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Often when I begin thinking about what to share in my newsletters, I go through my photos for the past quarter to see what I have recorded as important memories. The photos of the past three months are basically pictures of dew on the rice fields and sunrises. I guess we can say I have been consistently getting up early in the mornings. Looking at the pictures reminded me of the verse above. Watching a sunrise or noticing the sun glimmering on the fields as I run past are two things that cause my heart to praise the name of the Lord.
Last spring, Pastor Baba moved to Osaka to pastor the Kongo Baptist Church, bringing his family with him, including two daughters who have been faithful participants in the conference-wide youth events. Since we now have four Japan Baptist Conference (JBC) youth living in the area, in September we decided to start meeting together once a month for fellowship and Bible study. It has been fun to get together and get to know each other better. November 3 was our JBC Fall Youth Gathering. The event was online, but there was definitely more interaction this time than there had been at our first online gatherings. We are learning, but we certainly are looking forward to when we can meet in person again someday!
Christmas is approaching! Although we will not be able to hold all the events we usually host, we look forward to the opportunity December holds to share the true meaning of Christmas. Please pray with us as we share in smaller settings this year. Also, please pray for members of Komyo Church to boldly share with their family and friends.
Komyo Christian Church is excited to be holding a baptism in November! Yuki, a sixth grade boy, has been coming to church with his mom and younger brother for several years and was originally a member of Sonshine Gospel Kids Choir. After seeing Hiyori get baptized last year, he started to ask questions and his faith has been developing. Although his mom is not yet a Christian, she has attended every baptism class with Yuki. We are praying that his obedience and faithfulness will be a testimony to his mother and brother, as well as to their father. (This picture of him is from 4 years ago!)
(Yes, this is a carryover from my last newsletter because it is still very relevant!) It is a joy for us to plan for new missionaries to join us in Japan. Raffaele and Sylvia Gaudio have started the fundraising process to come to Japan. As you can imagine, it is a challenging time to try to visit churches and to introduce yourselves and the vision God has given you as newly appointed missionaries. If you or your church are interested in learning about this huge answer to years of prayer, please visit their page on the NAB website: nabonmission.org/missionaries/raffaele-sylvia-gaudio.
This Thanksgiving, I am once again thanking God for each of you who pray and support me in this ministry. When I look at my monthly reports, I am overwhelmed by the generosity of family and friends and churches who believe in continuing the work God has started here in Japan. May God use each of us to expand His kingdom as we seek to know and to serve Him daily.
- Pray for the new youth gathering in the Osaka area. Pray for each of the four who come to grow in their relationship with Jesus and that they can learn how to shine the light of Jesus brightly.
- Pray for Yuki as he takes the step of obedience to be baptized. Pray for his family to also come to know Jesus as their Savior.
- Pray for me as I teach English conversation classes and English Bible study. Pray our conversations will be seasoned with salt and filled with Truth. Pray with me for each of my students, especially those who come to study the Bible but who are not yet Christians.
- Pray for Komyo Christian Church as we continue to settle into a new kind of ministry, not only with the pandemic restrictions but also with our new pastor.
- Praise the name of the Lord! The earth is filled with his glory!
- Praise God for the new youth gathering and how we are learning to interact online, too.
- Praise God for Yuki’s decision to follow Jesus and to be baptized!
- Praise the Lord for His faithfulness in walking with us, especially in these uncertain times.
- Praise God for our new missionaries, the Gaudio family! Please continue to pray with us as they raise support and prepare to join us in Japan.
From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised.
Psalm 113:3 (NIV)
Ibukino 3 Chome 14-9-903, Izumi Shi, Osaka Fu 594-0041 Japan