Archive

January 2020

Choi has been super alert and concerned about the coronavirus. She and her husband have not stopped attending the church, but are limiting their going-out activities, even for daily things such as grocery shopping. I understand that they are afraid as they have a young baby, but I am also encouraging them not to panic. Choi says she is not sure why she is so fearful. The church members are praying for this family to emotionally freed from their panic.

  • Pray for Choi and her husband as they adjust to being new parents.

Chou spent her vacation visiting her home in China for the Chinese New Year Holidays. While there, she stayed at her parents’ house for most of the time. There was a report that five people in Dalian where affected by the coronavirus. When she returned, her Japanese office asked her to stay home for over fourteen days until she was cleared from potential infection.

  • Pray for Chou to catch up quickly on her work and for her health.

My son, Yong Taek, decided to return to our church next month. He has been serving at the Nerima Baptist Church till this month. He will be applying for our group what he has learned this past year while serving at the Sunday school.

  • Pray for his junior year at school and our church to be fruitful.

We are praying for Yong Taek to pray and be guided by God in how he can service the Lord this coming year. Yong Taek was baptized as a baby, but we are planning for his baptism in April.

Thank you for your prayers for my wife. The test results came, and we learned that my wife does not have cancer. With the recent medical-related incidents, we have been spending more time thinking about our health. My wife decided to do this test after hearing of so many friends with cancer. I intend to take the same test sometime. I am determined to pay attention to my physical health.

We have our fifth-anniversary service this month; we plan to spend a longer than usual time praying for the Lord’s protection over everyone.
I plan to join other pastors from our denomination in Israel for a study tour. I heard there is the potential for the trip to be postponed or canceled due to the coronavirus effect. I was hoping to go on this trip and have been saving the funds for over two years. I desire to be obedient to God’s leading in this decision.

December 2019

I have previously mentioned our church hosting a monthly open-church event for the community that translates to “Happy Nice Group.” Fukuko has coordinated getting us connected to the city officials. God is using this particular group as a way for us to meet more people in the surrounding neighborhood, and our church is becoming more well-known among the community. The most recent event was on the same day as our Kimchee bazaar. Many people stopped by both celebrations.

Fukoko came for the community event last month and the Kimchee bazaar, she seemed to enjoy eating a lot of kimchee. She returned during the week for another church activity and brought her husband. We put on jazz music during their visit as we knew it was a favorite of Fukuko’s husband. My wife came too, and the four of us had a wonderful conversation. The couple said it was a pleasant time for them, and they would like to get together again. They commented that “we know our families have different beliefs, but the time we spent together was very joyful.” We praise God for blessing our fellowship.

  • Pray that our relationship with Fukoko and her husband would grow and that someday God would open the door to share the gospel with them.

Risa’s attendance at church was altered due to the extensive care her grandmother needed, as I mentioned in the last report. Recently, Risa has been able to attend the worship service on consecutive Sundays. She expressed that being unable to participate in the worship service was negatively affecting her daily life. Risa was struggling to keep herself healthy in all aspects, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Risa talked to her other family members, and they were able to coordinate a way that she could come on Sundays as she had been able to do so. It was great to see Risa joyfully worshiping God with her fellow church members. I regret that I underestimated the effect it would have on Risa to be away from the church fellowship and should have given her different advice beforehand.

  • Pray for Risa to be able to attend the church consistently and for her fellowship with other believers.

Sangmin is a single man, twenty-nine, who is an administrator at the university. We are keeping in touch with him regularly. Recently, he seems to be using his busyness at work as an excuse for being absent from church. Sangmin was raised in a Christian home and had a straightforward faith walk until middle school. At that point, it seems he had a conflict with his parents and turned away from God. Sangmin wanted to be a soccer player, but his parents were not supportive of his desire and future career choice. He seems dissatisfied about losing his dream as pursuing a career a soccer player did not work out. He seems distant to his parents and to God and loves the worldly activities.

  • Pray for Sangmin to repent and turn back to his faith in God. We desire that he will become close again to God and genuinely worship the Lord from his heart.

Thank you for your prayers for my wife. The doctor said she was exhausted and stressed but has almost fully recovered now. God sustained her throughout the busy Christmas season, and we survived the numerous events. Praise God.

