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.

Kiyohito Kubo Archive

June 2019

We are continuing our individual Bible study with Morikazu. We have covered many topics including, creation of the heaven and earth, sin, the Savior Jesus Christ, salvation, and repentance. Morikazu has many questions, and at each session, I spend time answering these questions. He seems to be understanding the Bible little by little but has not yet reached the point of understanding true repentance. He does understand that being self-centered is a sin, and he desires to help and care for others.

  • Pray for Morikazu to be to repentance by the Holy Spirit and to not merely acquire an intellectual knowledge of the Bible.

The Tada family moved from Kansai in the west-central part of Japan about three years ago. The mother, Yuka, has been bringing their child to English class and ukulele class for the past two years. Sometimes the father brings their child to the English group. This family has not yet attended a worship service, but the whole family came for the candle service last Christmas.

  • Pray for a witnessing opportunity so we can share the gospel with the Tada family.
  • Pray for us to learn how we can support the Tada family and know what their needs are.

We are thankful for the White Fields team to come for the VEBC, Vacation English Bible School, this month.

  • Pray for the gospel to touch the hearts of the children who attend the camp.
  • Pray for Japanese and USA team to work together and for safe travels.

May 2019

Osamu and Noriko are believers in their fifties with a daughter, Manami, in her twenties. Osamu and Noriko have been attending church every week. Their house is so close to the church building that they state the cross on the roof is visible from their home. Manami gave birth to a baby girl in April. The whole family is quite busy every day caring for this precious child, so they leave immediately after the service. We are hoping to have more fellowship with them once they are more settled.

  • Pray for Osamu, Noriko, Manami, and her baby girl, to enjoy this blessed time together.
  • Pray for everyone to get enough rest.

I started an individual Bible study with an unbeliever who is curious about salvation, and we meet weekly after the lunch fellowship following the Sunday service. I had thought that Morikazu believed evolution as he has a science and technology background. But one day, Morikazu said, “all the beauty of nature and the wonder of phenomena are perhaps only by one ultimate designer, and that designer may be the Creator.” He seems to be a bit confused as we studied about sin in one of the chapters. In the Japanese language, we use the same word tsumi to mean both sin and crime.  Morikazu read tsumi in the material multiple times during our Bible study. Our prayer is that the Holy Spirit will touch the heart of Morikazu and cause him to repent and have faith in Christ, not just to have a desire to increase his knowledge about the Bible.

  • Pray for Morikazu’s desire to know more about the Bible to bring forth the understanding of his need for a Savior.
  • Pray for wisdom for Pastor Kubo as he teaches through the Bible with Morikazu and explains the concept of sin.

Keiichi visited us at the church once. He is in his sixties, married, and not a believer. Since his first visit, we have corresponded through email. Keiichi runs an eyeglass shop. I visited his shop the other day to buy new glasses for my mother. When I was there, I saw Keiichi and met his wife for the first time. Since it was during business hours, we could not spend much time to talk about the Bible. Keiichi continues to send me various questions while he reads the Bible. One of his recent concerns was, “do we get rid of the Buddhist altar and the Shito alter once we become Christians?” Last year, he left and cut off his relationship with the Buddhist priest at a temple where he had been connected for many years. After his mother passed away, Keiichi said he often thinks about life after death. This led to his desire to know the truth. He may be thinking about becoming a Christian, but we do not want to see him just switch from Buddhism to be a churchgoer, we desire him to have a personal relationship with God.

  • Pray for Keiichi to be led by the Holy Spirit as he continues to read the Bible in search of the truth, pray for him to come to repentance leading to salvation.

We are thankful for the team being sent by White Fields this summer for our VEBC (Vacation English Bible Camp) at the end of this month. Please remember the team in your prayers, for joy and unity as a team and for the necessary preparations to take place.

  • Pray for wisdom as the Japan details are completed and for more than thirty youth to sign up.

We currently have twenty children signed up. Praise the Lord!

  • Pray for the gospel message to touch the hearts of those who attend the camp.
  • Pray for safe travel and protection for the team and for unity as we work together.

April 2019

The Nara family have been attending the service since March, they live ten-minutes way walking distance from the church. Osamu and Noriko are both Christians.  My understanding is that they participated in a church in Tokyo in the past, they do not talk much about this church even though I have asked, I suspect they do not have good memories of this place. They had not been attending any church recently until they started joining our group. Manami is the daughter of Osamu and Noriko. She is expecting a baby and has been staying at her parent’s house in preparation for the birth. In Japan, it is common for a daughter to stay at her parent’s home when it is close to the time for the baby to be born. Manami shared with us that she wants to renew her faith since she is becoming a mother, she grew up in a Christian home. We know that her husband is not a believer.

Since writing this report, Manami had a baby girl.

  • Pray for the mother and baby to have good health. We are also praying for Manami to profess faith in Christ.
  • Pray for Osamu and Noriko to have a blessed faith walk and to keep up consistency with their faith.
  • Pray for Manami to have good health and for her baby girl to be healthy.
  • Pray for Manami to understand salvation and declare Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior of her life, and also remember her husband.

