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- Praise God for a Christmas season filled with opportunities to share the true meaning of the season.
- Praise God that Komyo Christian Church has become an established church and called a Japanese pastor!
- Pray for Komyo Christian Church and Pastor Saijo as we transition to the next phase of our journey.
- 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.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.
Greetings from Japan! Thank you for being part of what God is doing here. We have had an exciting and full three months since my last newsletter.
December was filled with opportunities to share the true meaning of Christmas in and around our church. One of our favorite activities each December is caroling at the nursing home where we volunteer bimonthly. There were many viruses traveling around at the time we visited so we were all asked to wear masks. It makes singing a bit challenging, but we still had fun singing and doing origami together. We are thankful we continue to be invited to volunteer and interact with these lovely people. A lady who volunteers on a different day has become acquaintances with one of our members and brought her friend to our ladies’ Christmas craft day. God is building bridges and his love and peace are being experienced through our volunteer times.
For our ladies’ Christmas craft time, one of my friends from AGC taught us how to make a Christmas tree arrangement out of evergreen boughs. God is doing a new thing! As I mentioned, two ladies came through our volunteer connection, plus some of the English conversation students joined. We had a fun day of creating, eating, singing, and laughing together. I wish I could share all of the pictures with you! The smiling and laughing faces brought joy to my soul.
The baking class at church has had some new members recently. In December we had fun baking hot chocolate cookies together. They were delicious! Of course, we enjoyed talking and laughing together, too. Even in the activities we have been doing for a long time God is doing new things.
I hosted our annual Anointed Gospel Choir get-together again. This time we had a new year’s party rather than a Christmas party. I love having the ladies in my home for a relaxed time of fellowship and food. It filled my heart with joy to see some of the ladies who are Christians having deep conversations with those who are seeking Truth. God is doing a new thing in His children.
Every year the Japan Baptist Conference youth gather four times for teaching, playing, fellowship, and connecting with others who love Jesus. Two of those gatherings are one-day events and two are overnight camps. The winter gathering is a one-day event held on the national holiday in January. This year we met at the branch church of one of our JBC established churches. This branch church is on the property where one of my Japanese friends grew up. After her father passed away, she and her brothers made it available for the church to use. I appreciated being in the church and hearing my friend’s testimony about the faithfulness of God, in drawing her to faith through her mom’s terminal illness when she was a youth herself, in using the pastors and missionaries of the JBC to encourage and grow her faith, and in her willingness to wait to get married until her boyfriend was ready to be baptized so that they could build a Christian home. Many of the people who have been important in her faith journey overlap with mine. The theme for the day was ‘hope’ and her hope in Jesus was evident in her testimony.
We look forward to the next three months which will include a ladies’ seminar, a Bible seminar, two short term teams, Pastor Saijo’s ministry beginning at Komyo, and Easter! Thank you for continuing to pray with and for us at Komyo Christian Church!
Soli Deo Gloria, Shan Reed