Neither my wife nor I grew up in a Bible-believing home. My wife was born in Peru, South America and was raised as a Catholic but was mostly non-religious. Shortly before graduating from high school, her mother was told by a friend of Hyles-Anderson College in the US. God moved miraculously to allow my wife to come to the US and attend the college, where she graduated in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. My wife professed that she was saved but she was not. While out soul winning during her first semester, she finally understood the Gospel and got saved. Later on, she had the opportunity to go back to Peru and see much of her family trust Christ as their Saviour. Meanwhile, I grew up in California in the cult of Scientology, though I was mostly non-religious. By the time I became a teenager I didn’t want anything to do with religion. In 2004, I met Karin and she invited me to church and shared the Gospel with me. I didn’t want anything to do with church but God used my interest in her to get me to listen. After coming to church a couple of times, I knew that I was lost and I trusted Christ as my Saviour and was baptized shortly afterwards. My wife and I started dating and after getting married, we moved to Regency Baptist Church in Orangevale, California in 2005. It was here that God allowed us to serve in many different areas, from the bus ministry, teaching Sunday School, media, and various others. In 2008, I felt that God was calling me to full-time ministry. I made a decision to give my life to God but I did not really make a true surrender. I pursued a secular career and became financially successful. We moved to Colorado in 2014 and started attending Elmwood Baptist Church in Brighton, Colorado where we served in the teen ministry as well as a deacon. My wife also taught in the Christian school. It was in Colorado that God started to work on my heart. He reminded me of the commitment I had made in 2008. I realized I would never be happy unless I fully obeyed God. In 2017, we fully surrendered to whatever God wanted for our lives. God made it clear that He wanted us to be a missionaries. Shortly afterwards, God placed Japan on my heart in an undeniable way and my wife and I have sought to follow that call ever since. God opened the door for us to return to Regency Baptist Church (now in Loomis, California) in 2017 where we have continued serving. My wife has been teaching a K-5 class at the Christian school and I have served as a deacon for over the past year as well as teaching the adult Sunday School class and driving a bus.
Japan is often known as the “Land of the Rising Sun.” I now believe this is because the sun rises at 4:30 in the morning during the middle of summer! This summer has also been particularly hot. We are originally from California, where it gets very hot, but it is a dry heat. The humidity in the Osaka area is relatively high, and getting used to it has been an adjustment. Still, we count it a great joy to be able to be here where God has called us. I am constantly praying for God to bring a revival here in Japan and for countless Japanese people to hear the Gospel and believe in Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour! Wouldn’t it be great if someday Japan was known as the “Land of the Risen Son”?
Much has happened since our last update. Living daily life here and getting different procedures done sometimes feels like a part-time job in and of itself. However, I am thankful that as more time passes and our language ability slowly increases, we can take care of some things more easily. Thank you so much for praying for my driver’s license test. By God’s grace, I passed it and received my official Japanese driver’s license! This is a big relief, as our international driving permits are only valid for one year. Another huge praise is that our motor home back in the U.S. sold! We now have the money we need to purchase a vehicle here. Please pray that we can find the right car for the right price.
We have had a few big days at the Senri Newtown Baptist Church for the last few months. On June 11, we had the 20- to 50-year-olds’ fellowship. I was able to help put together some fun games for the fellowship, and we were able to get to know some people from the church better. After church on June 25, we had a couple from the Chuo Ward of Osaka over to our home for lunch. This is the same couple the Oishis introduced us to. We are now trying to pick up where the Oishis left off. This past week, we had the opportunity to have lunch with them again at the home of the girl’s family who got saved at the Teen Camp in March. This family truly enjoys the fellowship of Christians. Please pray that we will continue to have more opportunities to share the Gospel with them and that they will all trust Christ as their Saviour!
On Sunday, July 30, we had Fellowship Sunday. Bro. David Harris, Far East Director of BIMI, came with his wife and ten other young people from the U.S. on the BIMI Connect missions trip. It was a great time of fellowship, and several of the young people have either felt called to come to Japan as a missionary or have expressed interest in coming here as a missionary. We rejoice in future prospective laborers for this needy country!
My wife has continued to meet with Chandler, the young lady whom she has been witnessing to. My wife has also been able to talk more to Mizuho, one of the friends Chandler brought with her to church. Both of these ladies have expressed an interest in the Gospel but have said they aren’t quite ready to make a decision yet. Please pray that the Holy Spirit will convict them of their need for salvation. They have continued attending church several times, so we know He is working!
I have continued my language studies at school and home, which probably takes up most of my time now. Slowly but surely,
I am progressing, and I can understand quite a bit of the preaching without the translation. Karin has been taking classes at the library with the children, but she will also start some online classes soon. During the hot summer, we have enjoyed the experience of incredibly loud cicadas that start their noise around 5:00 in the morning! Braden has caught several with his net and has taken a keen interest in the insects of Japan. This past Sunday, one of the church members here gave him several giant beetles, much to my wife’s dismay. Aidan and Callan celebrated their 11th birthday on July 17, and Sienna just turned 13 on August 10! Time is going by quickly. Please pray, as the children start school back up at the end of August.
Finally, I have been taking my boys for morning jogs this summer as a fun way to spend time with them. They have been enjoying “Daddy Training Camp.” While on our jog this past week, I did not see a small concrete barrier on the ground. I ran into it and tripped, breaking the big toe on my left foot. While not a horrible injury, it has limited my mobility for the next few weeks. Please pray that it heals quickly.
In His service,
• Sold motor home in the U.S.
• Passed Japanese driver’s license test
• Witnessing opportunities
• My big toe to heal quickly
• Purchase of a vehicle for our family
• The salvation of the couple from the Chuo Ward of Osaka and the family of Kurumi, the teenage girl who was saved at Teen Camp
• Our remaining household goods to arrive (ship scheduled to arrive in Japan around August 14)
Helping with games for the 20- to 50-year-olds’ fellowship
I was able to get my Japanese driver’s license!
Hosannah Kids’ program at Senri Newtown Baptist Church, Osaka
Sienna turned 13, and some ladies from the church helped take some nice photos of her.
My broken toe
Setting up for teen class–a job I joyfully inherited from Bro. Go Oishi!
Aidan and Callan’s 11- year-old birthday photo
Dotonburi Street–a very busy spot in Downtown Osaka
Some ladies from the church, as well as some newer ladies that have been coming–Karin has been witnessing to one who is not saved.
BIMI Connect missions group at Senri Newtown Baptist Church, Osaka