He hath made every thing beautiful in his time… so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. -Ecc 3
This has been a month of new things and possibilities, from the weather to classes and ministry. The refreshing Spring weather has been, well, refreshing. All of us have been going on so many outings recently – so much, in fact, that I`ve discovered yet another health problem – my knee! Several years ago I was involved in a motorcycle accident that damaged my right arm and leg. I think it may be beginning to finally catch-up with me. Hannah`s cough is also still there, but it seems to (very) gradually be getting better. Thank you to those of you who prayed for her! Mia also has the occasional health troubles, but I suppose all of this is just what age brings. We may be saved from the “law of sin”, but not yet “the law of death”, I suppose. But moving on, here are the ministry updates.
Also, thank you so much to all of you who recently sent both Easter items and future items to us! We are extremely appreciative of your help to spread “tidings of good news”; the things sent have already had quite an effect! Hannah has also been greatly enjoying the things many of you sent for her! We have been able to share the gospel with many people using the sweets that you sent us! The chocolate crosses, candy and plastic eggs, and other items were all used to introduce the concept of everlasting life to children and adults. One of my adult students, after hearing about how Christ died and resurrected, said that she “never heard that before”. This is a woman who is almost in her 70`s saying that she has never heard the gospel before in her life. We are frequently reminded of truly how big the void is of Christ in Japan. We are so blessed to be a part with you to reach so many that are without the Lord.
As mentioned in the last post, we did put in the order for the motion gospel tracts from Moments With the Book (http://mwtb.org). We received two types, one which has three images when tilted, and tells three short messages that first, God created us, second sin separates us, and third that Jesus died for us (along with supporting graphics that change with each tilted image). The other tract is a two-image tract that changes from saying “NO JESUS NO PEACE” to “KNOW JESUS KNOW PEACE”. They are made quite well and they have been of great use already! We have gone from rarely being able to give the gospel to strangers because of the culture, to needing to restock the tracts we take out with us daily because they are such a great tool to talk about Christ! It looks like we will need another (bigger) order of them sooner than later! We are so thankful that the Lord lead us to these tracts! Above is just one picture from Mia and I getting a recent opportunity to talk to children about the Lord. They are already intrigued that we are not Japanese, on top of not expecting to talk to us in Japanese, they then are very open to see and hear what we have to say. Japanese adults also have an…. interesting fascination, I`ll call it, with English, and love to use it in small ways (even when it`s incredibly wrong)! This interest also works very well with these tracts, as we are able to explain the mean and give it to them as an “English resource” – and they are usually very eager to receive. Please keep praying for a continued open door to utter the gospel in this way and more!
We recently had a meeting with our pastor here to discuss a possible church English lesson during the summer. It would involve an outreach to school students in the form of a Bible-based introductory English class. There are still details to be determined, but we will plan to give an update on this soon.
As you probably already know, we have been looking for a place to relocate to that would be better for several reasons. Moriai-san has been our primary helper in scouting-out places. The most recent of rental house seemed perfect – great size, good area, affordable, and pet friendly. However, someone else signed a contract before we could. Agreeing to trust the Lord for a better place, ironically, Moriai decided to move into one of the houses we looked at some time ago. Previously he rented an apartment above the school – an apartment that we actually have a lot of interest in. I spoke with the landlord (who happens to be one of my students) and we took a look at it today. It would be quite extraordinarily orchestrated from God if it turns out to be the right place to move to. We are asking for wisdom on this and will again plan to give an update in the next post.
Lastly we want to ask for prayer in regards to getting driving licenses here. We currently have international permits which allow us to drive in Japan for a year, but they are expiring soon and we are starting the (complicated!!) process of “starting over again” here. America is one of the few countries that Japan does not accept a simple license transfer, so we have to take two tests, as well as perform an actual driving test all over again. Japan is also notorious for failing international drivers the first several times on purpose (for a reason we are not exactly sure). A fellow missionary here even said that she had to take the driver’s test over ten times! Please ask the Lord to allow us quick approval for this, if you would.
Well, there are again more things we could mention but we’ll leave for another post. Also, please also take a moment to look at our prayer list for a couple of new areas that need your prayers. Thank you for your faithful support and prayers, and if there is anything you would like to know, we’d love to hear from you!