I had a three-day prayer focused time through fasting, reflecting back on last year and anticipating the upcoming year. I acknowledge we had countless blessings, the most commemorative was adding new members to our church. Our vision for this next year is to utilize the Olympic events in Tokyo to reach more people for the Lord.

November 2019

Fukuko is a local Welfare Commissioner.  She is in her seventies, a housewife, and a non-believer. I met Fukuko for the first time last summer when I was handing out tracts in front of the train station. She has come to several of the church’s decoupage classes, an art craft using colored papers, and has invited other friends to this class as well. Fukuko desired our church to become a local community space and set up a meeting with the city officials to come and see the church. She coordinated several meetings between the city and the church. Last fall was the first time our church was open as a community space. These events will be once a month. People come to play games, enjoy rhythmic exercises, singing, and other activities. Quite a few elderly people have joined the group. We are not yet sure how these activities will help initiate and encourage people to attend church events. Still, we intend to participate as much as possible in this community event. We desire to build our friendship with Fukuko. We have not shared the gospel directly but are praying for opportunities to share the love of God with her.

  • Pray for the open community event to encourage the local people to come into the church and to eventual start attending the worship services or church events.
  • Pray for Fukuko to be saved.

It is impressive to see how a baby has impacted the group. Choi has been bringing her new baby to church with her. The baby’s name is Daon. He makes all the church members smile, and their hearts melt. We know this is the first child born to this couple, so my wife frequently accompanies Choi when she has doctor’s appointments and such. The baby did have a fever and was quite fussy, so they took Daon to the hospital.

  • Pray for good health.

Praise the Lord for Daon being a blessing to his parents and to the entire church.

Risa’s grandfather passed away a couple of months ago. As a result, her grandmother was lonely since she was now by herself. The family was quite concerned about the grandmother, for she was making statements that she desired to die and go where her husband was. They were worried about dementia, and the decision was made that the grandmother should not live by herself. So the grandmother moved in with Risa. During the week, Risa’s mother takes care of the grandmother. Still, on the weekends, Risa is responsible for caring for her. This affects Risa’s schedule, and she has not been able to attend the worship services. Risa tried to participate in a portion of the worship service, but it was challenging. I gave Risa several books, some are about death and life after death. I heard that Risa’s grandmother is interested in the books and has been reading them. We are praying that someday Risa and her grandmother may come to church together for worship.

  • Pray for Risa to adjust to her responsibilities to care for her grandmother and balance her job as a nursery school teacher.
  • Pray for the grandmother to be open to learning about God.

It was great to have my son return home after his three-month stay in Australia. Immediately after he returned, my wife went to emergency care at the hospital for dizziness. Her blood pressure was high. After thorough tests, the results came back. The doctor is concerned that she is stressed and strained physically. Pray for my wife’s recovery. She is having a hard time resting, especially as the church is in a busy time preparing for activities.

  • Pray for the pastor’s wife to be able to recover her health.

October 2019

Mr. Murai, Ms. Minezaki, Ms. Saito, my wife, and I went on our tour to Korea for five days. We visited the Wednesday worship service at my sending church. We had a great fellowship time with the pastor and the group of elders who oversee the mission’s department. It was the second time for Ms. Minezaki and Ms. Saito to visit the church. They were excited to see Ms. Kim again, they met her at the Kimchee Bazaar at our church in Japan four years ago. The women exchanged gifts. Ms. Saito shared with the church elders what had been troubling her. She desires to believe in God fully, but some things are holding her back from fully committing. Ms. Saito did again commit to attend church once a month and to pray together regularly.

  • Pray for Ms. Saito to have her doubts answered, to understand salvation, and to fully surrender her life to Jesus Christ.

Choi gave birth to her baby. My wife has been visiting the family each week to bring food and help with anything needed. Choi’s mother came from Korea to help her for ten days. It was a short visit, but I am sure Choi appreciated it and was able to rest and recover from the labor. Her mother and husband, Oh, came to the church service to express their thankfulness to the congregation.

  • Pray for Choi and Oh as they adjust to their new role as parents.
  • Pray for Choi as she continues to learn the Japanese language and to make connections with people in the church.

