Gift Of Grace
... the McBades serving Jesus in Japan
November 28, 2005

eNews McBades In Japan

 
  November 28, 2005
  The Lord will accomplish what concerns me!
 

Psalm 138:8

"The Lord will accomplish what concerns me;
Thy lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting; do not forsake
the works of Thy hands.
"

There is a plan, a unique purpose, a desire of the Lord that is specifically aimed at you,  a work of Grace designed to equip you for every good work.  A design formed in the mind of the creator of the universe who holds all, in the very palm of his hand.

But what about today, when you are facing the trials that this day brings? 

 
 

What about today’s challenges? The ones that can bring out both the best and the worst in you, and bring you face to face with your frailty and shortcomings. Has God’s plan included these too? 

The good work He began in you, He will continue until the day of salvation.  His Love and kindness, never fall short.  Not only is His Love for you more than able to bring you through this day, but through eternity.

And best of all, He does not forget His promise, His purpose or His pleasure in seeing the work of His hands as He shapes your life into a testimony of His glory.  Those same loving hands that were pierced for you and me, also hold you close to His heart.

What an awesome God we serve!

What’s going on at Grace Christian Fellowship?

With things moving faster than we could keep up with for the last few weeks, God did an interesting thing.  He put us to bed <smile>.  All three of us were fighting formidable Japanese colds.  As God’s way of telling us to “slow down” we spent the necessary extra hours in bed and simply resting.  It’s no fun having a cold but it works as intended, to slow you down.  It gives you time to assess and reflect on where you have been, where you are and where you are going.

This week, we are on vacation from the International school.  With all the events of the last week or so, (read below), we are blessed to be able to get some needed rest and catch up on very important things – like writing you with a field update!

Two weeks ago we had our first of planned “Worship Fellowship” Saturdays.  The turn out was good and the fellowship was wonderful.  We did an extended teaching on Worship, Sacrifice, Service and Ministry.  The discussions were wonderful.  A mini vocal workshop followed and the official time was ended.  As usual, very important time of questions, prayer and ministry followed.  God is so good!

The second week of November:

Pastor Jonathan was away for a few days at a Japanese missionary conference.  As teachers, we kept the school going while Pastor Jonathan shared his vision for the CRASH compassion ministry to about 200 fellow missionaries in Japan.  You can find out more about CRASH at http://www.crashjapan.com in Pastor Jonathan’s blog.  The great news is that over 100 missionaries signed up to participate in the program.  We believe that God will use CRASH to help unite a somewhat fragmented missionary effort in Japan to reach the Japanese with the Gospel.

On the Wednesday while Pastor Jonathan was away at the conference, John delivered the Wednesday evening Bible study.  We have been going through the book of Acts and Wednesday the study came to Acts chapter 5.  Some scriptures are easier to deliver than others.  This one is difficult as God must judge sin, but we need to also remember God’s Grace in the work of salvation. Wednesday evening studies always end in small group prayer.  This prayer time was so essential for doing the personal business with God we all needed to do after such a study.

Last week:

A ministry group called the Covenant Players were here in Ome this week.  They are a drama ministry that travels in this area of the Pacific Rim.  We had the blessing of hosting them in our home.  They also did a workshop with our GCF kids.  From the workshop the kids did a drama which blessed our Thanksgiving dinner outreach.  

Ome Festival:

The Ome Festival is a very well attended community festival.  This year was no exception.  GCF had a booth there as well as YWAM(Youth with a Mission) and a couple other Christian ministries in the area. We had crafts, games and facepainting and clowns enjoyed loving on the children who came. 

During the two day festival we had a booth for sharing little gifts, face painting and animal balloons! The children who came were given some Bible scriptures to recite to each of three clowns and then were given a prize. John, Pastor Jonathan, David McDaniels and Luis Ramirez also shared some awesome music from the stage.

Thanksgiving!

Again, this is a time of year in Ome where we have great opportunities to share Jesus with the community.  Sunday night we hosted Thanksgiving dinner for over 100 people at GCF.  We presented music and the Gospel for our guests.  Also Darin Polischuck presented his ministry based on Samaritan’s Purse called the “Greatest Gift”, (he is from that organization) in Japan.  This is the giving of Christmas gifts, wrapped in shoe boxes, to poor and needy children throughout Asia. Darin is also assisting CRASH with planning and specifications for field distribution kits to be used by CRASH teams.

This last weekend:

Our new friends since arriving here, Michael and Haruko, were married.  What an awesome day of confirmation of what God has done in their lives and testimony of God’s love.  About 200 people attended.  Many were not Christian, but they heard the Gospel!

What’s ahead?

I can’t wait for December!  As we come towards the end of the year here at GCF in Ome we are astonished that we have been here 2 months now.  With all the activity, ministry and building of relationships with our new friends here, we feel like it’s been much longer.  We can see the Japanese language already being added to our conversations, though we still have so far to go. We are beginning to become more adept in getting the simple things done that we took for granted in the states like travel and shopping.

We do miss you!

As you might imagine, being away for the holidays in a far away country for the first time is an emotional challenge for us.  We are torn between our heart’s desire to do the ministry God has called us to and our families, immediate and extended, back in California.  Please know that we are thinking of you always.  We are excited about what we are hearing of how God is moving in Santa Barbara!

 

Praise!

We have been praying for Dan Bolinger, a pastor to the Japanese at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa.  His daughter Rachel has been suffering with an enlarged heart. With only two weeks to live on life support, she received a heart and the doctors successfully performed a heart transplant this week.  With this answer to prayer we also want to keep the Bolinger family before the throne of Grace.

The night of our Thanksgiving celebration at church, an American who works with GCF, CRASH, and is just a dear brother in the Lord, was taken to the hospital with disorientation, pressure behind the eyes and tingling in his fingers.  He stayed in the hospital overnight with what the Japanese doctors said was “a nasty virus”.  He just called us and he is now home.  We would like to keep him in our prayers.

The events of last weekend have been so awesome.  With the Ome festival and the Thanksgiving dinner we have been blessed to minister to hundreds of people of all ages.  We continue to pray that the seeds planted will bear fruit in due season.

We now have Skype, an internet based “voice over IP” service on our computer.  This has provided a very inexpensive way to keep in contact with our family and friends.  God has given us great comfort in the opportunity to talk with our families.

Prayer:

Please pray for Carson and Wendy Tavenner. They are a military family which is very active in the church here. Wendy's parents were just involved in a car accident. Wendy's father was killed and her mother is in stable condition in the hospital at the time of this writing. Pray for her mother's recovery and for the Tavenners as they go through this very difficult time.

Please pray for Jason Lemons, the man for whom we are house sitting.  As part of his military service, he is deployed in Iraq.  No matter what your political position on the war, our dear brother is laying his life on the line, putting himself in harms way for his country.  He will be spending Christmas in far worse circumstances than any of us.

Please pray for the Bolingers and their daughter that God would continue to heal her and that there would be no complications with her new heart.

Please pray for the "Greatest Gift" ministry in Japan.  Between now and December 18th we will be collecting shoe-boxes with toys and presents for a poor little girl or boy in an Asian country.  Pray for the teams from our church that will be taking them to the orphanages.  Pray that God will use this ministry to bless both the givers and the receivers.

On December 5th, missionaries Luis and Nicola Ramirez will be traveling to France to spend the holidays with Nicola's family.  Pray for this missionary couple as they minister to her family and share the vision for Japan with Christians in France.  Pray for safe travel, good health, and that God would continue to supply all of their needs.

   
 
Email Address: japan@mcbade-wp
 
 
 
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