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Giesbrecht’s December 2023 Missions Update

For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)

Jesus: born Prince of Peace, preaching “blessed are the peacemakers”, and handing off to “people of peace”. 

During December we got to witness Jesus’s peacemaking work amongst the poor, or those considered to be “the least of these” in Japan.

At Roses Church in the park we were privileged to have God’s presence draw near.  One member was sharing how he always feels like he’s worse than others since he has no family, no wife, no house, and no career.  Then Peke-chan (one of our female servant-leaders) answered compassionately that she lives in a small apartment without a proper kitchen and has no husband or family or fancy job – but she feels like she is the happiest person in Japan!  Jesus loves her, provides for her, speaks to her, and gives her special love gifts – like the eggplants that she just received from another park-church member!  While she was speaking we could really feel the presence and humility of Christ.  At that moment the man sitting next to her – a new believer, Akaiwa-san – started saying “Kowai, Kowai, Kowai!” (scary)  The presence and holiness of God was so close that he became frightened and convicted!  He said: “There is such a huge gap between her and me, I don’t know what to do!”  “I have never heard anyone talk like this in my life”   “In all my 70 years of life I have never heard something as touching as this.  It’s almost scary!”  Perhaps the presence of God gave him an awareness of his sin and a desire to repent before the powerful love of Christ.

The following week when Peke-chan was being verbally attacked by another member, it was Akaiwa-san who was leading the way in making peace.  He said “I love Peke-chan, so when you attack her you are hurting me as well”  He was able to release the presence of God into the room through his kind words, and he was even able to hug the man who had been the aggressor and bring a change in the atmosphere.  We were able to feel God working through this baby Christian in making peace in such a mature way!
Having a church in the park – without any walls – with an “all are welcome” heart posture – has left us very vulnerable to various troubles and attacks.  But perhaps this is what Jesus was talking about when he said “A city on a hill cannot be hidden”  A city on a hill is vulnerable to attacks – but Jesus will protect it – in the same way that he protected the early church amid intense persecution.

In this context we get to witness what peacemaking really looks like.  I am learning through the peacemakers in the park:  

Peacemakers take an interest in the people in their community and intentionally invest in these relationships – that way when troubles arise they have a foundation of relationship to built upon.  

Peacemakers believe that there is good in people even when it is not at all apparent – that troubled, conflicting people truly desire peace and reconciliation in their heart of hearts.

Peacemakers believe that God can work in this situation – even when it seems very impossible and we just want one or both parties to leave.

Peacemakers don’t cut the string when it gets all tangled up.  This means staying in relationship and not using power to solve problems.

Peacemakers to do seek first to protect themselves (and their people) with power – but trust that God wants to use this trial to strengthen them and the church group.

We say “Come Lord Jesus” – come prince of peace!

Thank you for praying, 

Cory and Masami 

Praise Items

  • Thank you for praying for the pastors’ wives prayer time. We got together in person on November 28th. May we continue to grow closer to each other as sisters in Christ.
  • The leaders of the Samurai discipleship program got together in Hamamatsu at the end of the year, We are praying for 500 mentors to raise up a new generation of Christian samurai in Japan!

Prayer Requests

  • Pray for the prayer team coming from Saskatchewan at the end of March, the the Holy Spirit will lead and prepare the way.
  • Pray for the mens discipleship movement, that the Lord will provide mentors and mentees, disciples that make disciple that make disciples.