We completed a series of individual Bible studies with Risa using the same material we covered with Mr. Murai, produced by the Saddleback Valley Community Church group. Risa asked many questions of my wife and me, so the content we covered was more in-depth than what we had anticipated. It is exciting to see Risa’s spiritual growth. She helps my wife with ministering to the church congregation by bringing the salad to the church lunch and assist in caring for Choi. Risa appears to be cheerful and influential to the youth group as well.

  • Pray for Risa to grow in her knowledge and understanding of God’s Word as we study the scriptures together.
  • Pray for her spiritual growth.

We are taking a break from the individual Bible study with Kazuhiko. We had been meeting for almost two years. Neither Kazuhiko nor the congregation has recovered from the incident where Kazuhiko had an angry outburst. It is not ideal for Kazuhiko to act as if nothing had happened. He was also causing some trouble for our trip to Korea. Kazuhiko has told us that no one cares for him, and he seems jealous of the newcomers who get more attention from my wife and me.

  • Pray for God to work on Kazuhiko’s selfishness and for his maturity and spiritual growth.

September 2019

Lately, Risa has been getting more involved at the church. I shared her history in the previous reports. This past month, she volunteered to lead the congregational prayer during the worship service. She has brought homemade salads and goodies for our fellowship lunch, which are delicious and an immense help for my wife. She has also helped Choi on multiple occasions. Risa plays the keyboard and is genuine in her worship of God. We recently learned that she plays the keyboard in a band with her co-workers. Someday, she may become a part of our worship team. It is encouraging to see Risa joyfully serving the Lord. We are starting an individual Bible study with her on Sunday afternoons.

Kazuhiko has been attending our church for quite a while now. We thought he was doing all right in his new work environment with the company where he started last spring. We recently discovered that he is physically and emotionally stressed. One Sunday, when we were preparing for the fellowship lunch, he apparently was bothered by something because he started yelling at people and was about to walk out. My wife and I managed to calm him down, so he stayed for lunch instead of immediately leaving. The incident ruined the fellowship time, and many were shocked at this behavior. We are concerned that there has been no apology or repentance from Kuzuhiko for his conduct to the church friends. He has shared that no one cares about him and that he is jealous of the newcomers who he feels have the full attention of the pastor and the pastor’s wife.

  • Pray for God to work in Kazuhiko’s heart to bring spiritual growth and maturity.
  • Pray for God to work on his selfishness and change his attitude.

Pray for health and protection for Choi and her baby. Her doctor is considering guiding the labor as she is past her due date. Pray for her to have peace in God during her labor and childbirth. As I shared before, Choi is still new in town, and her comprehension of the Japanese language is quite limited, Choi is Korea.

My wife and I, along with Mr. Murai, Ms. Minezaki, and Ms. Saito, will be traveling to Korea for a short four-day trip. Our planning started last year with the desire to show the Korean churches to Mr. Murai but has grown to include the women as well. We will attend the Wednesday worship at a Presbyterian Church. I am looking forward to this trip and for my companions to experience the culture of a Korean church family fellowship.

  • Pray for safety as we travel.
  • Pray for this trip to encourage and strengthen the faith of the believers.

My mother is doing much better but has not yet fully recovered. These days she enjoys walking with my father. Pray for her strength.

August 2019

Sumiko had promised to come to a Sunday service. She is interested in the gospel but not yet a believer. She is in her sixties and married. We were wondering if she was going to attend church, and she did and seemed to have a great time fellowshipping with everyone. There had been past times when she said she would come but had not been able to. Sumiko shared that she was glad to see Mrs. Takahashi that morning.

  • Pray for Sumiko to attend the church service more often and to know the truth and her need for a Savior.

I have shared about the couple, Oh and Choi from Korea. They are believers and are expecting their first child any time now. Choi is concerned about giving birth to a baby without the support of family, relatives or friends close by as everyone is in another country. Choi also does not speak or understand much Japanese. Oh works for an IT company and usually returns late each night. It will be challenging for Choi to care for her baby as she will be alone most of the time. My wife was a nurse in Korea and Choi has been relying upon my wife’s experience and support. My wife has been helping Choi prepare and purchase the necessities for the baby.

  • Pray for Choi, for protection and health for her and the baby.
  • Pray for Choi as she adjusts to being a mother, especially being far from family.

