As the school year ends and another busy summer begins, I am again amazed at the speed at which time flows. We have begun our 13th year here in Japan. Tyler will be finishing high school next year, Brianah will be starting high school, and Asher will continue going to Japanese kindergarten. We are thankful for each year God gives us here, and pray we honor Him as He uses us to reach Japanese, to encourage them, and to strengthen their faith in Him.
One of the big events we hold each year as an outreach to our unsaved friends and family is our annual church cookout. Last year, we were greatly blessed to have several from our home church in Louisville, including our pastor, Matt Anders, come to visit and to help with the cookout. While they were here, they noticed our rather whimsical way of shading our guests by way of bamboo poles and blue tarp. After returning home, they raised money to buy and ship two beautiful outdoor shade tents, which we put to good use! This cookout had one of our higher attendances with 75 people, and all of them comfortably fit under the tents to eat, fellowship, and hear the Gospel in the shade. New contacts were made and many friends and family members came, including several husbands. The day was truly blessed.
This summer, we are teaming up with another Baptist missionary family, Jim and Amy Smith, to begin preparations to start a new Christian school for children of several Christian families in the area. We are excited about the opportunity to impact the next generation with Biblical, Christ-centered teaching that will continue to nurture their walk with God, and strengthen their faith in Him in a country that has so little exposure to the Gospel. Please pray for us, that God will give us wisdom and foresight, and that this new ministry will be used to further the Gospel through the lives of the ones we teach.
This is also a time of preparation for several different camps that are held throughout the summer, including a men’s wilderness camp and a family camp. Both of these camps give us an opportunity to spend time with, and witness to those who are unsaved, while away from the distractions of life, as well as to encourage, and challenge our Christians. Please pray for these camps, that they will be well-attended, and that they will greatly impact those who attend.
Our church family here at Akigawa Baptist Church continues to grow. We are so thankful to see God answer our prayers in seeing more men become a part of our church, as well as unsaved husbands who continue to come to hear the Gospel preached. Please keep your brothers and sisters in Christ here in Japan in your prayers as they continue to reach out to their family and friends, to be a bold witness for Christ in their neighborhoods, schools and places of work. We are thankful for each of you who take the time to pray for us, and who sacrifice to give so that our spiritual family can continue to grow.
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