Here are our most recent prayer letters. Enjoy!
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
As I see God’s great plan unfold in my life, I’m continually reminded that I’m part of something bigger; much bigger than myself, my ministry, my church, or the area in which I’m serving my Savior. I’m part of God’s plan to glorify Himself through the lives of everyone who is His child. This means that whatever He gives, and whatever He takes away is not only for my good, but also for His glory. I can rest in that. I can be confident in Him. What peace and joy that has given me over the past month! The Lord Giveth In our last letter I was able to share how Ikuya Suzuki came to trust Christ (If you happened to miss it, you can find it here). Since his salvation, it’s been so encouraging to see his steady growth as a child of God. A few weeks later we were having our Sunday lunch with the church family, and Ikuya and I were having a conversation about growing as a Christian. The subject of baptism came up, and I explained to Ikuya why we are baptized as followers of Jesus, and what the meaning of baptism is. I asked him if he ...Read more
Summer is in full swing, church camps are just around the corner, many activities and outreaches are being held to introduce people to Jesus. While those things are going on, let me take some time to share how our brothers and sisters in Christ are reaching their friends and loved ones to their Savior. Bringing Friends to Christ In our last letter, I got to share with you the story of Kiyoko Shimizu, who was baptized during our cookout event. She’s been consistently sharing Jesus with those around her. A little over a month ago, she met a co-worker, Mrs. Suzuki who was having difficulty with communication in the work place. (Mrs. Suzuki is Chinese, married to a Japanese man.) Kiyoko befriended her and invited her to come to church with her sometime. A week later, Mrs. Suzuki took her up on the offer and came to church. There she met Ping, one of our faithful members who is also Chinese, and they hit it off as well. Over the last several weeks, Mrs. Suzuki has been faithfully coming, even on days when Kiyoko can’t because of work. She has been intently listening to the Bible being taught, and developing closer ...Read more