In previous reports, I shared about Risa, who tries to be a perfectionist in her daily faith walk. These days, we have seen her trying to intentionally relax in the Lord.  I am hoping we can support her in resting in God and ending the long process of obsession and reliance on her human effort. We are hoping to start a Bible study with her. Risa likes to worship with the hymn and traditional worship songs; lately, she has discovered the more contemporary type of worship music and has been taking these music songs home to enjoy worship on her own.

  • Pray for Risa to be encouraged in her daily reading of God’s Word and to find assurance in Him.
  • Pray for her to rest in the arms of God.

During the summer, my mother was at the hospital in critical condition. My mom was going to have minor surgery, so my wife traveled back to Korea to see my mother, who was in the ICU for five days and then transferred to a regular hospital room. At the same time, my son was on his way to Australia for three months. It was a challenging time for our whole family. We are thankful that my son went to Australia according to his original plan. My wife then came home. We have always been intentional in praying for our family in Korea on a regular basis but this event has caused me to be more determined to bring them to the Lord in prayer. Pray for my focus on my ministry at this time. I plan to visit Korea with my wife and also take Mr. Murai and Ms. Minezaki, pray for our trip.

  • Pray for the family of the pastor and safety for everyone as they travel.
  • Pray for wisdom in decisions and comfort during these challenging times.

July 2019

Fumiko has been coming to the Korean language class once a month with her friend Sumiko. Fumiko is in her late sixties, married, and works part-time. She is not yet a believer but has shown an interest in the gospel message. At a recent session of the Korean Language class, my wife was led by the Holy Spirit to share the gospel with Fumiko and Sumiko, more boldly than ever before. They were eagerly listening and comprehended what she was explaining to them. Both ladies expressed the desire to attend the Sunday worship but admitted it might be challenging because of their family responsibilities. Fumiko did promise to come once a month. Pray for Fumiko and Sumiko to follow through on attending the worship service on the set day they said and for them to come to faith in Jesus Christ.

  • Pray for Fumiko and Sumiko to understand their need for a Savior and proclaim faith in God.

Oh and Choi is a married couple from Korea. They are in their thirties and are believers who have been attending our church for just over a month. Oh works for an IT company in Japan and they recently were married. Choi is eight-months pregnant. She did not understand any Japanese at all and assumed our service would be held in Korean since we have a Korean preacher at our church. So we presumed that they would not return after their first visit. However, they have regularly been attending. They expressed their desire to attend a local church as this would help their adjustment to everyday local life in Japan. I give Choi a copy of my script for preaching with both the Japanese translation and my native tongue of Korean to help her understand. Oh plays the guitar and Choi is a piano accompanist. They were both active in their worship team at their home church in Korea. I dream of forming a worship team at our church.

  • Pay for Oh and Choi to adjust to life in Japan.
  • Pray for a safe delivery and a healthy baby.
  • Pray for them to continue to attend our church if this is the Lord’s will.

We intentionally developed a relationship with Risa over the past two months and have gotten to know her better. She shared parts of her story, some of it was shocking to us. A long time ago, Risa was a psychic fortune teller but ended up becoming paranoid and attacked by evil spirits for an extended period. Through these experiences, Risa started to seek the truth and light and wanted to go to a Christian church. At the church she first joined, she participated in the baptism prep course from the first day. After six months, she was baptized. We have observed that Risa is a ‘do-er’ in her faith walk and sometimes appears to be a perfectionist. She is concerned with doing kind things for others and trying to make all things right. I could imagine that Risa has been emotionally and physically strained and burnt out before. Risa stated that she blames herself for not being good enough and has been disappointed with herself for being selfish. We appreciate your prayers for Risa to find comfort and peace in God. We are advising her to trust in God and relax. She is eager to participate in many church activities, but we have encouraged her to do one slow step at a time.

  • Pray for Risa to rest in her assurance of salvation by faith alone in God.
  • Pray for her to understand the difference between ministry done from love for God and good works done from the desire to earn salvation.
  • Pray for peace and comfort from God as she navigates her role at this time in the church.

