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 who attended both our Easter event and the cookout, expressed an interest in understanding the gospel. After the service, I spent some time talking with him, and it was clearly evident that he was ready to be saved. That afternoon, he put his faith in Jesus to save him. Praise God! We have been inviting these teens for quite a few years, and this was the first year they attended. God is so good. Please pray for Shuya’s growth since he is the only Christian in his family. And for the other teens who still need to be saved.
In the end of June we finished up the second year of our Christian school, with two young men graduating. One of them is a member of our church named Rui Sakurai. He has been an incredibly faithful young man, riding his bicycle to church each week from several towns over. This is about a 40 minute bicycle ride each way. We are so thankful to God to see how much he has grown spiritually over the past several years. He has been my “tech guy,” uploading sermon podcasts each week, and helping out with different projects that need to get done. Please keep him in your prayers as he is seeking God’s wisdom in preparing for his future studies.
Upcoming Summer Camp
We have several events for outreach and to encourage spiritual growth this summer including a 3 day family camp that will be held with several other Baptist churches in our part of Japan. Please continue to pray that through these events, God will continue to draw people to Himself. Pray that our church family will grow in their love for our Father and for others. Thank you for your dedication in praying and giving for the encouragement of your brothers and sisters in Christ here in Japan, as well as for those who we pray one day will be, in God’s grand and magnificent timing. May He receive all the glory!