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The North American Baptist Conference’s spring missions emphasis was on Komyo Christian Church. The verses from Hebrews were the theme verses. The dictionary defines perseverance as persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. I think this definition not only describes the last year but also life in general.
I thought this tree was an incredible picture of perseverance. It is growing out of a rock. What does it take for a tree to sprout and grow in a rock? I have no idea, biologically. However, it did make me think of life in Japan. In an environment that is cold and hard, we sow seeds. It is not only the perseverance of the sower, the waterer, and the harvester that helps the plant to grow, but it is also the persistence of the plant itself. The whole process is wrapped in the Light. Praise God for his faithful work and love.
Thank you for praying with us, especially for Komyo Christian Church, for perseverance. God’s light continues to shine bright, and we rely on him so that we will not become weary as we run the race marked out for us. On Easter, Komyo Church was excited to finally meet together in person again. Sadly, another state of emergency was called, which limited the number of people who could meet together in person. Therefore, they are, once again, meeting only virtually. Please continue to pray for the hearts of these Christian brothers and sisters to remain faithful and to persevere.
In April, I was able to take a few days in the Black Hills of South Dakota for rest and spiritual refreshment. It was a blessing to spend time in nature enjoying God’s creation. What an amazing testimony of God’s goodness, faithfulness, and love.
This home assignment has been filled with the need for perseverance. I have appreciated all of the churches, small groups, youth groups, and individuals who have taken time to meet with me in creative ways. Sometimes the technology has not worked as we had anticipated, yet we were still able to meet and encourage one another. Thank you for persevering with me and inviting me into your churches, homes, and lives. Your faithfulness in prayer and support inspires me to persevere.
Our newest missionaries, the Gaudio family, are persevering in the support-raising journey. We are grateful to God for leading them and are excited to have them join us in Japan as soon as possible. If you or your church are interested in learning more about their family and ministry, please visit their page on the NAB website: nabonmission.org/missionaries/raffaele-sylvia-gaudio.
Thank you for partnering with me and for your encouragement through prayers and faithful support of the ministry in Japan. May we persevere in the race marked out for us and encourage one another as we run.
Soli Deo Gloria,