Four years have passed since the start of our group as a church plant. The financial support from our mother church was terminated earlier this year, according to the prior agreement. We are not fully self-reliant yet, but God has led quite a few people to give generously. We are thankful for God leading our church. I feel that I can focus on ministry and not be stressed. My wife recently stopped working outside the church and is focusing on her roles in the church. She enjoys entertaining people as she has a gift for hospitality. We spend more time together serving at the church, and we pray for each member in our group and discuss our projects.

  • Pray for my wife and me to grow in Christ and for wisdom and guidance from God through our devotion and early morning prayer time.

June 2019

Risa came for the first time to the Sunday worship service last month and has continued to come every week since.  She also has come to the early morning prayer meeting several times a week. Risa is the only Christian in her family of three and had been attending another church but wanted to get connected to a group within ten minutes of her home and found us online. Risa shared that she had been so busy serving at the other church that she got burnt out and now has health issues. She states she is recovering from this experience and is not planning to go back to the other group.

  • Pray for Risa to be healed physically and spiritually.

Chou is back in Japan and working full-time for the same company. It has taken her a while to adjust back to the work schedule. She is praying about whether to stay with this company or to start looking for new work elsewhere.

  • Pray for God to guide Chou as she prays about the best and most appropriate workplace for her.

Miyuki is with the group Edogawa Shion from our parent group Nerima Baptist Church. Recently her husband was diagnosed with cancer. His surgery went well, and he is expected to be back at work soon. Their youngest daughter recently had a baby, it was a very challenging and overwhelming event in their lives. Miyuki is quite busy caring for her daughters, and her second daughter is getting married soon. Miyuki is busy traveling from Hokkaido (the Northern edge of Japan) and Tokyo. She plans to retire from nursing this month to be able to attend to her family more.

  • Pray for God to sustain Miyuki. We are trusting and believing in God’s grace on Miyuki for her walk with Christ to be preserved.
  • Pray for Miyuki to rely on God for peace through these life transitions.

There is a cult group that opened recently about a ten-minute walk from the church. They are a group that originated in Korea, called CGM in Japan or JMS in Korea. We have had quite a few stories of people who got in trouble through this group in Korea. They have renovated a five-story building into their facility, it was formerly a Pinball machine game place.

  • Pray for our believers at the church to not be affected by this new cult group.
  • Pray for the reputation of true believers in Jesus Christ throughout Japan to not be tainted by the negative reputation of this cult group.

May 2019

Sumiko came to the Korean Cooking group. She is in her sixties and married. She has a warm and welcoming heart, especially to new people. I saw how she positively contributed to the group, one newcomer was very comfortable and grateful to Sumiko for welcoming her. Sumiko has not yet professed faith but we feel a closeness to her as she is very open in comparison to other people. We know that she is retiring from work this month. We are encouraging her to attend the Sunday service after retirement as she was not able to do so because of work.

  • Pray for Sumiko to come to an understanding of her need for a Savior and to proclaim faith in Jesus Christ.
  • Pray for her warm nature to continue to welcome people.

Chou has come back to Japan, we held a welcome-back barbeque for her as a church on the roof terrace of the church building. She found a rental house quite quickly and we helped her to purchase the necessary household goods as she knew she would be busy soon with work. We helped her move in and get settled. Please remember her in your prayers so she may adjust to the new setting at work and for her to continue to trust in the Lord.

  • Pray for Chou to grow in her faith and to attend the church regularly.
  • Pray for her adjustment to being home after sending time in China for work and praise the Lord for answering our prayers for her housing situation.

Miyuki is in her sixties, married and is a nurse by profession. Her husband was recently diagnosed with cancer. At first, this news shook the entire family but later we heard that Miyuki is standing firm in trusting God. We understand that the family has drawn together and being united in prayer. The news of the surgery was good.

  • Pray for the Aoki family as they face this challenge together.
  • Pray for our continued outreach and support to them through this time and for this event to draw them closer to God.

My father in Korea had surgery and it went well. He is back home now which makes it easier for my mother to care for him. It sounds like it might take a while for my father to fully recover, but I have been relieved by the updates of him getting better daily. My father is not a believer, please pray for him to believe in God and for him to understand and encourage my role in ministry.  My mother is the only one who can care for my father, so I pray for her to have strength.

