Carter Connection April 2019

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 at the same time. This is a huge answer to prayer! Bethany will return to the States at the end of May to finalize Judy’s transition to Japan, and will return with Judy at the end of June. Please pray for the transition process to go smoothly.

Last month, my parents had moved to Kobe, about a 7 hour drive from where we are to help Japanese pastors there. Last week we were saddened to hear of a pastor friend of ours on the other side of Tokyo who passed away due to cancer. To help with the loss of their pastor, my parents have decided to care for the church in their time of grief for the next few months. Please pray for Bousou Grace Baptist Church in their loss, as well as my parents in their pastoral care during this difficult time.

God’s path for Chris and Ping

Chris, an airman from nearby Yokota Air Base, visited our church on a very unique Sunday. It happened to be the Sunday that the pastorate of Akigawa Baptist Church was handed down from my dad to me, back in April of 2015. God’s plan for allowing our paths to join together these last four years could not have been more perfectly timed. He used our friendship to help both of us grow spiritually in so many ways. While in Japan, he married Ping, and it has been amazing to see God’s grace flow so abundantly in their marriage, as well as in their love for their church family. While here, they jumped in with both feet, Chris essentially becoming my right-hand man, and Ping always encouraging and serving the ladies in our church. In February, Chris received orders to return back to the States, and honestly, it was hard to see them go. I’m thankful for the time God allowed our paths to join, and look forward to seeing how God will use them in the path He’s prepared for them.

God’s path for our church family

It’s always my desire to give you a more personal glimpse into our ministry by sharing the stories of those like Chris and Ping that God brings into our lives. That said, there is always a lot going on! Several teens in our church just returned from a nation-wide Baptist youth camp with me, where I was given the opportunity to speak. Our church family is preparing for two of the bigger outreach events of the year: Easter in the end of April, and the church cookout a week and a half later. Both of these events have had attendances from seventy to over a hundred in recent years. Please pray for more Japanese to meet Jesus through these events! Thank you so much for praying for us and our brothers and sisters here in Japan!

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