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Dear Family and Friends,
The anticipation of the cherry blossoms each spring is heightened for me with the anticipation of the celebration of Resurrection Sunday. Although the cherry blossom season is short-lived, the joy and hope of the resurrection go with us each day of the year.
Komyo Christian Church
What an exciting spring we have had at Komyo Church! Thank you for your prayers. God is at work.
In March we welcomed gospel singer Kaori Mukahi to our Live Gospel Café. It was an evening of various genres of music. Kaori san was classically trained in Europe so she sang some classical songs as well as gospel songs. Three of the guests that evening were gospel musician friends of Kaori san’s who live near the church. We had a fun, impromptu special guest performance section of the concert that evening!
Just a few weeks after the concert we had a very exciting church business meeting at which we welcomed two new members to Komyo Church. Mrs. Nanri has been a Christian since she was a university student and has been attending our church for a little over a year. Even before becoming a member she was a willing volunteer and faithfully attending Bible study. She said that the challenge of writing her testimony and reflecting on her life was a joy and helped her see God’s work in her life. Mr. Kawasaki is an energetic young man whose zest for life and Jesus are contagious. Although he has only been a Christian for a little over a year, his insight into God’s word challenges us as we study together. Praise God for these two new members and their joy for serving Jesus and growing in their faith.
It was fun to have the children sing for us on Easter and remind us of the love Jesus showed to us and the salvation He provided through the cross and resurrection. We continued our church’s tradition with a fellowship meal of sushi after the service. What a joy to see everyone enjoying a meal together, serving each other, helping each other, sharing life and Jesus’ love.
Japan Baptist Conference (JBC)
At the end of March the JBC youth gathered for our spring overnight camp. The theme for this year’s camp was “Change.” We talked about the big change in Jesus’ life as He was baptized and started His ministry and then the challenge He faced with this new change as He was led into the wilderness and tested. Since April begins a new school year for the students, the new middle school students joined us for the camp. They were warmly welcomed by the other students. The graduating seniors also gave the students a challenge, encouraging them to attend the youth events as much as possible to keep growing in their faith and also for the fellowship. Their words were a great encouragement to us as the youth committee, too!
Every year in May we gather as a conference to worship, learn and fellowship together. This year for the first time in many years the gathering was held over two days. It gave us a chance to have more time for fellowship without feeling rushed. It also provided time for the youth to gather for a special time of worship and Bible study together. We even got to lead two songs during worship time on the second day. I know I say it often, but it truly is exciting to see the growth in these students!
Anointed Gospel Choir
I continue to enjoy singing praises with Anointed Gospel Choir. We participated in the annual party of all of Yamamoto Sensei’s choirs at the beginning of April. Although only a few ladies in the choir are Christians, their growth in prayer and desire to share the gospel with the other members is encouraging and challenging to me.
As always, your prayers mean more to me than words can express. Thank you for continuing to lift up Komyo Christian Church and all of these precious people with whom I interact.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Shan in Japan