  • Pray for the pastor’s parents to be strong physically and to draw closer to God at this time.
  • Pray for the pastor’s father to come to faith in Jesus Christ.

April 2019

Chou has been in China for work but is scheduled to return to Japan soon. We are praying that her company will not postpone her trip back any longer. Chou started to search for housing on the internet, and my wife is helping her with this process.

  • Pray for Chou to settle back into Japan smoothly.
  • Pray for her faith to be strengthened in this changing season of her life.

Kazuhiko recently faced some substantial changes at work. He has a new boss, and some of his co-workers transferred. His heart was troubled by these changes, and we could see that the situation was causing him stress. At my weekly Bible study and mentor time with Kazuhiko, he realized how work was affecting his faith. He stated his realization of his lack of thankfulness, and even though God provided his job, he realized he was turning away from God because of his stress from work. It was encouraging to see that Kazuhiko is recovering from this stress, repenting and refocusing on God, and being thankful for his new boss.

  • Pray for Kazuhiko as he adjusts to these changes in work and for his witness to his co-workers and boss through his actions and words.

My daughter, Hannah, was baptized on Easter Sunday. We did four sessions of baptism preparation with her focusing on the assurance of salvation, forgiveness for sins and spent reflecting time as a new believer on what it means to have spiritual growth in a church setting. Hannah grew up in the church. She was touched to receive many kind notes from church brothers and sisters, both here in Japan and in Korea, celebrating the occasion of her baptism. I have noticed that she is still getting used to her new life as a university student. At church, she is helping her brother in ministry.

  • Pray for Hannah to maintain sustainability on campus with her studies and activities in addition to ministry at church.
  • Pray for the complete recovery of my father from his surgery. It went well.  He is in Korea.

Four years have passed since the initial church planting stage of our group, Edogawa Shion church. The financial support from our mother church has officially ended. I attended the annual assembly last month and gave a greeting and appreciation message to the congregation. We are thankful for their support for the past years. We rely on God to sustain us. We are confident that God will lead our church and provide the resources we need to grow and reach our community with the love of God.

  • Pray for our church at this time of transition.
  • Pray for our outreach to the community.

March 2019

We praise God for my daughter, Hannah, who just started at the International Christian University. We are thankful that the reception event at ICU was a worship service, a rare occurrence for Japan. The president and the majority of the faculty are Christians. As a father, I am so grateful for my daughter and how God led her to this school. We are doing a baptism class with Hannah, and she was baptized at our Easter service.

My son is a student at Tokyo Christian University, and we had a farewell gathering for him at our church. We gave thanks with many prayers for his ministry this past year. He will be serving at Nerima Baptist Church for a year. He is praying for God’s guidance in what his calling is in the future as he serves in different roles at the new location, one of these roles will be teaching in the Sunday school.

  • Pray for Hannah to do well in school and for her spiritual growth.
  • Pray for the Pastor’s son as he starts a new journey at the Nerima Baptist Church
  • Pray for the Pastor’s family as they adjust to these transitions. The pastor’s wife recently stopped her part-time job, pray for this new season of life for her.
  • Pray for comfort and joy for the Pastor and his wife as they see their children grow strong in the faith.
  • Pray for the pastor’s father who is scheduled for another surgery. See past reports with regards to his medical condition.

In past reports, I shared about Chou and her work situation. She is in China for a work trip that extended longer than initially planned. She was scheduled to return to Japan for a visit at the end of the last month, but this was postponed until May. The company has made these decisions, and Chou has little influence. We are concerned that she will lose all hope of returning to Japan. 

  • Pray for Chou to return to Japan and for her spiritual growth.
  • Pray for her faith to be firm during this time while she is away.
  • Pray for her to stay in contact with the church and with believers.

Continue to pray for our church as we are transitioning to being financially independent of our mother church, Nerima Baptist Church. Our four years as a church plant have passed. We know it will be challenging for a while as the leaders of the church take on more responsibilities to keep us going. We have five church members with our average worship attendance being seven people. [Editor’s note: This is the typical size of a Japanese church in Japan.] We rely on God for this situation and for sustaining us as a church to reach our community with the gospel.

  • Pray for the church as they transition to this new stage of their growth.
  • Pray for the leaders to rely on God for guidance and wisdom.
  • Pray for the pastor to not grow weary as he continues to reach his people with the gospel.

