“But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the LORD’s praise, for he has been good to me.” Psalms 13:5-6
After the difficult start to the new year, things have gotten much better in both my ministry and my physical health. The upper respiratory infection took about 2 weeks to clear up, and now, except for the occasional cough, I’m so much better. Thank you everyone for your prayers.
This past month our movie times at both churches was “God’s Not Dead”. The students had some good questions afterwards and I was very happy to share my testimony once again. In February we will watch “Silence”, the history of when Christianity first came to Japan. It’s a 3 hour movie so we will watch it in two parts in February and March. Please pray for the students who attend to be impacted by the truth of God’s love for them.
A few things keeping me busy this past month were having a farewell lunch for a former student, Keiko Saito (front right in picture on the left). She is moving from Fujigaoka to Saitama so some of her previous classmates and I took her out to Denny’s. It was great to connect with these ladies once more and to pray for Keiko.
About a week ago, I was having tea with my friend, Yuki, in Saizeriya when a former Komaki student walked in with her husband. I hadn’t seen Sadako (in between Yuki and I at right) since I left Komaki Hope Chapel back in 2013, so we had a wonderful time chatting and catching up. Lasting relationships are such an important part of my ministry and life here in Japan. I’m so grateful for this moments that come out of the blue.
On January 29th, our Japan team got together in Kyoto. Doris Goertz, Cory & Masami Giesbrecht and I went to the Kyoto train museum which was really cool. The history of the train in Japan is quite interesting and I sure learned a lot! It was good to have a time of sharing and hearing about what is going on in our various ministries.
I’m very excited about February because my younger son, Steve, will be coming to visit me for about 6 days with one of his friends. It’s the first time since I came to Japan in 2006, that any of my family has come to Japan. Please pray for safety in their travels and that we will have a special time together.
Our OneVoice Advanced choir has started practicing “He Reigns” by the Newsboys…one of my favourite songs. It is so cool to hear all the harmonizing but more importantly, I was able to share the meaning of the song with the members as I was teaching them the pronunciation. Please pray for the choir members to fully understand the love God has for them as they praise him through song!
As I close this month’s update, some items of praise & prayer are:
- Praise the Lord for healing of my lungs and thank you again for your prayers!
- Praise for the impact of “God’s Not Dead” on the students who came to watch and that this impact will help them to make a decision to follow Jesus one day.
- Praise for my son’s upcoming visit and pray we will have a very special time together.
- Praise that the suicide rate dropped to 21,818 in 2023….the first decline in two years, but that is 21,818 too many! Please also pray for those families affected by losing loved ones.
- Pray for the ongoing relief and rebuilding in the Noto Peninsula area that was hit with a 7.3 earthquake on January 1st. Pray for warmer weather to arrive soon and that they will be able to erect temporary homes for the over 29,000 people who are still living in shelters.
- Pray for the February movie times at the churches and that more students will attend. We had 12 last month at Komaki and 11 at Fujigaoka. I’m praying that we will have at least 15 to 16 this month at each church.
- Pray for the prayer team from Parliament Community Church as they prepare to come in March. Pray for wisdom and discernment, and pray that the pastors & churches in Japan will be impacted by their visit.
I appreciate your prayers for me for good health and lots of energy for my ESL classes and choir practices. Thank you for your continued partnership in my ministries here and I look forward to hearing from you when you have a few minutes to drop me a line.