This Works!

Solving poverty in impoverished communities is no easy task. Poverty is present everywhere we minister. Giving people welfare relief may have an air of compassion but we have recognized that it could hurt them in the long run. How does White Fields address this portion of our ministry to become a solution instead of compounding the problem?

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Yoshiaki Suzuki

Recent Ministry

As we begin our fourth year of this church plant, more newcomers have started to attend. We have four members of the church, our worship and prayer meetings average nine to eleven people. Every Thursday for the Introductory Bible Study, we usually have a couple of non-believers who are curious about the Bible and salvation.

Maiko is in her thirties and married. She and her husband have faced some challenges in their married. We had our first session of family focus marriage relationships class with this couple, I desire to make it a weekly meeting with them. Maiko is considering doing an individual introductory Bible class with me as well.

  • Pray for Maiko and her husband to apply the Biblical principles gained through this class to their lives and relationship with each other.
  • Pray for them to seek to understand, truly listen, and forgive each other.
  • Pray for Maiko’s interest in learning more about the Bible.

Ken accepted the Lord in July of last year and has been attending the Bible study every week. He is in his forties and lives with his mother who has dementia, this has been affected by Ken’s daily life. Recently, it came about that Ken and his mother could start receiving appropriate care and logistical support by a local bureau. Our prayer request is for Ken to have a clear understanding of his assurance of salvation and his new life in Christ. We are praying for Ken to be ready for baptism around Christmas time.

  • Pray for Ken to grow in his faith and understanding of God’s Word.
  • Pray for his preparations for baptism and the public statement of faith that baptism proclaims.
  • Pray for Ken’s mother to receive appropriate care and for Ken as he supports her daily.

Mr. Yoshimura runs his own business, a sports club for elderly people. I have shared in previous reports about his story and his wife Mie Kim, who is from Korea. Mr. Yoshimura is getting busier each month and sees this as a challenge since he is not able to attend the church due to his work responsibilities. We are corresponding by mail and visiting him occasionally. So far we have had dinner with this couple twice. We are thankful for the help we received from Mr. Yoshimura two years ago with our building project.

  • Pray for Mr. Yoshimura and his wife to come to faith in Jesus Christ.
  • Pray for the busyness of his life to not stop Mr. Yoshimura from learning more about the Bible and studying about salvation.

Katsunori started attending our group three years ago, he is single and has some gender identity disorder as I shared in previous reports. We have been showing care for him by talking with him almost every day of the past three years, and quite recently he has been consistent in attending the Sunday service every week. We are starting an introductory Bible study with him soon.

  • Pray for Katsunori to find the truth and understand the gospel.
  • Pray for his repentance and belief in Jesus Christ.
  • Pray for wisdom for the pastor as he teaches and explains the Bible.

Yaeko found our church flyer back in September of last year. She is married and in her early seventies. Yaeko and her husband used to run a Japanese restaurant in the United States. Their son now has ownership of the restaurant, and this couple returned to Japan for retirement. Their daughter is a Christian and married to an American missionary. They serve in Iruma, Saitama Japan as church planters. Yaeko considers herself a confessed believer; however, I have observed that she might not have a proper understanding of the Bible not having done an individual Bible study with anything. We are hoping to assist her in reestablishing her faith walk. Yaeko’s husband is good friends with us but not a believer.

  • Pray for Yaeko to grow in her understanding of salvation and to have an assurance of her faith in Jesus Christ.
  • Pray for her husband to come to realize his need for a savior and to believe in God.

We dedicated our new building to the Lord last month. Twenty churches in Japan associated with the Evangelical Free group support our church in the two-and-a-half-month-long construction process. We are asking for your prayers for our church’s growth. We will receive funding from the group for the support of our construction loan for the next seven years and personnel support for two more years.

  • Pray for our evangelism to the community and for people to come to faith.
  • Pray for our church to grow and become self-sustaining.
  • Pray for our trust and reliance upon God to provided for our needs and support our growth.
  • Pray for physical health and spiritual growth for my wife and myself.