February 2019

As we shared in previous reports, Chou has been in China for a business trip. The length of time has been longer than she expected, and she desires to return to Japan. We have heard that she will be back in Japan at the end of this month for a brief time. The purpose of this trip is for her to be notified of the company’s projects for the next season. We are excited to see her soon but disappointed that this will be a short trip rather than a return to Japan. Pray for Chou, we are concerned that she lacks connections with other believers when she is in China. We pray for her to stay in touch with us and to return to Japan soon, especially for the sake of her spiritual growth.

  • Pray for Chou as she is working in another country and for her to stay encouraged and firm in her faith.
  • Pray for her to connect with believers and for her stay to stry connected with her church in Japan.

I share with great joy and pride that my daughter Hannah has been prayerfully preparing for college. She desires to study in a field that allows her to serve her society, community and the church. She chose to apply to the International Christian University in suburban Tokyo. She passed the entrance exam and was accepted at ICU. Praise the Lord! She has received an academic scholarship for four years. My son is attending Tokyo Christian University. God is good, and I rejoice that both my son and daughter are going to Christian Universities. Hannah has decided to be baptized, and we schedule this joyous occasion for Easter Sunday. We started the baptism prep class with Hannah. I shared with the believers in our supporting communities about my daughter’s baptism and enrolling in school, and everyone praised the Lord.

  • Pray for Hannah as she prepares for this transition to a new stage in life.
  • Pray for her faith to grow. 

Praise the Lord for the joy of a pastor’s daughter choosing to declare her faith through baptism and by attending a Christian school.

Kazuhiko is thriving at work. He is popular with the residents and patients at the facility and well-appreciated by fellow workers. In previous reports I shared his story and ever since he was baptized last year, he has been faithfully tithing ten percent of his earnings. He often shares with us the joy he feels when giving to the Lord. We see his eagerness to draw closer to the Lord. He is attending Bible study again after being absent to adjust to his work schedule.

  • Pray for Kazuhiko as he grows in his faith through learning from God’s Word.
  • Pray for his work with the disabled to bring joy to the Lord and for his desire to someday marry a Christian woman.

Thank you for your prayers. We are entering a new phase in our church as it is time for us to be financially independent of our parent church, Nerima Baptist Church. We are not self-reliant yet, but as the five years have passed, it is time. At our anniversary celebration in February, we had an extended prayer time to reinforce and declare our trust and reliance on God for the future. We are thankful for White Fields and our parent church for their support and prayers.

Pray for the congregation of Edogawa Shion Baptist Church to have faith and trust as they transition to a new phase in their church. Pray for the believers to have unity and to give as they are able to support their church and their pastor. Pray for wisdom and reassurance as they pray for God’s guidance.

January 2019

Last month there was a combined worship service for the Tokyo region of our denomination held at Narima Baptist Church. After the service, they held a Coming of Age celebration for my son Yongtaek and the other youth who are turning twenty this year. In Japan, this ceremony is typical to have mid-January for those who are becoming adults. My son is serving as an intern at a new church and had an excellent meeting with his mentoring pastor. His prayer request is to be able to balance his academics, serving opportunities, and a part-time job.

  • Pray for Chou to stand firm in her faith as she waits to return to Japan. Pray for comfort and peace for Chou.
  • Pray for Yongtaek to do well in his studies as he prepares to serve in the ministry.

Kazuhiko finished training at his job and has been well-accepted by the facility and patients. He works for a facility specializing in patients with severe mental disorders. The patient families have unrealistic expectations which cause a stressful work environment for some. Kazuhiko believes it is God’s blessing that he has already established good relationships with the workers and patients and is looking for opportunities to witness and tell others about Jesus Christ.

  • Pray for Kazuhiko to have discernment and wisdom in his conversations with his co-workers and those he cares for.
  • Pray for the church as we have been in existence for five years now and are trusting that God will provide for us to be financially independent of our parent church, Nerima Baptist Church, according to the original plan set in place for our church.
  • Pray for peace for the Pastor and his family as they work through these details and trust God to provide.

Pray for my daughter Hannah, as she studies for entrance exams for college this month. Pray for perseverance. She desires to serve God and the church community in the future.