Thank you for journeying with me through your prayers and thoughts. Here is what I have been up to the last couple of months.
Driving, packing and re-packing, getting on and off planes, sleeping in multiple locations, and doing presentations of various lengths and to different groups has been my life. I have enjoyed getting to know all my gracious hosts and what a blessing you have been to me! As I visit every church, I meet the prayer warriors who have been faithfully praying for me and I am truly honored and blessed to meet you in person. Thanks for taking the time to tell me that you are praying…what an encouragement! It truly has been a blessing to get to know my supporting churches and brothers and sisters in Christ better over these months.
One of the highlights of visiting churches was that my mother could take part in some of the visits that I made. West Meadows Baptist church in Edmonton asked me to come and speak to their ladies group and have “Tea Time with Yuri.” I thought it would be wonderful if my mother could take part by serving Japanese tea showing the traditional tea ceremony. The ladies not only got a “taste” of Japan but my mother also experienced the fellowship of women who love God. I showed a video that talked about the similarities that the tea ceremony had with Christian Communion.
My mother also joined the mission’s breakfast of the Northern Alberta Missions Conference that was held at Calvary Baptist church in Wetaskiwin, AB. It was the first time for her to take part in something like this. I think she was surprised that so many came out and would care to hear what missionaries like me would have to say! Hopefully, all these new experiences were positive “watering” moments for the seed of the gospel to grow in her heart.
My time of home assignment is also a time to spend on professional development and so I took the opportunity to take a course on women’s discipleship training. Discipling women is what I will be doing in Japan so taking this course made a lot of sense. In mid-September I took a one-week intensive course on facilitating relational learning taught by Entrust’s Women-to-Women Ministry Training. I learned about the benefits of discipling through small groups and facilitating discussions as an effective way to allow for personal transformation. I was excited to experience such rich bible study with an amazing group of other women in ministry. I hope to take what I have learned and use it in Japan.
I also took some time to go on vacation for 5 days at the end of September and do something touristy. I had never been to the Maritime region of Canada before and have always wanted to visit Prince Edward Island. Carol Potratz and I had a few days that mutually matched for us to go together and so we decided to go! The Japanese love the story of Anne of Green Gables and the national TV broadcasting in Japan had just finished a daily morning drama series based on the life of the woman who translated Lucy Maud Montgomery’s book into Japanese, so all the more reason why I wanted to go! The trip gave me more “scope for the imagination” to bring the Christian values that Montgomery held and keep pointing Japanese to Jesus. We enjoyed the beauty of God’s creation on the island. I especially liked the several lighthouses we saw there, reminding me to continue to pray for more beacons to shine the “light of Jesus” in the darkness that often surrounds us.
I am more than half-way through my home assignment! Thanks for praying for my continuing schedule of church visits. As the winter months approach I pray that you and your family will enjoy the warmth of the fellowship of Christ in your homes, churches and throughout the holidays which are just around the bend. Blessings!
With much appreciation for you,