“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1-3
The past couple of weeks have been a little windy and rainy. On September 19th we were supposed to have a direct hit from Typhoon #14, which was recorded as the biggest and strongest typhoon to pass through Japan in over 60 years. Thanks to your prayers, the typhoon’s path veered slightly to the northwest and we did not receive the brunt of the storm. However, at least 2 people died and over 90 were injured in other parts of Japan. It’s now Sept. 23rd, and typhoon #15 is due to hit here on Saturday (the 24th). Although it is smaller in size, it will still pack a pretty good punch. Please pray once again for God’s hand to turn this storm back out into the ocean.
On Sept. 4th, we held a farewell/welcome ‘party’ at Komaki Hope Chapel for Mark Kane and myself. Mark had been teaching at Fujigaoka & Komaki churches for the past 8 years. He will now teach classes at Toyota while I return to Fujigaoka & Komaki. It’s basically us switching roles once more (he took over my classes at the 2 churches in 2014 while I went to Toyota). 7 of us went out for a lovely Japanese meal to kick off the new season of ESL ministry. In attendance were Fujino sensei (the pastor of Komaki), Hattori sensei & his wife, Taeko san (pastor at Fujigaoka), me, Mark Kane and Inoue san and his wife, Tomoko (ESL leaders at Komaki).
It has been a very busy month with classes starting up once again and visitors from Canada arriving to celebrate Toyota Higashi Christ Church’s 30th Anniversary (I taught here for 5 years). Prior to classes starting up, we hand delivered 5,000 flyers in the communities for both Fujigaoka Christ Church and Komaki Hope Chapel. Through these flyers, new students attended classes for the first time. Please pray for them, as well as former students, that through chapel times in the coming months/years, many seeds of hope will be planting in hearts that have never heard the name of Jesus before. Please pray for me, that I will continue to keep in good health and have energy for many classes (8 on Tuesdays and 8 on Thursdays – even though there are only 6 active classes on Thursdays right now, we have 8 scheduled and are praying for students for the 2 younger kids’ classes).
I have been able to continue meeting with former students (particularly from Toyota where I am no longer teaching). Recently, meeting up with Keiko H, she presented me with a lovely hand-made broach that happened to match the top I was wearing the day we met. What a beautiful gesture. I’m so blessed to have many friends who have been so kind to welcome me back in many special ways. I also had an opportunity to connect once more with Kinue (who came to visit me in Canada with a few other students back in 2017). Some of you may remember her! She became a Christian and was baptized at Wago Church a few years ago…praise the Lord! She is now a dedicated member of that church. We caught up when she came to see Laurence and Leona Hiebert, who were visiting to celebrate Toyota Church, which they (along with Doris Goertz) planted 30 years ago. Doris came up from Amagasaki Church to share in this event. The celebration on Sept. 11th saw many former church members & a few students come together. I was asked to help lead worship, along with Leona and Yoshie (a church member). It was such a privilege and blessings to see so many friends in one place!
While Doris and the Hieberts were here, the 4 of us took a trip to the Yotsuya Sen Maida (terraced rice paddies) near Shin-shiro. I had been here 2 weeks prior, but on this day we were given a wonderful opportunity to see them harvesting the rice! We had a chance to interact with some of the farmers and enjoyed a picnic near the top of the slope. We prayed that Doris & I would be able to reap such a bountiful harvest in our ESL classes as these farmers were having in their rice paddies. Please pray for this as well!
Some praise items:
- Praise for the 30th Anniversary celebration of Toyota Higashi Christ Church and that the Hieberts were able to connect with many former students & friends they made over their time of service in Japan.
- Praise for the new students at Komaki Hope Chapel and Fujigaoka Christ Church. Please also pray that they will come to know Jesus personally.
- Praise for connecting with many former students and continuing to build into these relationships.
- Praise the Lord that the supertyphoon did not hit us directly!
Some prayer requests:
- Pray Japan will recover from the recent typhoons, especially in those areas where homes and property were lost to floods, landslides and even tornadoes that spawned from the storms.
- Pray for my friend, “R”, whose husband has cancer and not much longer to live. Please pray for peace for the family, and pray for a miracle that God would heal “T”.
- Pray for the ESL classes and that chapel times will be very encouraging to them in ways that would see them wanting to know Jesus.
- Pray for continued healing in my knees. I’ve been going to physio at a clinic near my home now and there has been some improvement on my left knee…praise the Lord!
Pray for Cullen & Colton (from Multiply) who will be coming to Japan next month to visit the missionaries (Doris Goertz, Cory & Masami Giesbrecht and myself). Please pray for safety in their travels, good health and that the connections they make while they’re here will have a lasting impression on them. Pray too that the video they create from this visit will encourage others to consider service in Japan….the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are far too few!!
Without all of you, this ministry would not be possible and I am so grateful for your support and prayers…THANK YOU!
Blessings & love,