Morikazu is a single male in his forties. We had been hoping to start an individual Bible study with him in April, but he was so busy at work for the entire month, so we did not have a session at all. He is at a new division in his company and decided that having a Bible study regularly on an evening weeknight would be too challenging. So we are planning to start this month after the service on Sundays. For the past six months, Morikazu has attended worship each Sunday in addition to almost all the church gatherings and activities. He has his own Bible and eagerly listens and takes notes of all the preaching. We see his intellectual desire to know more about the truth. Our prayer is that the Holy Spirit will touch Morikazu and cause him to repent and declare faith in Christ, not just for him to desire to increase his knowledge about the Bible.

  • Pray for Morikazu to desire a relationship with God more than knowledge about God.
  • Pray for his understanding of salvation to cause him to declare his need for the Lord Jesus Christ to be his Savior.

We are thankful for the team being sent by White Fields this summer for the VEBC (Vacation English Bible Camp).

  • Please pray for joy and unity for the American team as they prepare for the camp.
  • Pray for the Japan team to accomplish all the necessities as well.
  • Pray for over thirty youth to attend.
  • Pray for the gospel to touch the hearts of those who come and hear the good news from the Bible.

March 2019

Thank you for the past financial support and prayer we received. We are thankful for the opportunity to be supported by White Fields again. This past year I was working part-time in addition to my responsibilities at the church. Now due to your support, I can again wholly focus on my core responsibility as a pastor. Words do not express how thankful and grateful I am for your partnership. Our worship service has an average attendance of ten adults and five youth with six church members.

  • Pray for our outreach to our community.
  • Pray for the Japanese people to understand their need for a Savior.

Morikazu lives close to our church, about a five-minute walking distance. He first saw our tract, which prompted him to start attending our group last summer. Before that, he was going to a Mormon Church because he attended a free English conversation class at the Mormon church because he was interested in learning English. He developed a curiosity about the Bible, but Morikazu noticed that the Mormon group did not talk much about the words of the Bible; instead, they spent a majority of the time on the Mormon text. So he decided to come to our church to learn about the Words in the Bible. He has regularly been attending each week since he first started coming last September. He usually stays for the fellowship and prayer time after the morning worship. Although Morikazu is busy at work every day, we anticipate starting an individual Bible study with him soon. Marikazu is single and in his early forties.

  • Pray for Morikazu to repent of his sin and accept Christ the Lord as His Savior.
  • Pray for the Bible study to deepen his interest in God’s Word and for his knowledge to lead to an understanding of his need for salvation.

Haruo is in his sixties and married a Chinese believer almost two years ago. Since his wife comes to church, he also comes along. He started coming last October and is regularly attending. I am getting the impression that Haruo thinks he becomes a Christian because of his wife’s influence, someday but not soon. I have been explaining to him the importance of a personal relationship with the Savior and faith is more than merely being converted from one belief to another. We pray for the Holy Spirit to lead and guide Haruo to understand his need for a Savior.

  • Pray for Hurou to grasp the concept of a personal relationship with God and understand Christianity and salvation do not rub off a person from another’s faith but requires his participation.
  • Pray for him to come to an understanding of salvation through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
  • Pray for the pastor to have wisdom as he shares God’s Word.

Keiichi found our church group through the internet. He came to church once, and we talked for a while. I learned that Keiichi knew a Christian group back when he was in his twenties. He is now in his sixties and married. He had read the Bible in the past but had not been to a church for quite a while. At the end of last year, Keiichi lost his mother. This started him thinking about the meaning of life and death and started him on a search for the Truth before his own physical end in this world. We learned later that Keiichi disconnected himself from all ties to the Buddhist temple of his family’s traditions and the entire method of Buddhism. He is concerned about his daughter, who is an adult, and has been withdrawn from society for a while and is deeply involved in spiritual new age ideas. Keiichi runs his own business and has not been able to attend church on Sundays due to this responsibility. We primarily keep in touch via emails.

  • Pray for Keiichi to find Truth only possible through Jesus Christ.
  • Pray for him to come to an understanding of the gospel and his need for a Savior, and for his repentance leading to salvation.
  • Pray for Keiichi’s daughter who seems to be searching for the Truth as well.

Pray for the team from the United States that will be coming for the summer Bible camp. As this is our first year doing this program, pray for our preparations and logistics to go smoothly. Pray our outreach efforts to be successful and especially for the Japanese children who will be there to have a wonderful time and respond when they hear the gospel. Pray for the parents to be willing to allow their children to attend the camp and also to show an interest in the gospel.M

We are currently praying for the White Fields Short Term Ministry Team that will be helping us sponsor a VBS this summer during the school break. I have met with one of the White Fields Alumni Pastors, and his wife, that have a great amount of experience leading evangelistic VBS ministries. Please pray for our partnership with the team as we all prepare for some wonderful ministry together.

Pat and Tomio Ohashi have planted several churches in Japan and Tomio now serves on our Field Directing Committee. Their partnership with White Fields brings wisdom and experience to the ministry of church planting.

We are thankful that they are sharing their gifted experience with our younger pastors as they guide Kiyohito and Yuriko preparing for the VBS ministry.

Motherhood: A Strenuous Occupation

Serving little ones as a mother is never an easy task in life. Mothers fulfill the incredibly powerful role of nourishing and protecting the infant human life in their bodies until delivering the child at birth.  The job is not finished at birth, intense as that process may be. In continuation of that role, mothers raise the children of the next generation. Birth brought the child into a hostile world. A newborn baby is not capable of surviving without a caregiver; God blessed them with a mother. Mothers, including adoptive moms, spend countless sacrificial hours guiding, encouraging and nourishing children into adulthood.

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