Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Mt 9:38)
Dear family and friends, partners in the Kingdom! Greetings from Japan!
We hope that you are well and enjoying this new year.
After taking a break during the holidays, and with the cold weather, we were not sure how the turnout would be for our Friday night English outreach times, but the Lord has been surprising us week after week, bringing people and giving us grace to build relationships with them. And as we sow seed by seed week after week, we feel their hearts opening to the message of the Gospel. Please continue to pray with us for these beautiful people.
Let me tell you about just one of the many “divine appointments” He has arranged. During the winter school break, Dominique had three friends come over and stay for a couple of days. (We seem to always have many children here, besides our own. The other day between Israel’s and Johann’s friends, there were seven extra little boys here!)
So, while Dominique’s friends were here, we all went to the park, where we met the Sato family. They recently moved to Machida, so they don’t really know anyone here, and she lived in Canada for a few years and speaks English well. We began a conversation, and they were eager to come on Friday nights, as well as to other events we have had at the church for kids. It seems every time we go to the park, the Lord has something set up for us!
BELOW SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH
- For us, it started on the very first day with the wonderful news that we are to be blessed yet again with another “arrow in our quiver”! (See the surprise video below) The new little one is to make his or her arrival in September.
- Another privilege in the beginning of the year was for Fabio to have been invited to preach at the New Years get together that was for all of the churches that belong to this network in the east part of Japan. It was a beautiful time of fellowship and we feel that the Lord is uniting our hearts with the brothers and sisters here in Japan.
- Last Sunday we had the first Kids Club of the year, being the fourth one we have had so far. We had a greater turnout, with a total of 23 kids, and many of the parents also stayed to watch, which is great! This gives us the opportunity to talk with them as well and we praise the Lord for their openness. Pray for these children and their families!
- Last Wednesday, Elizabeth began the Ladies Bible Study again, after breaking for the worst part of winter. We are reading through the book of John and discussing it. Several ladies that are not yet Christians have participated and are hungry to know more about this Jesus. Pray for their eyes to be opened to the beauty of the Gospel!
- We have been busy behind the scenes preparing for our home church in Chicago to send a mission team this June! We have been talking to various people about the ministry possibilities, as well as trying to work out the logistics of lodging, etc. We are SO excited about what God will do! Please pray with us in anticipation, for the team and the Lord’s leading of each step of ministry here.
- Last Sunday we were visited by TransWorld Radio’s (TWR) international coordinator, Samuel Tan, a brother from Singapore, along with Hiro Sasaki, the Japan coordinator. Having lunch with them, we feel like the Lord just keeps confirming the same thing to us. Great things are about to happen in this nation!
Brother Samuel told us that many Singapore churches have been putting their eyes on Japan, believing now is Japan’s time. They have been investing heavily in sending teams, promoting unity and fellowship among Japanese churches, sponsoring overseas retreats for Japanese pastors, and have been able to purchase broadcasting time in 20 FM radio channels. As they said, this is unheard of in Japan, as the masses are being able to hear the Word of God on secular radio now! Besides that, they have been partnering with Korean and Chinese churches to send missions teams to Japan. The project is called: Love Japan. How encouraging to know that God is on the move on behalf of this nation!!
Our friends, God is indeed with His eyes on this nation. Although it has an appearance of being strong, there are so many people filled with hopelessness. A few days ago, Fabio took 2 hours in the train when it should’ve taken only 35 mins. The reason: someone committed suicide by jumping in front of the train. Unfortunately, not a rare occurrence. When he shared that with his teacher, she said: “It’s sad but that’s how things are here…People live under so much pressure that some can’t take it anymore and…”
Thankfully, we believe that God is about to change that!
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.
Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
PRAYER NEEDS SUMMARY
- Friday outreaches, Kids Club, Wednesday ladies Bible studies — for seeds to take root and bear fruit;
- For this church and leadership and unity among churches in Japan;
- Upcoming mission team trip in June, for open doors and the Lord’s leading and empowering;
- For our family ministry in Brazil and the families we are constantly in touch with.
- For the Lord’s protection over our marriage, our children, and this new baby’s growth;
For those who partner us in any capacity and level to join the move of God on this side of the world. That they would be surrounded by God’s favor and experience His goodness, abundance and loving surprises and intervention where needed.