Growing up in a home where no particular faith was practiced or encouraged, most of my childhood years were spent not having any concept of who God was. Through a series of events that took place in my junior high years, I had become bitter at any concept of religion and became an aggressive atheist. I remember very vividly mocking those around me who professed faith in anything supernatural. As a public school teen with no direction in life nor any sense of moral standards, my life was headed to waste very quickly.
One night, while chatting with a community of online gaming friends, one of them began trying to witness to me. After countless times of turning him away, I reluctantly agreed to let him share the Gospel with me, succumbing to his persistence and zeal. Since I had no concept of God at the time, this young man took me through the entire story from God creating the entire universe, to the fall of man, to Christ’s death on the cross for our redemption. Despite myself being known to refuse placing faith in anything supernatural, something supernatural took place in my heart that evening. My soul was overwhelmed when I heard of this loving God Who could save me from my sins. Not being able to deny the Truth that was presented to me, it was that night as a 13-year-old teenager that I trusted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.
A year later, God had moved in the heart of my Karate instructor at the time to invite my family to a friend day at his church. Thankfully, it was a KJV, Independent, Fundamental Baptist church where I could grow in the faith. I was baptized there by immersion. Shortly after, I became an active member of their youth group. It was at my first summer teen camp that I surrendered my life to God. The second year, I surrendered to full-time ministry and to preach the Word of God for the rest of my life. That following fall in a missions conference, God gave me a specific, undeniable call to preach the Gospel in Japan when it was revealed to me that it was one of the least evangelized nations in the entire world. This call was confirmed by recommendation and counsel of my youth pastor and my late pastor.
I met my wife Danielle at Bible college. By the time I had met her, she already had a love for the Japanese culture and a heart for missions as God had already used her on the mission field in the Philippines while she was in high school. There is no doubt in my mind that she is fully persuaded that she is called to me, and thus is also called to be a missionary. There is neither any doubt in my mind that God has called my wife and I as a team to glorify God and to preach the Gospel in Japan for the rest of our lives.
Salvation and Service Testimony
I have been blessed with a good, godly heritage and have had the privilege of growing up in a Christian home. At the age of 4, I attended a Vacation Bible School where I remember a lady teaching us verses. Although I don’t remember exactly what was said, that was when my family believed I got saved; but since I did not remember much of it, I struggled with doubt for the next 4 years.
I faithfully attended Wednesday night kids class at Faith Baptist Church, and it was there I accepted Christ as my Saviour and got the surety I needed. After hearing a story where a child won her friend to the Lord, we were asked if we knew for sure that we would go to Heaven one day. I raised my hand and they took me to the side. That night, as an 8-year-old child, I prayed and asked Jesus to come into my heart and take me to Heaven one day. I was baptized by immersion shortly after to show outwardly what had happened inwardly.
Growing up, I had always loved and looked forward to Missions Conferences at my church. I thought how amazing it would be to become a missionary, to go across the world and tell those who had never even heard the name of Jesus and about His love for them. I surrendered to go and to do whatever God had planned for my life as a teenager at youth conference. As for a calling to the mission field, I believe that happened when I agreed to marry my husband who was called to the mission field. My calling is to my husband, to love, encourage, and support him in whatever amazing thing God has called him to do. I am so blessed to be able to follow and support such a godly man.
Hallelujah! God’s miraculous blessings have continued to shower mightily this month upon our little town of Nayoro, and we are thrilled to tell you all about it!
