"I have good news and... Good News!"
Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down,
But a good word makes him glad. Proverbs 12:25
There is an old and common phrase that people say; “I have some good news and some bad news”. Well, we actually have some good news and… some good news. The rest is just stuff that would weigh us down.
We are well aware that to maintain a good relationship with you all, as those who prayerfully support us, we need to keep in contact and, honestly, it’s hard for us because we know we don’t do as good a job at that as we should. We offer our sincere apologies for not keeping in better contact with you.
Here is a short quick update on the ministry here in Japan. More to follow soon!
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It feels like, for us, we go from one busy season to the next with very little break in between. That’s actually good news. We have continually seen greater and greater opportunities to share the message of the “Good News” to the people of Japan.
Coming to America
The other good news is we will be in the U.S. for a few weeks come December. We would really love to meet with any of you who would like to hear more about what God is doing in Japan and how He is using us as part of His plan here.
It all comes down to those personal relationships
One of the realities of serving here is that we find ourselves “always in ministry mode”. We have found the best way to get the Gospel outside the walls of the church here is to operate as it says in I Peter 3:15 (This is one of those “life verses” for me):
…but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect…
Ministry "One to another"
It is an interesting thing that I am the second oldest person here at the church. With age, hopefully, comes some wisdom, right? Well, God, in His Grace and Mercy, has given me the desire of my heart (that He surely placed there) to do more discipleship ministry. Besides with meeting with the men of the church on a regular basis, God has brought several other men, who don’t regularly attend the church, with whom I have been meeting on a regular basis for fellowship, prayer, council and studying the Word. It’s really amazing to be able to do this. I have recently befriended a guy I met at the Costco store. He has “issues at home”, and has really allowed me to pour the council of God into his life. His name is Eduardo. (Yes, he’s Latino!) and he really needs prayer. God knows the details.
VBS is crazy good ministry
One highlight of the summer is the VBS we host here. This year, as we often do, we used the Group Inc. curriculum as a foundation for our program. It’s only a foundation though, because everything we do here at Grace Christian Fellowship has to be multilingual. The songs they include in their program are in English, but they also provide music tracks without vocals.
This year we, again, translated all the songs into two, and in some cases, three languages. We then used our own church members to record all the vocals.
Then I produced and remixed everything down into a version of the song the kids could download. These songs are designed to be really “sticky earworms” , so the kids can really enjoy listening to the songs over and over throughout the year. They stick in all our minds as well, honestly driving us a little crazy, but is all good J Imagine listening to these easily a thousand times as a producer! Oh my!
So to give you an idea of the work involved, a typical song can take an engineer 6 to 8 months to produce. I did six songs in a matter of six weeks. I virtually “lived and breathed” these songs for a couple months. You can listen to our work by going to gcfjapan.com and at the bottom of the front page is a link to the songs for listening online or downloading. Enjoy! But I must warn you, these will “stay with you”! It’s all good, as they say, right?
Do you speak “Engrish”?
God also uses Belinda and I in our English classes. Since we work for ourselves and not as part of an English teaching organization, we have a lot of freedom to make good use of those shareable moments to share the “Good News”. We just keep our “spiritual ears” open and God is giving us more and more opportunities.
We will be visiting the U.S. again this year, and this is our opportunity to meet with you! Please write us and let us schedule a time in advance to meet, ok? Please don’t wait until we get there. We always – ALWAYS – have people who want to meet with us at the end of our stay when the schedule is packed. Please know it’s important for us to be able to meet face to face with you. This is one of the main reasons we invest in coming to the U.S. – YOU are as important to us as the people of Japan.
Event Pictures - VBS
"Matsuri" (Summer Festival)
No, we didn't have a baby 🙂 This is one of the other missionaries first children. Of course "Instant Grandma!" Our newest member is named "Sage Bouget" So cool.
- John has been given opportunities to minister to more men, both in a group setting as well as individually.
- We are continuing to minister to our International school students as well as their parents.
- God has been faithful in His provision for us to continue ministry in Japan.
- Always: Wisdom and discernment! - This is an adventure of the cross-cultural kind.
- For Eduardo’s marriage and relationship with God, and that he and even his wife will start coming to church.
- For our English students, that God would open their hearts to hear the gospel, and that we would take as many opportunities to share as we are given.
- For continued opportunities to minister to those God has put around us.
- For good health as the weather turns colder. The winters are very long here.