Everything He allows to come into your life is designed to draw you closer to Him and to equip you for serving others. He will always bring Glory to Himself and bring blessing.
Think about the God of the universe commanding you to do something. This is the same God who with the Word of His mouth, spoke everything into existence. As you look around at His creation, the work of His hands has the signature, yes even the Glory of God, written all over it. What has He commanded you to do?
Now picture Jesus sleeping in the boat as the disciples struggled with the stormy seas and wrestled with their fears. With a cry out to the Lord, He awakens and with a mere word, His creation obeys and comes to rest before Him. There in the boat with Jesus are twelve men, who would soon be sent out by the command of God, to bring the Great News to a world in great need: “The failings of man do not circumvent the plans of God.”
I marvel that, as a man so aware of my limitations, so powerless in the face of a great enemy, I am being commanded to “Be strong and courageous!” Me, a mere mortal, who when faced with often overwhelming opposition, need only cry out to my Lord and say, “Please lead me to the rock that is higher than I”. Always in the nick of time, my God who is always with me and who will never forsake me, will take me under His wing. He delights in showing me the victory He has provided in His son. If the world scoffs at this, the creator with a Word, sends one who mocks Him to his knees.
What has He commanded me to do? He calls me to bring the Great News to my world around me. To carry a light burden of great importance in carrying out His will, no matter where He has me or where He asks me to take it.
Welcome to the ministry – now hold on!
Things seem to be moving so fast for us these days. It feels like we hit the ground running some months ago and now, six months later, the pace hasn’t really let up much. Lately, it seems every time I set down to write another eNews, something comes up and off we go again. This week is Easter break for the International school. For us it will be a chance to rest a bit. I guess the Lord knew it was time to get another eNews out <smile>.
March winds blow:
Spring is on its’ way here and the air is stirring. The weather remains mostly cold with some occasional sunny days here and there. Warm days? Well, if you call the mid fifties warm. Still there are some days that may bring chilling rain. Even an occasional snow flurry is possible. “Sakura” or “Cherry Blossoms” will be here any day now.
What is hot?
The people of God are aflame with His Holy Spirit. We have been blessed to see more people attending every service and event. New people are showing up for prayer on Friday nights – what a blessing! Each event seems to draw more people than our little facility can comfortably hold. Yet, there is still room for more as we pray for His Kingdom to come here in Ome and across Japan.
Belinda continues to teach a women’s Bible study with God’s blessing. She has seen relationships grow and women’s lives touched. It seems these study times always go beyond the scheduled time because the women are hungry for God’s Word. They have many questions and His Word has the answers. Praise God!
John has been learning Japanese while making new friends in his classes. He’s learned enough Hiragana that he can read many of the sings in Japanese – even if he doesn’t know what all the words mean. When he learns new words in class, he writes them in Hiragana. It’s like going back to early grade school again.
In April he starts in the regular language school. There are some details to sort out with which class we will be able to afford and how to fit the schedule with other ministry activities. This is one for the prayer list so please pray!
This last Sunday was the men’s ministry. John gave his testimony and shared a teaching from Luke 15 on the Prodigal Son. Life for Japanese men is very challenging and many of our men are facing difficult trials. Pastor Jonathan told us that this teaching was a “timely Word” for our guys.
We have been focusing on worship in the children’s ministry. These little dear ones have steadily taken to heart the worship of God. It’s fun because our facility’s walls are not really sound proof. During the second service the adults can hear us as we praise God. People tell us that it’s a blessing and a witness to the adults to hear their children praising our Lord.
GCF presented the “Second Annual Fiesta Latina” event this year. We have been blessed to see the Spanish and Portuguese speaking saints continue to step up into ministry. God has given them a heart to serve and GCF is a place in Ome to reach their communities with the Gospel.
Other Latin American churches in Japan are participating with us as well. This year a team from a city four hours away by car each way, joined us in ministry. It was a great success resulting from many hours of hard work. The Word of salvation was presented clearly and several people were added to God’s Kingdom!
God is giving us a new home!
Our home-stay will be ending in June with Jason returning from Iraq. It has been a blessing to stay here in Mizuho. We have had some wonderful interaction with our neighbors.
This last weekend we met with the owners of a small house about 10 minutes walk from the church. It’s small by Santa Barbara standards, but actually, our apartment in Santa Barbara was even smaller. Who would think we would move to Japan and have a bit MORE room? God truly has a sense of humor!
The house is virtually empty. No furniture, no stove, no refrigerator, no washer, no light fixtures and no basically mandatory air conditioning. (We believe God says “YES”). It gets so hot and muggy here in Japan during the summer it sort of “rains up”. Welcome to a part of the world with real seasons and homes without any insulation.
Actually, we feel God is so blessing us with this little place we can’t thank Him enough. We trust Him for His provision of all these things. He knows our needs and He will provide.