Weather has been quite unusual this year here in the northernmost Japanese island of Hokkaido, with much higher humidity, longer heat waves, and more severe downpours similar to that of the islands below us. August 4 had the worst rain, with many flood warnings and instructions to stay indoors. However, both my wife and I felt strongly that the Lord wanted us to visit a certain couple that has come to services off and on for the last few years. The Smith family (the missionary pastor of this church for whom we have been covering for during their current furlough) has been witnessing to and praying for this Buddhist couple for many years, and we have tried to do the same since we arrived here in April. Thirty minutes into our visit, the wife suddenly brought up the subject of eternity, wishing to know for certain where she was going after this life is over. I first began by trying to present the Gospel to both of them, but as the husband kept trying to change the subject, my wife was able to take her to the side to go through the Gospel privately while I visited with the husband. It was an hour later that I caught a glimpse of them praying, and then I heard the wife repeatedly saying, “Ah, subarashii!” (“Oh, this is wonderful!”) She had accepted Christ as her Saviour! Please pray for her, as well as the many children who have gotten saved in the last few months. They are all either at the mercy of their husbands or their parents, making it difficult for them to be able to come to church. They all will, no doubt, have battles ahead, but rejoice in their salvation as we pray that God would use them to be a light in many of their dark homes!
We have been praising God about the recent rapid Christian growth of one of our relatively new believers, Bro. Kai, who has been coming to church more faithfully in the last few months. At the beginning of this month, he made a statement of wanting to grow to be a more serious disciple of Christ. He has come early to study the Bible, stayed late to learn and sing more hymns unto God, greeted visitors when they come, and even helped us unload a truck full of Japanese Bibles late in the night at the end of the month! The biggest victory for him and another brother who comes faithfully was during the Obon season, the spiritually darkest holiday in Japan, which is full of idol worship. Strong family and community pressures often cause church attendance to be the lowest in this season. We as a church decided to make this a time where we took a trip as a family in Christ and worshiped our God. We all drove six hours out to Kushiro to worship and fellowship with the new church plant of the Wilhite family, a missionary family who helped us much when we first arrived in Hokkaido. It was a very refreshing time for all of us and served as a wonderful opportunity for both brothers to grow in their faith and take a strong stance on Who is their God.
With just one full month remaining of our interim pastorate here at the Immanuel Seisho Baptist Church of Nayoro, Hokkaido, we have been focusing more on preparing for the church’s re-transition and our upcoming move. The Smith family will be returning to continue this work in November, but my wife and I will be leaving at the beginning of October to begin the Kisarazu Kibo Baptist Church, so his daughter and her husband, who serve at another church in Hokkaido, will be coming to fill the gap. We had a wonderful time of fellowship with them on August 11, and we trust that God will use them mightily! We made our final trip to Kisarazu on August 18, where we were officially able to receive the keys to our new home and church office building, as well as find a new, beautiful auditorium to rent for our Grand Opening Christmas Services, as well as for some of our Sunday services! Our final Sunday here in Hokkaido will be October 1, and the next praise report will be our final praise report covering the work here. Thank you for praying as we seek to finish strong here while we simultaneously prepare for our first church plant in Kisarazu, Chiba!
This month was such an exciting month! Towards the beginning of the month, we visited a couple that has been attending off and on since we arrived here in Nayoro. During the visit, I had the opportunity to take an hour going through the Gospel with her, emphasizing her need to trust Christ alone. The wife sweetly accepted Christ as her Saviour. This was the first adult lady I’ve had the privilege of leading to the Lord in Japanese! During the week of Obon, as a church, we were able to take a trip to Kushiro to visit the Wilhites. It was so encouraging to sing praises to our Lord and have good Christian fellowship during what is spiritually the darkest week in Japan. After we arrived back in Nayoro, we flew to Kisarazu the very next day to receive the keys to our house and church office. We are already planning to house guests coming for missions trips and thinking of how we will set up the services that we will hold there. I can’t wait to see God work in our new home of Kisarazu as well! On the day that we returned, we were visited by a friend from the Senri Newtown Baptist Church. in Osaka! It was such a blessing to get a little taste of home from the first place to love us and help us navigate life in this country. Her visit went by much too fast, but I can’t wait to see her again when we visit Osaka in October. We appreciate your continued prayers as we begin our last month in Hokkaido and begin preparations for our upcoming move.
Your friends and co-laborers to Japan,
Go and Danielle Oishi
This is our new home and church office!
We officially received the keys to our new home and church office!