back to Back Events This ...Read more
One of the joys of the Christian life is the assurance that the path God has prepared for us is designed through His sovereign will to conform us into the image of Jesus. This assurance allows us to trust Him through each twist and turn that He has prepared, knowing that He has all things under His control. Father, thank you for preparing our paths, and then walking with us on it! God’s path for our family In January, I shared a little about the health issues that Bethany’s mom Judy was going through, as well as the complexity of our situation in caring for her while serving in Japan. Many of you responded with words of encouragement and prayer, and several of you gave to help cover our financial needs during this time. How blessed we are! Thank you!! Through all of this, we continue to be amazed at how God directs our path. Judy’s health has stabilized well enough for Bethany and the kids to return to Japan while she stays temporarily in an assisted living center. During this time, we were able to get Judy’s visa approved for her to live with us here in Japan. This allows us to continue to serve in Japan and care for her ...Read more
Have you ever gone through seasons where the difficulties of life relentlessly reveal how weak you are? Those are the times that remind me to cling to the promise of Jesus when He says, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Praise Jesus for sufficient grace! Grace that is so overwhelmingly powerful that my weakness becomes the means through which the glory of God is on full display! This has been my prayer: Jesus, glorify YOUR strength in my weakness! When we don’t know what to do In our last letter, I asked that you pray for Bethany’s mom Judy, who has been enduring severe medical difficulties. She has continued to be in and out of the hospital over the last two months. Just yesterday, we received some great news that her health is improving, but there are other aspects of her health that still require constant care from Bethany. Bethany is continuing to care for her mom, but she may also need some medical treatment as well. Please pray for the health of both Bethany and Judy. Because of responsibilities in Japan, it was necessary for me to leave Bethany and our children in the States, and head back to ...Read more
TIME. Its firm hold on me is unrelenting. It incessantly drags me along, regardless of my awareness of it, regardless of my willingness to be carried along by it. One day, I will be free from its chains. But while I longingly cast my eyes toward that freedom, I must consistently remind myself of the high value each moment provides, and the high cost of each moment wasted. I’ve been made aware of this reality often in my ministry, especially over the past few months. Lord, help me to redeem my time well. When Loved Ones Draw Near Because of the high cost associated with coming to Japan, it’s not often that we get visitors. So when they do come, it’s an honor for us. This is especially true when they are from our home church! Our pastor, his daughter, and two friends came to be with us for about a week, simply to spend time with us and encourage us in our ministry. Wow! If you have missionaries out of your church, I BEG you! Make the investment to send your pastor to see them every few years to encourage them. It is SO worth it! It will allow your pastor ...Read more