"This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all."
I John 1:5
God speaking into His creation and manifesting Himself into His creation is more than just "turning the lights on". When you consider that in a three dimensional world, where length, width, and height are possible, what is also possible is the ability to experience the concept of relationship, one thing to another, and in our human experience, one person to another.
God created the universe to express His desire to have a relationship with us, His creation. This has always been His design. So many in the world have this notion that God is angry with us. I tell you He is not. He is angry with something though; any idea, any thing or anyone that would interfere with our relationship with Him.
Our relationship with Him is so important to Him, He was willing to give up His life for us, that we might have fellowship with Him for eternity. So He speaks into the darkness and makes Himself known to us. He is still doing that today as we let the light of His Word shine on us and on our relationships.
I know, it's been awhile since our last newsletter and so this one is a bit longer than usual. We want you to know that, since the earthquake, we have found ourselves doing more than ever before here, if that's possible. God is doing some really awesome things and calling us to a depth of ministry we have not had before. Remember: We are putting pictures and other more details on our website: https://mcbade.com
Life after the earthquake and the Tsunami:
In the life changing impact that such huge events have in our lives, God begins to renew and grow us. This principle is no different for us. As food supplies are reestablished, power grids are adjusted, and the rebuilding is underway, CRASH continues to help coordinate teams of volunteers to the North. Many opportunities to do ministry, establish and re-establish churches are now being perused as the rebuilding progresses.
With Pastor Jonathan working at the CRASH headquarters, located about an hour away, for 6 and a half days a week, Belinda and I find ourselves clearly impressed upon by the Lord to focus on the church here in Ome. So many lives have been affected here by the disaster. The body here continues to need pastoral care, ministry, and feeding on God's Word, in order to continue to thrive.
Belinda, GCIS and Body life:
Belinda is focusing on completing the GCIS school year. She is making sure that the precious children and their parents receive the awesome ministry that this school provides. Belinda is always involved into pouring into the lives of others here. She has been meeting with some of the women here in the home on a regular basis. There are many women in the body here that have developed a close friendship with her and the fruit of those friendships is very visible to me. As her husband and missionary partner, I can tell you this is more than a full time job.
Ministry of the Word and to the Body:
At the Missions Conference this year in the U.S., and again, here in Japan, God has spoken to my heart that He was going to start changing the scope of how He wanted me to serve. I didn't know exactly what that might mean, but I told the Lord that I wanted to minister to whomever He brought to us. Since then, He has brought us this situation with Jonathan being away most of the time. Needs from all throughout the body seem to be directed more and more to me. I'm counseling a wonderful couple who are to be married next month, and now I find out I will be performing the ceremony! All I can say is; "Wow! God, I really need you all the more." I believe this is His design, His doing.
As I have said, we have felt that we should focus on the church here, with a desire to see ministry continue. One area is the ministry of the Word each Sunday. Consistency is crucial to keep the foundations for the Body healthy. As part of that goal, we have decided that Pastor Jonathan and I would alternate presenting the messages and that we would have whoever is speaking teach from the same book. We are now going through the book of I John, which just happens to be one of my favorite books to teach from. The messages are being recorded and we are putting them on our website. I would love your comments if you would like to.
We had our Thursday foot washing and prayer, and Good Friday service, which were wonderful times of reflection, worship and prayer. Easter was such a beautiful celebration in the park. I feel this is one of the most truly effective events of our year where people of the community hear the Gospel and get to meet people of the church in a very casual context. The lines between our local body and those at the park are minimized, with all the children playing together and collecting Easter Eggs, and adults sharing the day.
When you write, it means so much to us:
Please, feel free to write us. Give us feedback. Ask questions. Let us know how your lives and your fellowship are going. Share your praises! Tell us how we can pray for you.
Our Earthly bodies may be in Japan, but our hearts and prayers are with you!
- That God has kept us safe and useful during this time of disaster and recovery.
- That God is expanding our ministry opportunities.
- That we have nearly completed another successful school year with GCIS.
- For all of you who continue to pray for us and support us.
- That our Bible studies continue to be strong and that many are being discipled.
- Strength and joy during this busy time of finishing school.
- For John as he prepares to perform his first wedding.
- For God's wisdom and grace as John brings the Sunday message every other week.
- For Izuki Kato's salvation. (She comes to our house every week to learn English and to teach Belinda Japanese.)
- For Belinda as she will be starting a Bible study with 2 Peruvian ladies this summer.