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Dear Friends and Family,
What a blessing to be part of God’s family, knowing that our praises and prayers are heard by our brothers and sisters around the world. Thank you for your faithful prayers and support as many of you join us in praying for our various requests. We appreciate being in touch with each of you.
As you may have read, we had a wonderful visit with Randy Schmor, discussing various ways to use short-term teams to foster long-term partnerships with churches here in Japan. We spent some meaningful time with Randy as he shared the Gateway Team Leader and Long-term Partnership training. We are also looking forward to having a small team from North Dakota with us this July 27-August 8. They will be joining our ministry at Komyo Church, JBC youth, and at the Chita Nozomi Church with Pastor Kensaku Higashi. We are looking forward to joining together in service for the kingdom.
We continue to use Gospel Cafés, once a quarter, as an outreach into the community. We had a great turn out on March 24, with our church member, Ms. Kyusai being the main performer and look forward to June 16 when we will host another Gospel Café event. As many can understand it takes a lot of energy and time to pull an event together, from finding performers, passing out fliers (10,000), to making baked goods for the event. Please continue to pray for these events to be used by God to draw people from the community and that church members would support the events.
Easter is always a wonderful time in the Christian calendar, as we remember the sacrifice that God made for us and how Jesus asked us to work alongside him for the kingdom. May we proclaim every day the salvation that we have received and share Jesus’ love through our actions and words. It is always a special time of fellowship on Easter Sunday as we gather as a family sharing food and joy with one another.
The JBC youth gathered during their school break and again during our annual JBC gathering. As each church has an average membership of 25 people, that means there are usually only 2-3 youth members on average as well. The youth being able to gather as a larger body and encourage one another in faith means a lot. Pray for the youth of Japan, they experience the same troubles as youth in North America but maybe with a greater feeling of isolation as they usually find themselves the only Christians within their class or school grade. Pray for their faith to grow, that their roots would grow deep in God’s word, and pray for their parents to speak wisdom and encouragement to their kids. Pray for Christian parents to have wisdom on how to challenge their youth to stay faithful to God’s word even while the world is telling them not to.
Next month the school year will end for the boys and we want to express our thankfulness for your prayers and partnership in supporting our boys’ attendance at Kansai Christian School. They have done a great job adjusting back into Japanese life, the one hour and forty-minute commute one way to and from school, and school life overall. The boys work hard balancing academics, activities, and joining us in ministry at Komyo.
April started our year-long experience being a part of the Community Governance Committee. I am thankful to my neighbor who has been helpful by encouraging me and confirming my understanding of my responsibilities. Pray for our neighborhood relationships, that we would see ways to walk alongside others, and opportunities to fellowship, as we strive to bring hope and joy in the lives of our neighbors.
Paul and Melissa