There is much to cover with this letter, so I apologize in advance for the length! We have been busy getting settled into our daily routine here in Japan. In March, we spent much of our time with fellow FBMI missionaries, Go and Danielle Oishi. They were instrumental in helping us get our bearings here in Japan. Bro. Go spent several days and many hours researching and setting up appointments and taking me to the places I needed to go to register for various things. He also helped me fill out countless forms of paperwork, while Mrs. Danielle showed my wife where to buy multiple things we would need for our house. We cannot thank them enough for their help.
The Senri Newtown Baptist Church (SNBC) and its staff have also been incredibly helpful and gracious to our family. They have welcomed us as one of their own and have already given us various responsibilities in the church as we learn and grow in this country. One of the things that we have enjoyed is going soul winning with them every Saturday. We go out in vans to different parts of the city to post tracts in people’s mailboxes (completely legal here in Japan) and hand them to people as we see them on the street. We then meet back at church afterward and spend some time fellowshipping, cleaning, and preparing the church for Sunday.
At the end of March, I was blessed to attend the annual Youth Camp that SNBC puts on. There were over 160 people in attendance from 17 different Baptist churches across Japan. There were also several other American missionaries in attendance, which was very encouraging. We heard great preaching and participated in fun games with the youth. However, the highlight of the camp was that one young lady, whom the Oishis had invited to camp and had been praying for, made the decision after one of the services to trust Christ as her Saviour! Several other young people made decisions as well. What a blessing!
Since arriving here, we have had several big Sundays. The first one was Easter Sunday, April 9. Many people were in attendance, including several contacts the Oishis had made during their time here. It is encouraging to see God working here in Japan. A couple of weeks later while at a park in the area, God providentially allowed us to meet a fellow American young lady named Chandler. She has lived in Japan for a few years and is married to a Japanese man with whom she shares a young son. My wife invited her to church at the end of April. Not only did she come, but she also brought two other American young ladies with whom she was acquainted, Divine and Kayla. They are currently living in the area and teaching English at local schools. My wife has met with Chandler a few times and has been able to witness to her, but she has not yet decided to trust Christ as her Saviour. She also came for the big Friend Day that SNBC had on May 21 and has stated she will come for a special Ladies’ Meeting on June 20. Please pray that Chandler, her husband, and her son will come to know Jesus as their Saviour! Meanwhile, the other two young ladies have already professed to be saved and have been attending faithfully every week and growing in the Lord.
Leading up to Friend Day, some church staff and I were able to go to a busy train station on a Friday morning. We passed out dozens of tracts and invitations to Friend Day. One of the church members was riding one of those trains that day and saw a Japanese businessman thoroughly reading the tract! He was very encouraged to see the Gospel getting out!
Much of our time has been spent settling into our home and daily routine. The kids have been continuing their homeschooling, and Karin, the four oldest children (Sienna, Aidan, Callan, and Braden), and I have been attending Japanese language school multiple times a week. Trying to balance these things with other church activities has been challenging, but I think we are finally starting to get the hang of it. Please pray that we can find more opportunities for the children to interact with others in Japanese and that we will have more opportunities to practice and learn to minister to the Japanese people effectively. On that note, on Sunday, June 4, we were able to share our testimonies at SNBC during the Sunday school hour. I was able to read mine in Japanese, which felt like a huge milestone!
• We successfully moved into our home in Japan.
• We enrolled in Japanese language classes.
• We were welcomed into Senri Newtown Baptist Church with open arms.
• God is already using us to bring English speakers to church and to share the Gospel with them!
• Pray for our motor home back in California to sell, so that we can purchase a vehicle here.
• Pray for me to pass my upcoming driving exam on July 31 so I can obtain a Japanese driver’s license.
• Pray for us as we learn the Japanese language.
• Pray that we can find more ways for the kids to get involved with others so they can learn the language better.
• Pray for the remainder of our household goods to arrive from the USA; it was estimated they would be here by May 29, but they are still not here.
In His service,