Here are our most recent prayer letters. Enjoy!
The first half of this year has been such a flurry of events, administrative deadlines and ministry needs, it seems that we have had to rely on our Father to sustain us and uphold us through these last several months more than I can recall in recent years. And yet it is during these times that we again discover that His strength is more clearly seen in and through our weakness; His power is made more real in our frailty. In our struggle to keep our “heads above water,” we are reminded that it isn’t our frantic “paddling” that keeps us afloat. Rather, it’s the calm, sure, ever-present hand of our Father who holds us up. February Marriage Conference The population of Japan has shrunk for the seventh consecutive year. Japan has now become the most aged society in the world, and it is primarily because of marriages, and the consequential low birthrate. One of the issues young Japanese Christians face is a very real struggle, first to find godly spouses, and then to know how to have Christ-honoring marriages. In February, several Baptist churches in the Tokyo area held a weekend conference to address these issues and to give Christian singles ...Read more
Reflecting on the previous year, I am again humbled by how gracious God has been in allowing and enabling us to share His glory with many here in Japan. The coming year brings great anticipation in seeing the magnificent way in which the goodness of God will lead the lost to repentance (Romans 2:4). Christmas Service On Christmas Eve, we held our annual Christmas Candlelight Service. We had 47 come to the service, which we were delighted with, considering many people were out of town due to the holiday weekend. One of the first-time visitors was Mr. Togura, a co-worker of Elizabeth Fujita (one of our Sunday school teachers). It was his first time to any kind of church service. It was clear that the Holy Spirit was working in his heart as he raised his hand for salvation, and one of the men in our church led him to the Lord after the service! One dear lady had started coming to our church after having left a cult recently. After attending for just a few weeks, she was thrilled to be able to bring her friend who was interested in Christianity. After the service, Bethany sat with them and started sharing the ...Read more
This thanksgiving, as I watched our church family gathered together to thank God for Who He is, and what He has done, the gratitude I felt for how God has directed my family’s path through the years was overwhelming. You are an integral part of that path, and we are deeply thankful for your faithfulness to us. Mr. Hanagaki When we first arrived in Japan, we were introduced to Mr. Hanagaki, the owner of a noodle restaurant here in town. (The picture to the left is one I took 14 years ago of Mr. Hanagaki and our oldest son Tyler, two weeks after we arrived in Japan. Tyler, who is in college now, was four years old at the time). Because his noodle shop was busy on Sundays, he rarely had a chance to go to church, but he would often study the Bible with me or dad on Tuesdays, his day off. About three years ago, the Holy Spirit was clearly working in his heart, and not long after, he put his faith in Christ. For the next several years, as much as he could, he would spend time studying the Bible.Last year, he discovered that he had advanced stages of ...Read more
God has been very gracious to us this summer, both in ministry, and personally. It’s always amazing to see the many ways He provides for us, how He cares for us, how He leads us, how He comforts us, and how He matures us. Our Father is awesome! Record Rainfall August was an incredibly wet month for those of us who live in Tokyo. Beginning on August 1, we had rain every day for 21 consecutive days. It was the second-longest wet streak on record for August. The record occurred in 1977, with 22 consecutive rainy days, just one more day than we had this year. Summer Camp It was in the middle of this rainy streak that we held our annual summer camp. This is the camp that we asked prayer for in our last letter. It was a 3 day camp that was held with several other Baptist churches in our area. Altogether, there were 63 attenders, including 10 from our church. Thankfully most of the camp was held indoors, and we had only two activities, a bonfire and a canoe outing, that required us to be outside. By God’s grace, the rain literally stopped a few hours before each activity, and ...Read more
The change of seasons seem to come and go at a dizzying pace. Yet the steadfast grace of our never-changing Father continues to flow upon us, and through us, for which we are deeply grateful. Summer Outreach Cookout In the beginning of May we held our annual summer cookout just a few weeks after our Easter event. We asked you to pray for those who would be under the sound of the Gospel during this event as it seems to be something that many of the unsaved friends and relatives of our church family are not only willing to attend, but something that they look forward to. For the last two years, I’ve had Japanese pastors preach and give their salvation testimony specifically for the purpose of showing those who attend that Christianity is not simply a “western religion.” God has greatly used these pastors and I am so thankful for the privilege of working alongside them in reaching the Japanese. This year marked our highest attendance yet, with 104 people attending the event. Nearly 50 of those were visitors, with 23 being first-time guests. During the service, Shuya (wearing the black shirt and shorts), one of the teenagers in our neighborhood ...Read more