Here are our most recent prayer letters. Enjoy!
The last few months of 2023 were jam-packed to say the least! And it seems that 2024 is starting off with a bang here in Japan as well with another big earthquake. We’re so thankful for how God is SO faithful in giving us the grace we need for each day! A Christmas Miracle Fall seemed to have been non-stop. There have been a lot of moving parts in both the ministry and in our personal lives that have kept us on our toes over these past few months. Our church family has continued to work hard in sharing the story of Jesus to those around them. Most recently, our Christmas services had 35 visitors attend! And this is with literally half of our church being sick with the flu! One of our church family had the great idea of going to church while not feeling too well and ended up sharing the flu with everyone in attendance the Sunday before our big Christmas events. (Yes, I admit. It was me. I was that church member. Sigh.) Even with all of those who were sick, we somehow managed to make it work, and were encouraged to see all the visitors who had ...Read more
The way God works is so captivating. Over and over He reveals to us that He is fully in control of all things, small and large. For you and me, it’s the most wonderful privilege to see Him lovingly, wisely, and powerfully guide each step in our journey of faith! A God-Ordained Baptism Delay (Continued!) In our last letter, I told you about how God used a timely case of covid to delay the baptism service for our church. To briefly recap, because of that delay, one of the ladies in our church had the time she needed to overcome certain obstacles that were holding her back from being baptized. It was just the time she needed to join the other three who were getting baptized. The long-awaited Baptism Sunday arrived on August 27. What an amazing day it was! That morning our church family gathered together at Akigawa River, the river our church (Akigawa Baptist Church) is named after. We spent the morning celebrating the baptism of these four ladies, hearing their testimonies of salvation, and remembering the purpose of baptism from God’s word. Unsaved friends and family of those being baptized joined us as well. Because this was the last summer ...Read more
Wow, these past few months have been some of the more difficult months our family has been through in a long while. But at the same time, they’ve also been a time of inexplicable and unfading joy in the midst of those difficulties. God is so very good! An Update on Bethany’s Health Hi, friends! It’s Bethany here! I just wanted to jump in and give you a quick health update. As a quick review, in October of last year, I went in with pain and had a mammogram, which to the best of our knowledge came back clear. However, the pain only grew worse, so I went in again in March of this year and ended up being diagnosed with Stage 2 Invasive Lobular Carcinoma, a less-common type of breast cancer that tends to be sneaky and not show up well on scans. On June 6, I had surgery to remove the cancer, and praise the Lord, surgery went well, and I was able to go home a few days later. The treatment plan I was expecting from that point included radiation followed by hormone therapy. However, when we got the pathology report back about a month later, due to several important ...Read more
Some letters are easy to write. Some, not so much. This one definitely falls into the category of not easy to write. But even as I write it, I am confident in God’s care for us in the path we are getting ready to take. That being said, having you go to our Father on our behalf and asking Him for His help for us means a lot! The “C” Word About a week or two after I wrote our last letter, Bethany was at our local doctor to see about some pain she was having. The doctor did some tests, and when the results came back, he said, “I think you have cancer, but we need to take more tests to be sure.” It was the last thing either of us were expecting to hear. The results of those tests would take two weeks. People say that the waiting can be one of the most difficult things to deal with. They weren’t kidding. Those seemed like the longest two weeks of our lives. When the results came back, the doctor confirmed his suspicions. Bethany does have breast cancer. He recommended that we go to a bigger hospital to get treatment, so ...Read more
This morning on my way to a meeting, I noticed the cherry blossoms were really starting to bloom all around our city. It was something that I have been looking forward to for a long time. In Japan, this is a big thing. There are even cherry blossom forecasts on the news that announce weeks ahead of time when they estimate the cherry blossoms will start blooming throughout the country. You could say it’s the national announcement of spring and warm weather, where new life begins to flourish all around us. And by God’s grace, it seems to be a season of potential new life flourishing in our church family too! So Refreshing! Our church family has been excited to see a surge of new people who have been coming with a deep desire to know more about Jesus. Let me tell you about a few of them. Noriko hasn’t been saved for very long, and she’s still eagerly learning about what it means to be a Christian. A few weeks ago, in our Thursday Bible study at church, she mentioned that she wasn’t a Christian yet. So the next Monday, when Bethany and a few ladies were gathering for their morning ...Read more