|“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise as some count slackness, but is long suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance."
2 Peter 3:9
|If you know our testimony of how long we waited on the Lord to be sent out as missionaries, then you know we are well accustomed to the long term view of ministry. You also know that hindsight usually reveals more then our very limited ability to predict the future. Now looking back again, we can see God’s design for us; in that waiting over 20 years to be sent out, how he was preparing us to stay the course for ministry here in Japan.|
|There have been so many challenges to face in coming here: language, culture, finances and the huge spiritual oppression that looms over this country. In the three and a half years of serving in Japan and in a culture so different from our country of origin, our notions of what
Japan’s people are like, as well as the dynamics of ministry abroad, have been shaped and molded by God as He has worked through us and in us.While going out as missionaries, some of our vision and expectations conformed to what the Lord has prepared for us. On the other hand, some are now coming to fruition just as we imagined.
Grace Christian International School:
This last Thursday our text brought us to Eph 4:7, providing a foundation for understanding how the Gifts are manifested in ministry. We ended the evening with an extensive session of intercessory prayer. It was so exciting to see younger believers step out and exercise their gifts as they ministered to one another. As we pour into each other’s lives, the fruit is eternal.
The Long Term View:
Belinda and I can see clearly how ministry, especially abroad, is a long term investment in people through an eternal perspective. We can’t speak the word “investment” lately without invoking thoughts of the world’s present economy. We have no “stimulus package”, no “bailout” for missionaries. Belinda and I must put our trust in God and the work of His Holy Spirit to stir the hearts of His people with an eternal perspective.
"Turtle Pond" - Showa Koen (Park)
God has been breaking down the walls of language and culture here in Japan.
God is providing unique and wonderful opportunities for the Japanese to know Him personally.
New and young believers are growing in Christ and stepping out in ministry.
The “Manna From Heaven” ministry is helping provide for missionaries, churches, schools and individuals giving us unique ways of reaching so many with a practical expression of God’s love.
For all those who continue to support ministries abroad as they sow in Faith.
That God would increase provision for the “Manna From Heaven” ministry. The need for food has been steadily increasing because of the economic situation.
That God would continue to provide financially for the body in the U.S. and abroad.
There is a possibility that another home group on base hosted by members of Grace may combine with our group. We seek God’s wisdom and direction for this.
For good health. Many have had colds, flu and seasonal health issues.
We want to thank you for all your prayers and support. Also, thank you for your time to write and encourage us. May God be glorified in all we do reaching from one side of His creation to the other.
-John and Belinda