God used such great wisdom when He created the Earth and the heavens. He created the mechanisms to cause the Earth to bear fruit. After the fall of man in the garden, He gave them the “bad news” in Genesis chapter 3 and He told man that he would now have to toil the soil for his daily bread. But God also had great mercy in that He provided man with what he would need to survive. He provided a key ingredient – water.
It’s interesting, as long ago as this word was given, that it so accurately describes what we call today the water cycle. I am also amazed how the weather is so fine tuned to create a life cycle in our world. We can clearly see God’s hand in the design of nature.
This is the God who loves us, and whom we serve. He is the one who created the very Earth and all the processes of life. He is the one that makes the bearing of fruit possible.
He also brings living water that bears the fruit of eternal life. As His servants, we also toil the soil of the mission field in which He has seen fit to place us. He allows us to be right there with Him as He demonstrates His power to make us grow and bear fruit in Him.
Let us rejoice together with the Lord. He has given us seed to sow. He provides the water to make us grow. He invites us to enjoy the fruit of our labor together with Him for all eternity. He simply asks us to step out in Faith.
As people who are used to living on the central coast of California, we are conditioned to mostly temperate weather and very little change in seasons. Those of you who have grown up in places with more dramatic seasonal changes in weather, welcome the more moderate California climate.
While living in Santa Barbara, we McBades have always been excited to see the some rain or visit the nearby mountains to see a bit of snow. Saturday morning we awoke to see gentle snow fall with it’s quieting effect. Everything now is dusted with a white fluffy blanket. Children, and some adults, are giddy with excitement as they succumb to the urge to pick up a snow ball and toss it at their nearest victim.
Pouring into the lives of others…
Belinda has begun a class for the ladies that met last Sunday. She is seeing a Word form the Lord come to pass; that she would be a teacher of women. I believe she will be used more than she ever imagined. We can often look at people’s heart and lives and we just know that God has a unique call on their lives for some particular work. Belinda’s personality and heart are just a perfect fit for teaching and equipping women in God’s Word.
John led a second Worship Fellowship this Saturday. We were told that when it snows in Japan, the Japanese tend to make kind of a beg deal of it. It only snows here in Ome about three times a year. They tend to stay home rather than go out in the weather. I was blessed to see a very good turn out and the leaders God has called to serve here at Grace ready to take worship to the next level. There are many gifted and called worship leaders here at Grace and we are excited to see how God is using them in serving others.
Wednesday evening we had some special guests visiting from Korea. They are from YWAM and are taking a tour of Japan as part of their training process. It was a joy to fellowship with them!
Japanese Language – “Nihongo ga”
The staff here at GCF who don’t have language Japanese skills are each taking some time to focus on language training. While awaiting for an opening in a nearby language school, John will be continuing to attend language training in our local Ome community center. There are other community centers that offer similar language training opportunities in our neighboring areas. We will be taking advantage of these opportunities while we await other more formal training opportunities. It looks like a school should have an opening the first of April.
John and Belinda are taking advantage of the language classes in the local Ome community center. John is also taking a community class in Fussa, and he is looking to start another in Hamura. These classes are provided by volunteers as a community service. They aren’t of the level needed to fully train us for ministry but in the short time frame, they provide introduction and practice opportunities. In preparation for professional training starting in April, John studying Hiragana and Katakana. These phonetic alphabets make it possible to read Japanese and Western words written in Japanese.
Praying through Japan
In our international school here at GCF we have chapel every morning as we start our school day. Starting this year we are taking time to systematically pray for each area of Japan. We are using a missionary publication that details the current status and needs for each prefecture.
This is a very missionary minded church and we are pouring into the students that they would have the same mindset. Of course God may not be calling all of them to be missionaries in a foreign land, but we believe God calls us to be missionaries wherever He has placed us.