Wednesday, October 24, 2018

An Update from the Field

A lot has happened since our arrival in Nagoya almost 2 months ago.  At this point we are finally settling into a wonderful fourth floor apartment that will serve as a base for family life and ministry over the remainder of this term. God was incredibly generous to provide so many of the things we were praying for in terms of location (we're a short walk from a subway station, exactly half way between ANF's two target areas), size (the apartment is very large by Japanese standards, which will enable us to host guests and work from home), and atmosphere (it's a bright apartment with big widows and a great view of the sky from the balcony)! Several of our neighbors also speak some English and want to be friends!

During October, Gina and I have been spending a lot of time with the ANF pastoral staff and their wives. These couples have faced a challenging year and grown in many ways. We feel proud of them and thankful for God's mercy. Yu-san is leading well downtown, and we are working on a pathway that we expect to culminate in his ordination and installation as a pastor and elder at ANF. Paul and Yu-chan have continued to care for the young Christians and new believers at our Nagakute campus, and we're seeing the evidence of the Holy Spirit's work among that group. Hide-san recently agreed to stay at ANF for a second year, and we have agreed about the areas he will focus on during 2019. It's been a fun month of ministry in these areas.

We're also becoming re-acquainted with the congregation at ANF, and there are quite a few newcomers in each location. Some are just taking the first steps to explore Christianity. They're wrestling with doubts and questions, but they're doing so within this little body of believers. We believe that means the Spirit is calling them to faith in Christ, and we're full of hope for them! Some of the newer Christians at ANF feel a heavy burden for family members who don't know Christ, and others are struggling with loneliness that's magnified by their profession of Faith. Both ANF congregations are also made up expats and missionaries who have chosen to live here among this unreached people group for the sake of the Kingdom. We know first hand about the challenges associated with that calling. This month, would you pray specifically for ANF (and for the larger Church) in Japan? Ask the Lord of the Harvest to build up and strengthen his people; to bring deeper vision, unity, and fellowship; to bless marriages; and to make the fruits of the Spirit to be evident among us as we labor here!


We continue to be blown away by the generosity of our partners. Japan is an expensive field, and it takes a lot of people, working together to make this ministry possible. Thanks to all of you who made quick pledges and have given so generously to place our new Serge account in a healthy spot. We've even seen some brand new names on our donor reports since arriving in Japan. If that's you, welcome to the team! We'll do our best to follow up with you personally, now that the dust is finally settling!
(If you'd like to become a financial partner or make changes to you' giving, you can do that here. Serge has recently updated their online giving portal to allow for more convenient access to your donor accounts, so it should be easier than ever to manage your giving).

Others of you have not been able to contribute financially, but you are partnering with us through your faithful, fervent prayers. There have been a lot of recent additions to that group too! Thank you, friends! God has raised up an army of prayer partners from all over the world who are lifting this work before the throne on a regular basis. We depend upon that. God hears us when we pray! Thank you for being in this with us!  If you'd like to receive our newsletters and/or prayer updates, you can sign up here.

  • Our Visa Situation: November 6th marks the end of the period for the 90 day tourist visas. Please pray that God would provide the long term visas we are still waiting on for Gina and the boys.  The clock is ticking!
  • For our church (ANF) and the Church in Japan.
  • For the Eguchi family as we make plans for ordain and install Yu-san. He is continuing to carry most of the leadership load for our downtown campus.
  • For the Kawai and Kang families as they work with us to lead the Nagakute campus.
  • For our family as we interact with new neighbors around our home. Pray that we would have opportunities to build trust and friendships. Pray for opportunities to share the Good News!
  • Please pray specifically for Joshua, during this second year at College. Pray for the Spirit to guard his heart and lead him in our absence.
  • As always, Gina and I covet your prayers for our marriage and parenting. You know what we need in these areas...please lift us up before the throne of Grace!