After returning from Japan, we enjoyed spending time with our family during and after Christmas. As we began 2023, I had the privilege of preaching the morning and evening services on New Year’s Day at our home church, Regency Baptist Church, in Loomis, California. We are always grateful for the time we get to spend with these people, whom we love dearly.
In the middle of January, we got back on the deputation trail with a Missions Conference in Missouri. We had a great time with old friends and new ones as well. One of the biggest blessings was that an old college friend of my wife, who lived in the area, saw we were coming to town. She contacted my wife, who invited her to join the services. After my wife’s friend and her family came for two of the services, they felt God was leading them to this church. They have since joined the church and are attending faithfully! Also, during one of the services, a young man came up to me and asked if I could help him make sure of his salvation. After spending time with him and showing him verses, he bowed his head to trust Christ as his Saviour once and for all! After we returned to our seats, my eldest daughter Sienna leaned over and told me that she was not sure she was saved either. I took her aside, and after careful explanation and going through many verses, she made sure of her salvation! If all of that were not enough, unbeknownst to me at that same time, two of my sons were also being dealt with by a fellow missionary! To God be all the glory!!
We then flew back to California after the conference. While on a layover at the airport, I had the privilege of joining another Missions Conference at a church in Virginia via Zoom. I was able to share my testimony, my field, and a brief challenge from the Bible. I was greatly encouraged by this service and how God allowed technology to be used for His glory. The following weekend, we participated in another wonderful Missions Conference in Wildomar, California. This conference was so encouraging. A special blessing we received at this conference was that we already knew almost all of the other missionaries present. One big special blessing is that we met Dan and Kathy Strickland, the parents of Danielle (Go) Oishi, our fellow missionary in Japan! They were so kind and hospitable to us and treated us like family!
Right after that, I flew to the Mobile, Alabama, area for the Missions-Emphasis Month at Lighthouse Baptist Church in Theodore. I was blessed to speak to many of the children’s classes at the Christian school, preach the teen chapel, go soul winning with the teens, and present our ministry during the evening service. While soul winning there, the first door we knocked on was a woman from Japan, which was a special blessing! I got to practice my Japanese with her and invite her to the church. She claimed that she was already a Christian and was encouraged that we were going to Japan, which is such a difficult place to witness for Christ.
After flying back to California, we spent the following weekend at Central Baptist Church, Sutherlin, Oregon. The extra special
blessing of this meeting was that Pastor Jimmy Moyer was the Sunday school teacher who, after my wife initially shared the Gospel with me and I returned to church the next time, led me to Christ! All these years later, what a joy it was to see that his family is still faithful in ministry and that one of his converts was on the way to the mission field!
Finally, we spent the following weekend close to home in Northern California at Harvest Baptist Church in Orland, California. Pastor Isaac Davis, his family, and the church were so kind to us and made us feel like we were a part of their church. This was also the last deputation meeting where our whole family would be present. From here on out, it will either be just my wife and me, or I’ll be attending a couple of meetings alone.
We thank God for His amazing provision for us during deputation. We are now at 96% and expect to have full support by the time we leave for the field, which will be on March 1, as we have already purchased our tickets! Thank you all so much for your prayers and financial support. We truly would not be able to do this without you all. Lord willing, I will write our next prayer letter from Japan! Please pray that we can finish packing the belongings we are taking and that we will have all of the funds we need for furniture, moving, and, eventually, purchasing a new vehicle. May God richly bless you as you labor for Him!
In His service,