Now that the holidays are over, we’re all settling back into the rhythm of another new year. But with this rhythm is a renewed anticipation. What is God going to choose to do with me this year to display His glory? I can’t wait to find out!
Miho has been a faithful part of our church family for over twelve years. She is constantly involved in helping any way she can, and there is rarely an outreach event that she isn’t part of. But while she has been growing as a Christian, she has also been bearing the burden of her unsaved family, particularly her husband. When she became a Christian, her husband had forbidden her to get baptized, threatening divorce if she ever did. But for some reason he was ok with her coming to church every week. And so while submitting to her husband’s demands, she has continued to faithfully live out the Gospel in her family life. For our church’s Candlelight Christmas, I asked Miho to operate the PowerPoint for the service. The service was well-attended with many visitors, including 7 first-time guests. But there was one guest that we didn’t know about until later that night. Miho’s husband had slipped in after the service started and stayed until the closing prayer and slipped back out! This was the first time he had ever been to ANY service! Needless to say, we were overjoyed to hear the news. What’s more, during the New Year Holiday, he had gone over our church website, and gave Miho some really helpful advice on how to make it easier to understand for non-Christians who are interested in coming to church (which we gladly implemented). This may be the first step in his coming to salvation. Please pray for him!
There were other unexpected guests who came for the first time to the Christmas Candlelight service. In our last letter, I mentioned Nozomi (translated Hope), a high school aged young lady who had started coming to church after being healed. She brought her mom and three younger sisters to the service! It really was exciting to share the beautiful, life-changing story of the Gospel to them and the other guests who joined us this year.
Yuuto and his older brother Takumi are nephews of Reiko Itou, one of our church members. Reiko invited them to our church cookout three years ago, and since then they’ve been coming to many church events with their mom. After the last Thanksgiving event, Yuuto started coming to church for the weekly services as well. The Sunday after the Candlelight Christmas event, Reiko told me that she thought Yuuto was ready to become a Christian. So after Sunday lunch, the three of us went upstairs to chat about the gospel. Reiko was right. Yuuto was SO ready! It wasn’t long before we gained a new brother in Christ! Praise God! Please pray for Yuuto as he begins his walk with Jesus, and also pray for his older brother Takumi, and his mother Hiroe (pronounced Heeroeh) to join him on that journey soon.
While some come to Christ after three years of faithful Gospel witness from Christian family members, others will take more than twelve years of faithful Gospel witness. Yet our brothers and sisters in Christ are faithfully sharing, praying, and trusting God to reach their loved ones. I can say with full confidence that they are incredibly grateful that you are willing to join them in boldly approaching the throne of grace on behalf of their lost loved ones!
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