Home Church Visit
As missionaries, one of the obstacles that is difficult to overcome is the disconnect that naturally happens between home church (or supporting church) and missionary. For many missionaries, it is very difficult to explain living conditions, the culture, spiritual obstacles, and the people to whom you are ministering, simply because there is often no frame of reference that can be used to adequately explain those things without actually being there. Last month, we had the privilege of having our pastor and several members from our home church come to visit us for a week and a half. They came specifically for the purpose of ministering to us and understanding how we live and minister so that they could better pray for us and our people. Words cannot describe what an encouragement this was, and still is, to us. Not only because of the encouragement that we personally received, but also because our church family in America was able to build ties with our church family in Japan. We are very thankful for the sacrifice that they made, both financially and in their time away from home, to come to be such a blessing to us.
Annual Church Cookout
While our American church family was here they were a huge help in preparing for our annual church cookout. The cookout is a prime opportunity for our Japanese church family to invite their lost friends and loved ones to spend time with Christians and to hear the Gospel. We were able to condense what is usually a week-long preparation into just two days. Needless to say, I was happy! We were even able to build a makeshift canopy tent out of blue tarp and bamboo poles to provide shade from the heat that day. We ended up with a fantastic turnout with 71 people in attendance! Many of the visitors were family members of our Christians, including several of the husbands for whom we have been praying. I was able to preach a simple Gospel message to them and throughout the day we were able to have conversations with several of the visitors concerning salvation. Please continue to pray for the families of our church folks here!
“I’m From the Spirit World!”
One Sunday morning, several months ago, I was walking to the church after parking my car and I came across a lady and her six year old grandson who was playing on the sidewalk. I said hello to them and the young boy looked up, and seeing I was a foreigner, he suddenly stood up from playing and asked very intently, “Who are you?” I replied, “I’m from the church,” which is pronounced “kyōkai” in Japanese. His eyes opened wide in slight disbelief. He had misheard me. He said, “WHAT!? You’re from the yōkai!?” Which is the Japanese word for the spirit world! I burst out laughing and explained to him that I was from the nearby church, and they were welcome to come visit. Well, a few minutes later, the grandmother obliged the curiosity of her grandchild and came to church. The next week his mom came to church and they have been coming faithfully since. Praise God!
We are thankful for your faithfulness to us and ask that you continue to pray for the families of our church members. There have been both small victories as well as a few setbacks. Please continue to keep them in your prayers.
The Carters to Japan
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