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Giesbrechts January 2023 Missions Update

 He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he. (Deuteronomy32:4) 

“That stuff is actually real!”

This is what our son Joshua said after seeing deliverance prayer for the first time. Maybe this was the first time for him to see something that looked like a scene out of the New Testament.

In the middle of December Joshua got to join in on a mission trip to Okinawa. One night when we came back to the church building where we were sleeping, there was a man on the floor and three people doing prayer ministry with him. It was inspiring to hear the story of how this young man had appeared at a worship service last summer and how they had cared for him with great endurance despite many difficulties.

“As for God, his way is perfect”

We also got to pray in the home of a family that God is stitching back together. The mother and daughters had been praying for their Dad for some time although there was a lot of anger in the house. Last year the marriage was almost finished and the father spent half a year living separately. During this time – when it looked like he was going to lose everything – he finally surrendered to Jesus, started attending a church and got baptised. Now the family is back together and facing the many remaining challenges in prayer together. It was amazing to see the church come around them in fervent prayer when they came to the Sunday worship service.

Okinawa is the poorest prefecture in Japan and also has the highest rates of divorce, abuse, and alcoholism. We got to help at two different food banks in Okinawa, one run by the church in whose building we were sleeping, and one run by a Christian Businessman named Ito. I was touched by Ito-san’s selfless love for the single-moms in his neighborhood. Evidently, he was once down-and-out himself and God saved him. Now he runs a food bank on his business property, which provides food for many families who are having a hard time making ends meet.

While we were there, a man named Tony contacted his food bank looking for help. Ito-san gave food, found shelter and raised funds for Tony. Ito-san asked us to pray with Tony because he is an American and can communicate better in English. Tony told us how he was a successful hotel manager in Okinawa for many years. However, after losing his marriage and family, his money, and his visa to stay in Japan now he was about to be extradited to the US. He said that he chose to fly to San Francisco (though he doesn’t know anyone there) since he thought that would be a nice place to die. However, after receiving so much love from Ito-san, he said “Although I haven’t been to church in 40 years, if God will have me back, I would like to serve him again”. Since my team-mate Steve’s parents happen to live in San Francisco, Tony was able to have someone to receive him and a church to love on him! I was so touched by Ito-san’s nonsensical love for this man, whom he had only just met and likely would not see again (on earth). The love and generosity of the kingdom do not make sense here on earth!

Coming back to Osaka, we had Christmas outreaches in both the wealthy Ishibashi and the poorer Nishinari. It was exciting to see Ishibashi brothers and sisters stepping out of their comfort zone a bit and reaching out to their community. One brother made a model Arc of the Covenant and his family paraded it around the community like they do at traditional Japanese festivals. Through this God provided some new contacts in the neighborhood and inspired some to do this kind of outreach regularly. At the Nishinari outreach some brothers and sisters felt called to donate clothing, some food, and some to preach the gospel. There was lots of feeding and seeding!

Thank you for praying,

Cory and Masami

Praise Items

  • We praise God for the new lives in Christ. In the last few months, we have heard about two funerals where several family members came to accept Christ as their saviour. Praise the Lord who even overcomes death!
  • Thank you for praying for our son Joshua (17). He has decided to move back to Winnipeg, MB to study at University.
  • We thank God for Christmas miracles. We were ale to reconnect with two of our former foster children over Christmas time. Please continue to pray for baby Hana (now almost 4) who lives with her mum and H (boy 7) who lives at the children’s home.

Prayer Items

  • For more workers for the harvest fields of Japan (Matt. 9:37-38), that they will speak God’s words badly and that there will be many signs and wonders in Jesus’ name (Acts 4:29-30)
  • For Team Jesus, their Kansai missions (Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto) Feb 12-17th
  • For Roses church (park church that meets every Wednesday at downtown Osaka)
  • For Ishibashi Church and our Pastors (Pastor Funahashi, Pastor Minamino and Pastor Ota)
  • February 21st as we meet our potential foster son for the first time