“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means God with us .” Matthew 1:23
It’s almost the end of November and the weather is cooling off a lot now. I’m still able to wear capris & sandals at least twice a week, but that’s changing as the days become more cooler. I hear that Abbotsford is supposed to get some more snow later this week, so feel free to send me some!! 😊
Years ago, I was planning to go to China with some students, specifically to see the terracotta statues that they found there and continue to excavate to this day. That trip never happened, but early in November, I was able to see many of the statues here in Nagoya with Atsuko, a long-time friend (and now student at Fujigaoka), and her friend, Yukiko. These ladies also attended our wreath-making event at Fujigaoka Christ church later in November (more about that on page 2).
You’ve been praying for Rikako and her husband, “T”, who has cancer. Praise the Lord that he was released last week from the hospital (after almost 2 months). His prognosis is not good, but he is able to be at home with many pieces of medical equipment and a physiotherapist visiting to assist him with leg movements. Please continue to lift them up in prayer. Rikako, and another former Toyota student, Keiko Honda, came to my home for lunch in mid-November. We had a lovely visit and prayer time. I’ve also been to Rikako’s home twice now to pray with her which has been so special.
Our OneVoice Gospel Choir in Okazaki, had a mini concert on Nov. 20th and 8 of my friends were able to attend. The couple in the photo on the right are my physiotherapists, and it’s the first time they’ve been to a gospel concert. Please pray for them and that the words of the songs were understood. I explained a bit more about the songs’ meanings with Tanaka sensei (the husband) at my last physio appointment.
MIWA sensei (front right in photo on left) is one of our directors. She told me years ago when I first joined the choir that she is 50% Christian because her mother & sister are Christians. I told her on that day years ago that one day she too will be 100% Christian! Please pray for her salvation as we sing about Jesus.
On November 23rd, I attended The Messiah in Sakae City (suburb of Nagoya). Keiko Hattori (the pastor’s daughter from Fujigaoka Christ Church) is on the very top left (in the white top). She is a teacher at Kinjo High School and has sung every year since she began teaching there. Hattori sensei used to join as well, but due to Covid, they had to cut down the number of choir members this year. Please pray that all of those in attendance will come to know Jesus (if they don’t already).
The churches have decorated for Christmas now and I was very happy to reuse the silhouettes I had made a number of years ago at Toyota Church. We put up a set at Komaki Hope Chapel (pictured on the left) and the smaller set at Fujigaoka Christ Church (which you can see in the photo below at the wreath making event). Pray that these figures will help the students to understand the Christmas story better and that they would ask more questions. Please pray too for the Christmas class events coming up in December!
On Nov. 26th, Fujigaoka Church had two wreath making classes. I was able to attend the afternoon one, along with 7 students (2 of the kids came as well, one with his grandmother). Fuwa sensei (the former pastor from Komaki) gave a message before we started. Pray that it will have a lasting effect on those who heard it. I believe there were 5 students in the morning session, praise the Lord!
As December is only a couple of days away, I would appreciate it so much if you would pray for the following things:
- Pray for the class events on Dec. 20th & 22nd. Pray for the 8 parties that will be held and that students will come to understand more about the birth of Jesus and the hope he gives us.
- Pray for Rikako and her husband “T” as they continue to walk on this journey of uncertainty.
- Pray for Japan as the number of Covid cases continues to rise daily. Aichi Prefecture (where I live) is third on the list with number of cases. This eighth wave is taking a toll on many students and their families, as well as our churches. Pray that there will be a decline in infections before the New Year.
- Pray for peace and joy to fill every home this Christmas season. Our world needs Jesus!
Some items of praise:
- Praise that “T” is home from the hospital, but still requires much care.
- Praise for the students who attended the wreath making events at Fujigaoka and that they will seek the love of the Lord especially this Christmas season.
- Praise that I am back to full health (well, not my knees…lol) and pray that I will remain healthy for the remainder of my service in Japan.
I will be taking two weeks’ vacation at the end of December (just after Christmas Day), so I will not be writing up a newsletter until the New Year. I want to take this time to say thank you so much once again for all your prayers and financial support. Without you, this ministry truly would not be possible and I’m grateful for each one of you. I wish you and your families a very peaceful and blessed Christmas and healthy and Happy New Year. I pray 2023 will be a very good one for us all!
Blessings and love,