Last Months Report

We have been a church plant for three years. Our average attendance at worship is ten people. We have four members, and nine people attend the prayer meeting. Every Thursday, we hold an introductory Bible study and a couple of people interested in salvation come each week, but they are not yet believers. We are making an effort every year, to circulate a pamphlet with our information to the nearby five-thousand households.

Maiko was introduced to us through another church in the northern part of the prefecture, she is in her thirties. We have heard that Maiko and her husband are struggling with issues in their marriage. Maiko’s parents live near our church, and so she attended our service. The same week, on Saturday, Maiko brought her husband to the church, and we got to know them better. It was decided that I would meet with them regularly to provide marriage counseling. They live in Komoro city, which is not close, so I am thinking of introducing them to a church nearer to their house. I believe it is still good for me to counsel them for the time being, especially as Maiko will be coming to our area as her parents are here.

  • Pray for wisdom for Pastor Suzuki as he counsels this couple.
  • Pray for Maiko and her husband to commit to learning from God’s Word and applying His principles to their relationship.

Ken is a new Christian; he accepted the Lord last July and has been attending the Introductory Bible study every week. He speaks fluent Russian and is very gifted in language acquisition. However, we were observing some mental issues and later learned that a school nurse diagnosed him with Asperger’s syndrome. He seems to be able to interact without difficulty with particular people within his comfort zone. Ken lives with his mom and shared concerns with us about his mom having dementia.

  • Pray for Ken to continue attending the Bible study and worship service each week.
  • Pray for Ken to continue to have an assurance of his salvation and to grow in his faith.

We first met this couple, Yoshimura and Mie, about two years ago. Yoshimura studied abroad in New Zealand when he was younger. While in New Zealand, a thief broke into his room, and a Christian church helped him with this incident. He met his wife there, who is Korean, and they were married and later moved to Nagano city, his hometown. Yoshimura is in his thirties and owns a sports club specialized for elderly people. His father is a doctor who helped him establish this company. Nagano is a region with many ultra-traditional people, and the locals are not accepting of international marriages. As Mie is Korean, a foreign nationality, there have been times when the community did not receive her. Mie’s constant local difficulties have affected their marriage life. As Yoshimura was dealing with these issues at the company and at home, he thought it was time to get help. Then he remembered the time when he was helped by a church, so he called us. Mie seems not to have great memories of churches from her youth. Her mother is a Christian, back in Korea, and Mie is against her mother’s faith. They are going through some life issues at the moment, but we are keeping in touch with them. They are a warm and friendly couple who have given us great help and advice in the past. We build a small but new worship center last December and they introduced us to an architect and builder.

  • Pray for Yoshimura and Mie to seek God for the solution to their difficulties. Pray for their salvation.

Katsunori started to come to our group, he saw our church tract about three years ago. He is single, lives alone, and is in his sixties. Katsunori used to have much trouble around town with the people in the local shops and at the social welfare office. He seems to be lonely. He used to dress like a young female, and later we learned that he has a gender identity disorder. I did my own research about this disorder to learn more general information. As a minister, I sense I need wisdom from God each time I meet with Katsunori, in talking and reaching with the truth. Fortunately, he has opened his heart and shared with me, we talk on the phone almost every day. These days, he tends to wear more male clothes when he attends church on Sunday. Pray that we would start to have an individual Bible study soon.

  • Pray for the pastor to have wisdom as he teaches Katsunori about God’s Word and for guidance in his conversations.
  • Pray for Katsunori to understand salvation and come to faith in Jesus Christ.

Please pray for my health and the health of my wife.  Until early last year, my artificial cardiac pacemaker was not an issue.  After fainting one day, I went to the local clinic where the doctor suspected I had cancer and sent me to the hospital. After thorough tests, the doctor decided I did not have cancer. I have been functioning normally since then. I still see a doctor regularly and take medication. My wife, Sayoko, was diagnosed with coxarthrosis (osteoarthritis of the hip) as a child. Lately, she has had some pain in her feet and has been seeing a therapist.

  • Pray for the physical health of Pastor Suzuki.
  • Pray for Sayoko’s pain to be reduced and for the therapy to offer relief.

Rodrigo Avila Archive