It has now been a month since we’ve returned to the United States. Although it’s only been three years since our last furlough, there have been quite a few instances where we’ve experienced “reverse culture shock.” The incredibly low cost of fruit and vegetables, and the ease with which we can throw things away, as well as the continual outpouring of love from our family, church family, and supporting church families has been incredibly refreshing! Of course, as many missionaries experience, there has also been the struggle to re-learn how to live and function in the ever-changing American culture. How often we find ourselves relying on our Heavenly Father to give us much needed grace and wisdom!
New Supporters Needed!
One of the purposes for this furlough is to raise support for several key areas of growth in our ministry in Japan. God has been very gracious in allowing our ministry to grow, and with that growth are areas in which we need your help, both financially and in prayer.
The first of these areas is the growth of our church. Due to the high cost of property in Japan, any expansion beyond our current situation will require a significant investment. Because we are reaching the capacity of our small auditorium, we will be holding extra services to accommodate the current growth. At some point in the future though, if God allows our growth to continue, we will need to relocate. In our area of Tokyo, the average price for 3,000 ft2 of land (without a building) is $250,000. Our current building sits on 1,300 ft2 of land which gives us the space to hold forty people and three cars.
Christian School Growth
The second area of growth is our Christian school. We will be starting our second year and have already had several inquiries of families who have a desire to enroll their children. This is in addition to the 17 children that are currently enrolled for the upcoming school year. A dear Christian brother who operates an English language school in our area has graciously rearranged the schedule of their school to hold their classes in the evenings which has opened up the building for us to use for our school during the day rent-free. The maximum capacity for the school is around 20 students, at which point, again, we will need to find a new place to meet.
Our goal is to find a location that is suitable for both our church and school to operate in the same location. This will require a significant increase in funds, both in the short term and in future monthly support. I believe that in the long term the benefits are significant and will allow us to have a multi-generational impact that will provide a much-needed foundation of Biblical instruction for our Japanese brothers and sisters. Please pray that God will allow us to raise the needed support while we are here. If you have been following our ministry but have not yet partnered with us, please consider this time as an opportunity to begin doing so. For those of you who have been continuing to pray for and support us throughout the years, THANK YOU!! We are so encouraged by what God is doing.
Please keep several people in your prayers who are adding on to their already heavy workload in our absence.
- My parents, Dave and Glenda Carter, as they take the full load of our responsibilities of the church.
- Missionaries Jim and Amy Smith, who are taking on the full load of the school responsibilities.
- Jenna Powell, who will be flying to Japan to teach in the school in Bethany’s place while we are in the States.