Now, generally, and quite naturally, we focus on those things that are important to us: physical necessities like food and clothing, financial obligations, health care, etc. We worry that if we don’t concern ourselves with these things, they won’t get taken care of; we will be hungry, naked, and poor.
But God promises that if we set our minds on His kingdom and His righteousness, He will absolutely take care of every personal need that we have. Can we really trust God to keep His promises? Let’s seek His kingdom first and find out.
The kingdom of God is not food or drink, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:17
It’s amazing to look back and realize we have been here just over 2 years now. As we look at who we were and what God has done in us and through us, we are amazed at how far He has brought us! Besides learning to navigate the culture, language and daily life here, we also see how we have changed as missionaries. This is an often difficult, yet rewarding lifestyle and it’s obviously where God wants us in this season of our lives. Please pray for us as we desire to stay on track and hear His voice as He leads us onward.
Grace Christian Fellowship:
Praise God, our Sunday and Wednesday evening services are growing more and more. Last Wednesday John taught the Bible study since the pastor was out of town. 5 men and one woman from a Buddhist cult showed up, somewhat disruptively, a little after the study had begun. They occasionally interrupted with questions unrelated to the study, though John managed to keep on track.
After the study, John and another young Japanese pastor who happened to be visiting, talked with the men for about 2 hours. Their goal seemed to be to argue against all things Christian. In the end, they had the gospel preached to them, but didn’t manage to win any arguments. Please pray for these men, that the seeds which were sown would not be choked out by their Buddhist beliefs and antagonism toward Christianity.
Japanese culture is full of religious influence. One tradition each year in November is the "shichi, go, san", a buddist tradition where children of the ages 7,5 and 3 years are honored. At Grace, we have redeemed this tradition for God's glory by having all the children come forward by age and blessing them in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ.
Praise God! We had our first home fellowship on the Air Force base last week. 5 families showed up along with their children. We had a great time of worship and getting to know one another. John taught a short Bible study and we shared prayer requests and were blessed by each other’s prayers. Please pray for the group to be a precious time of ministry and fellowship for each other, as several of the husbands are currently serving in Iraq.
Pastor Jonathan has been putting together short discipleship studies for the body to use to minister to one another and grow in the knowledge of God. It is a one on one study and it has been a blessing to watch so many people ministering to each other and growing together in God’s Word. Belinda has been discipling a young christian for a couple of months now and it has been a joy to see Megumi light up with new understanding each week.
With John primarily working in the IT end of things, (more on that in a minute), he is always looking at ways he can disciple others and maintain a very hetic schedule. God has answered his prayers in a wonderful way. In the school all the classes he is teaching are Bible classes. One of his favorite's is the upper grade class. He has been so blessed to have the opportunity to pour into these young people and to encourage them to understand how God desires to use them to share the Gospel with others.
Several Sunday’s ago a very special couple dedicated their daughter, Akari, to God. What made it special is that shortly after Akari was born, her father, Masaaki, an unbeliever, suffered a massive stroke. Since then, he has become a believer and God has been working wonders in his life, both physically and spiritually. Masaaki was able to give a short testimony of God’s work in him since his stroke as he and his wife, Hiroko brought Akari, now 4 years old, before the Lord.
Grace Christian International School:
We recently enjoyed a school fieldtrip to the mountains in Kiyosato where a Kentucky Country Fair is held each year. It is actually sponsored by Kentuckians. The kids got to enjoy some “American” culture with hayrides, milking cows, craft making, food, bluegrass and country music, a John Deere tracker parade, and… pig racing. Belinda competed against 4 others chasing pigs around the race course to win first place in the adult pig racing contest. Well worth a basket of fresh mountain produce!
Also this month, the students of Grace Christian International School participated in the annual Spelling Bee hosted by Christian Academy Japan. Another Christian school from Yokohama participated along with several home school families. The students from our school all did a great job. Their hard work paid off as they confidently spelled each word they were given.
More From the “IT” Corner:
Since our streaming of services provider seemed to have stopped working sometime ago, John has been working on a new solution. This has involved hardware and software changes. John has also been recording the Sunday and evening services digitally and posting them as MP3’s and Podcasts for downloading.
Meanwhile, He’s transferring all the websites currently hosted on Calvary’s old server and some Blogger sites to all be on our own server. Because of the many ministries under the Grace Japan covering, this is involving 3 domains. Also, as other ministries are coming under the Grace Japan ministry covering, other websites are being created. From an IT perspective, John is REALLY busy.
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words:
Enjoy images from the ministry experience here in Japan? Be sure to check back at the website for image galleries as we update them during the next month. This is the busiest time of year for special events so we will be adding new images often to the galleries during these months!
Walking in Faith:
In our newsletters, we desire to let you know what God is doing in us and in the ministry here in Japan. We have decided to put any requests about our financial and/or material needs on our website and not in our newsletters. We are trusting that God will direct those who have a heart to help fulfill these needs to click through to the website and seek God’s will in meeting the financial or material needs for ministry here in Japan. As God answers these prayers for provision, we know it is one of many confirmations for us that we are where God wants us to be. Details available on the website at this link: Current needs
- For the growth of the church body at GCF.
- For the one on one discipleship which is bringing the body closer and providing growth in the knowledge of God and His Word.
- For the Yokota Air Force Base home fellowship’s good start.
- For strength and rest as our schedules, as busy as they are, will be even busier through the holiday season.
- For the upcoming outreaches: Ome Festival, Living Christmas.
- For more teachers to come to Grace Christian International School.
- For God’s provision as we enter our third year of ministry here. Details available on the website at this link: Current needs
Let us know how we can pray for you, too.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!!!