“As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the soul of his masters.: Pro. 25:13
Well, now spring is finally coming to comfort us from a winter that seemed drawn out. It was amazing to see so much snow but it makes it not only difficult on your everyday life but even for the important things like emergency responders, hospitals, and many other things that are a necessity. The only way we have to heat our living room is with kerosene, and at some point, the gas station was out and so we had to wait. Thankfully, only had to wait for it the next day but you certainly have to watch how you use what you have left just to make it till that next time.
Also, I’ve never seen a store so bare of food and such. Veggies, dairy, bread… gone. Sadly though, people will only look at their physical needs and not much wonder about their spiritual need. It really is not much of a thought at all. There had been a good amount of people who lost their lives. People stranded on Route 8. They either froze to death or died from carbon monoxide.
When someone had finally contacted to have our road cleared by a “shovel car”, they started on the opposite end of us but then only finished half way. We really couldn’t understand why they only did that much but then we learned that he had a heart attack from lack of sleep and too much work from clearing roads.
Just typing all of that, I just want to cry because they did not die with the Hope.
For the positive, a LOT of people would get stuck on the roads in the rural areas so you’d see neighbors, people coming home or businesses going out and helping get a car out. It was pretty awesome to watch considering the Japanese people always seem so engrained in what they are doing but not really paying attention to others and their needs. Just the past few days, we have noticed people so engrossed with their phones that they are not even aware of what is right in front of them, like a 2 year old trying to hand them a piece of paper. Today, on my bike, I rode past a girl who was on her phone and didn’t take her eyes off it and crossed the road without even looking. Truly, we are amazed (and not in a good way).
Sorry, back to the positive. One of the things that we were able to get before the storm started was a bread maker. Thank you to those who gave towards getting it. We greatly appreciate that along with Hannah’s car seat. Praise the Lord! It is just a simple act to give someone a warm piece with a drink while in such cold conditions. People were surprised to receive it. One little fruit that showed up to us was from a lady that Brian helped. She brought us a note, her business card (business cards are a big deal in Japan), a flyer to the business she works at on our block, and a gift for Hannah. It was girl’s day on March 3rd so she got Hannah a gift for that. It was all very sweet. Now, our responsibility is to keep in contact with her and have a genuine relationship with her. Then may she show some kind of curiosity to our faith, to our hope. It may take years but as long as we are faithful to God and to the people, it will happen.
But one of the things that I’d like to state is that there are very few people to reach the Japanese. Very few. I’m sure we’ve said this before but we’ll say it again. Japan needs more missionaries. We need missionaries that really have a heart first for God, then that have a heart for the lost at whatever cost that may be. But we certainly (the Christian community) feel so small. There is a need.
Another great need from a missionary standpoint is that we need people who will either be pastor or some type of leadership in the church. When I’m having Japanese lessons with our Pastor’s wife, Brian is keeping Pastor company and just being support to him which has been wonderful. But one of the recent things that was said was at a meeting (I think of some churches in the area) is that our church and a friend church has no one next to take care of the church. The friend church has a leadership group but has no pastor. Our church has Pastor Emori but he is very old and when he dies, we have no one to take responsibility. Right now, Brian does not feel like he is being called to be a pastor but he is ready and willing to take whatever responsibility that is required of him. I think one of the hardest things that is on our mind is that churches and ministries our dying because there aren’t enough “labourers”. Most of those labourers that started the churches over here are gone and the very last of them is actually going back home to Norway. People either aren’t being properly trained to understand to think for themselves (whether just personally or spiritually) or they aren’t being trained to be in leadership roles. Oh, please God, help us.
One more need that is looking to be fulfilled is that our boss, Hiroko is looking for a part-time, Christian, single lady teacher.
So if you know of anyone or you yourself are interested first reach out to God and seek His wisdom and if He gives you the green light, reach out to us and we’ll get you connected with Hiroko.
I believe one more thing I’d like to update everyone on is the ministries that are either starting up again or just started.
We just started the Pocket Ministry this past Friday (3/23). It felt a bit slow as no one came and participated. But it also wasn’t the nicest weather. It was just kind of a dreary day. But Hannah had so much fun passing out the flyers to people. If you would pray for God’s presence in that ministry. God’s presence may look different than we think but please pray for that. Pocket Ministry is every Friday at 5pm to 7pm. Also, please pray that a girl named Asuka will come. She is a girl that was at the orphanage that we visit once a month. She has become the age that they don’t keep them at the orphanage anymore. We don’t know details of where she is or anything but the staff told us that she really enjoys the Pocket Ministry. We so very much want to see her and help her in whatever way we can.
Another ministry that is starting is a little English school that we will teach at every other Saturday. The off Saturdays will still be Mama Mia (child and mommy ministry). So for the English school, it of course consists of teaching English but the main reason for it is to use the Bible. To teach about God and Jesus. So we and our friend (who is starting this) are very excited in this school coming together. So far, God is helping us see what the gifts He gives us can be used for. It is truly a blessing!
We want to thank everyone who has been a part of this life that we live. It’s by your support through prayers and other means of help makes this happen. We are very grateful for all those things. Also, thank you to those who have given your time when we were home. I know that while I felt like I was going everywhere (being busy) but I didn’t feel like it was busy-ness. It was extremely relaxing and helped energize me. There were a lot of things that we could accomplish and then there were some things that didn’t get done and of course, there were many more people that we wanted to spend time with and just couldn’t but that’s ok. I’m sure we’ll get another chance.
But until then, keep up serving God in the way that He calls you. If you feel like you are missing something, seek Him and He will provide. Oooo, that word “will” sounds so invigorating! Praise the Lord for His goodness, mercies, grace and many more. We are so undeserving. But because He gives us those things, may we take that advantage and love on Him and fellowship with Him.