“So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.” 1 Thessalonians 2:8
Greetings from Nihon! A cold one, at that! It’s about time for us to take things out of our freezer and just leave them on the counter.
It has been a little while since we last gave an update. So I hope that I can fill everyone in on what you may want to know. Where to start!?
Kid’s English has started it’s second term. We are rather excited about this term, instead of it being two separate classes that only last for an hour each, both classes have been combined and it lasts for two hours. The first hour, all of the children are together. We have songs, games, Bible lesson (the important part that we couldn’t really do last term), and then snack time. The second half starts with everyone together to learn English from the Bible lesson and then we separate the older kids from the younger kids. I take the younger kids to a different room and we learn to write the A,B,Cs, and do our craft. Brian keeps the older kids with him and reviews the vocabulary, write the A,B,Cs, and then do the craft. Everyone does pretty well. The one thing I enjoy is that they seem to really enjoy the Bible lesson. We use the Youversion Kid’s Bible app. Please be in prayer for the children, that they would soak up the Bible stories. That their hearts would be drawn to God. Also, please pray for the few children that aren’t coming this term. I’m sorry as I can’t remember some of the names. But three of them, their dad is a monk for a temple so the grandparents were against them coming to Kid’s English knowing we have the intentions of using the Bible. Then about 3 other children (who are friends with the siblings) chose not to attend because the sibling’s mom was the one who brought them, plus, I think, they probably wanted their friends to be there.
There is a group of us ladies that have just started to meet. Most of them go to the friend church (Bunkyou). Oddly enough, two of the people’s names starts with an R and the other three of our names starts with M. So we have become R&M. But the group started with the intent of encouraging one another as we all have our own lives in a country that is so busy.
We are looking into going through “The Screwtape Letters” with the study guide that was made years later. I believe we are all rather excited. While we should certainly understand the heart of God but also learning quite a bit about how our Enemy works should help. Every one, no matter where in the world we are, are always fighting inside the spiritual world whether we know it or not.
Please pray as this group develops as we all develop a relationship with each other, that we can help strengthen each other in the Lord.
Hannah is doing well. Growing like a weed. Or I guess, in Japanese, what her name means, a flower. A very beautiful flower (I might be just a slight bit bias). She is speaking both English and Japanese now. She doesn’t really speak actual full sentences though. She can get out a string of words though. She loves to play guitar with me and she loves to take “shashin” (as she holds up her cute little thumb up for confirmation that she can do so). Shashin means “photo”.
After praying for sometime about it, we recently decided to enroll her in youchien, which is like kindergarten. Daddy and Mommy have mixed emotions but we are at least thankful that it is a Christian youchien. We are excited to see her language increase and make new friends. Before you know it, she’ll be teaching her parents the language. 😊 But God still continues to use her, as she continues to catch people’s attention with her blonde, curly hair.
We’ve had some opportunities this month to share the gospel whether through the church or through the city.
Truly, we are always amazed that the city keeps asking us to speak. It is a blessing!
We continue to go to the Tanpopoen Nursing Home. Brian gave a message about who we are, the story behind Thanksgiving and he tied in the gospel message to it all. He also played the accordion and we sang a fun song to get everyone moving. Then some of our church ladies did some hula dancing to a beautiful song about God’s grace. Hannah decided to join in on the dance half way through which brought a lot of smiles and laughter. It was all such a wonderful time.
The things that the city has asked us to do is another kominkan. Which is a kind of activity that is held at a community center. Again, Brian gave in introduction of who we are, mentioned Halloween just a bit, then Thanksgiving, lastly, the gospel. We sang gospel songs and had everyone participate in doing the moves. It was also a good time.
The other thing that the city has been inviting Brian back to do is talk on the radio. This time was his third time. The first time, they were interested in what a Christian volunteer is and a bit of the gospel. The second time, they seemed to focus more on sports and everything else that we don’t really have interest in. This time they asked about Thanksgiving and more of what Christianity is. We are excited as they continue to ask him to go back. We really pray and hope that even “just one more soul” would come to Christ through this.
Now, I’ll bare my heart on what desires we have had.
I’ve been learning guitar from a couple at Bunkyou Church. The husband is the one teaching but it has been so much fun to be able to get to know them better. Also, the wife wants to learn English but considering that the husband mostly speaks in Japanese, it’s been great to try and converse. It’s funny though because she wants to use English, but I want to use Japanese.
But the main reason to wanting to play guitar is for ministry. Whether at church and they need a guitar player, some other Christian gathering needs a guitar player, or just for someone who needs personal comfort through music. One of the biggest has to be for the Pocket Ministry. To be able to play live music in Japanese and English and hopefully, draw people to our table. Actually, one of our Pastor’s sons joined us for the last ministry and he intents to come to the next. He is very eager to join. Thankfully, he also plays guitar so I’m sure this can only help.
Another desire that we have is to start a Sunday School for our church. We only have three children (that’s including Hannah). But for most of church time, the other two are just running around wherever they want. So I’ve started to look into some type of curriculum, personally. So far, I think I like it. Still going through it though. But for now, Brian takes them upstairs and does a small type of lesson with them. But Pastor and Mrs. Emori are really praying for a Sunday School. It was through reaching out to children that the church started out. All of those children are now the grown-up members that attend on Sunday. The one reason that I’m not teaching yet is because my language is still too weak.
Thankfully, because of Brian switching to part time, I have more time to study but I’m still having some difficulty. So please continue to pray as we continue to learn the language. Of course, please continue to pray for the hearts of the Japanese. Truly, they are blind to their own personal needs, for the most part, others’ needs, but most importantly, the needs for their souls. They are “dear unto us” and it’s so hard to watch them be oblivious whether we just told them or not that they need Christ.
But we want to thank you all for your prayers. We are given strength because of them.