Recently it feels a little hard to process all that’s going on around us. We’ve been blessed with an abundance of opportunities to serve our church, community and prefecture. At the same time we’ve felt the burden of church ministry as our church has wrestled through difficult situations requiring more wisdom and discernment than we possess. Through it all we rely on God’s direction, confident not in our own decisions, but always confident in His power to lead. Thank you for supporting us and the ministry here through your prayers and financial partnership. Below are some of the things that happened in March!
5 Year Anniversary of the 3/11 Earthquake and Tsunami
It’s been five years since the Tsunami devastated nearly all the coastal towns in three of Japan’s prefectures. Most of these cities still have a long way to go before their recovery is complete. If you drive a long the coast line here you will see construction happening everywhere. There are still tens of thousands of people living in “temporary” residences waiting for the chance to move into a real home.
In the midst of all this Christians continue to minister to the residents of these towns through temporary housing visits, after school programs for children, and hosting community events. Teams from Singapore, Germany, the US and Japan are a constant presence in this prefecture that previously did not have a single missionary serving within it’s borders. We continue to prepare for long term service in coastal areas, and as such I’ve been slowly increasing my trips down to the coast, while at the same time continuing my training through interning at Morioka Bible Baptist Church.
Tomo’s Many Ministries
Tomo is a lot more useful than I am right now. As I struggle to simply comprehend the language and what is going on around me, she not only speaks Japanese but is gifted in many other areas as well. This has not gone unnoticed at church – they’ve been putting her to work!
Currently Tomo is leading a monthly pound cake making ministry, a bi-weekly young mothers outreach, and on occasion plays piano. This year she was also asked to chair the evangelism committee and quickly came up with an ambitious plan to shift the focus from hosting two or three big events a year, to encouraging and equipping everyone in the church to engage in personal, relational evangelism to their friends and family.
We’ve been especially encouraged at what God is doing through the young mother’s group. What started as an informal get together with a few of the stay at home mom’s from the church has grown to include a number non-christian friends of these mothers, who are now gathering at the church on a regular basis for fellowship.
Dave Prepping for his First Japanese Sermon
I’ll be preaching for the first time in Japanese this coming Sunday, May 1st. However I’ve been preparing for this sermon for the last 4 months. It’s been a painstakingly slow process compared to how much easier it is prepare for a sermon in English. For my first time I’ll be relying heavily on notes, which requires that I write the sermon out in Japanese in advance. In March I finished the translation. I’ll be preaching on the parable of the Unmerciful Servant. I want to highlight how God’s great forgiveness to us both frees us and compels us to forgive those who have wronged us.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please keep us, our church and our prefecture in prayer, as we commit to building God’s Kingdom.