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Dear Family and Friends,
The message of Jesus’ birth and the salvation He brings was proclaimed in many places and in various ways last December. A highlight was the “Living Library” event which I was invited to speak at as one of the “books” to be shared that evening. There were a total of 4 (people) “books” that shared their life stories at small tables in a make-shift café that is usually used as a meeting place for a non profit-organization assisting hikkikomori “recluses.” I really felt that this was a God-ordained witnessing opportunity to share my testimony in a totally non-Christian event. I was told I was not allowed to proselytize, but there would be no problem sharing my own story. I shared about my struggles with identity growing up in Canada with Japanese immigrant parents and how I met Jesus, who gave me a strong identity and purpose as His child. I shared my testimony twice that evening and was amazed at the responses. One man openly shared about his belief in “god” as the “cosmos” and asked, “who is Jesus?” It was a great opportunity to share that He is God in the flesh and the true meaning of Christmas! Another lady was moved to tears and appreciated the testimony. I truly felt the presence of the Holy Spirit at work. One of the ladies who connected me to this opportunity is a lady I volunteer with in our local community center with seniors. She was also able to hear my testimony. I trust that a seed has been planted in her heart as well.
My little puppet friend, Ducky, has become popular and has been very busy speaking at various places. Last Christmas she made the seniors at the community center laugh and also endeared herself to the children who attend the Kansai Christian school chapel time and at various church outreaches.
The Heijo Christian Church is excited to call a new pastor to the church! They have been without a pastor for over 6 years now, so this is a great answer to prayer. Keisuke Yamamoto will graduate from seminary in March and will start ministry there in April. The goal from the beginning was for me to encourage and help the church until they can call a pastor. I praise God for His perfect timing as I end my term with them as a “cooperating” missionary and go on home assignment in April. Please pray for a smooth transition for the church and Pastor Yamamoto as it will be his first experience straight out of seminary. He will live in the parsonage on the second floor of the church and get himself better acquainted with not only the church members but also the neighborhood. May the church experience growth and continual hope and passion in reaching their neighborhood and friends and family to Christ.
Encouraging and discipling women is what I love to do and I praise God that there will be more opportunities to do that in the future. Before leaving for home assignment in April, there are many events scheduled. Shan Reed and I have been leading Ladies Seminars at the Komyo church for several years now and due to its positive impact, we will start a new Aichi prefectural regional seminar at the end of this month in hopes of it expanding to all the JBC church regions. Please pray that the women would experience the Holy Spirit at work and be encouraged to live out their faith with confidence in who they are as beloved daughters in Christ.
Please contact me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to schedule a church visit while on home assignment from this April through March 2020. I already have some visits scheduled in my calendar. I look forward to connecting with you personally!
In Christ, Yuri Nakano