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- Praise the Lord for leading Pastor Saijo to Komyo Christian Church.
- Praise God for the story he has given to each of us.
- Praise God for his constant presence in our lives, every moment, every day. We are not alone.
- Praise the Lord for the Gaudio family, who have been appointed and are preparing to come to Japan as missionaries! Pray for their preparations and fund raising.
- Pray for Pastor Saijo as he has begun his ministry during this unusual time in history.
- Pray for the youth of the Japan Baptist Conference as they grow in their relationship with Jesus and learn how to live that out in their daily lives surrounded by enemy territory.
- Pray for me as I continue to live out my faith alongside my Japanese brothers and sisters, that we would all remain steady in our commitment and be bold in our actions.
- Pray for Komyo Christian Church as we learn how to worship and serve when we cannot meet together.
I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands.
Greetings from Japan! Thank you for being part of what God is doing here. What a ride these past three months have been. I have been learning, along with all of you, how to live and minister in these unprecedented times.
Before all of this started, we did have a few exciting events at church. On March 1, we welcomed Hiroyuki Saijo as the pastor of Komyo Christian Church. Praise the Lord! We look forward to how God is going to grow the church as we continue serving and loving Jesus together under Pastor Saijo’s leadership. After his first official worship service at Komyo Christian Church, we had to close the doors to gatherings due to the coronavirus. Pastor Saijo has continued preparing sermons each week, which we print out and deliver to each member and regular attendee. At first, we were able to hand deliver the sermons; however, we have had to change to email or postal delivery. We continue to connect with each other through phone calls.
Since I moved to Osaka in 2006, I have been part of the ministry at Kongo Bible Church in various capacities. They have been without a pastor for several years, and so I have had the privilege of preaching there every month or two recently. Last year we started a series on Paul’s letter to the Colossians. Just as we ended the letter, the Kongo Church also called a pastor! What a joy it has been to walk alongside these dear saints as they seek to love God and love their neighbors.
At the end of my last newsletter, I shared all of the exciting plans we had for the spring. Like your churches, we were not able to hold those events, except for the ladies’ seminar in February. It was a joy to gather with the ladies. For the first time since we started the seminars, the ladies received homework to think about before coming to the seminar. Our theme was “Listening to My Life.” We looked back over our life to see the points where God was at work and shared with the other ladies at our table. It was wonderful to hear stories of God’s faithfulness in walking with us through the joy and the grief, to see him at work in the ordinary and extraordinary.
We were disappointed the two short-term teams that were planning to come were not able to come; however, we look forward to when they will be able to come sometime in the future. Other events we had planned which had to be canceled include: spring youth camp, a Bible seminar, ladies’ lunch, and the installation services for Pastor Saijo and Pastor Baba, who is the new pastor at the Kongo church.
Like most of you, we also are praying about how we can continue to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves. You are on my mind and in my prayers. Thank you for your continued prayers and support. You make it possible for me to be here serving and loving my friends.
Soli Deo Gloria, Shan Reed
Ibukino 3 Chome 14-9-903, Izumi shi, osaka fu 594-0041 Japan