Praise the Lord! We trust that God has given you a wonderful start to the new year. We celebrated our two-year anniversary of being on the field on December 4, and God allowed us to begin our third year on the mission field with a wonderful victory. On December 5, we flew back to the city of Kisarazu in the Chiba prefecture to sign our final mortgage agreement and do a final check on the land upon which our home and church office for our upcoming church plant, the Kisarazu Kibō (“Hope”) Baptist Church, will be built. As a part of the process, we were able to open what will be the operating account for the church plant with this local bank we will be borrowing from. We left Kisarazu with everything set in stone for the land to be purchased and its title to be transferred to our name, and we praise God for all of the right doors that He opened for us throughout this entire process!
After a brief moment of rest, we were able to welcome Bro. and Mrs. Morgan, a missionary family to Japan who are nearly finished raising support, for their survey trip! As they are the second missionary to Japan supported by FBMI, our same missionary-support agency, we have had the privilege of helping them with their immigration process and field planning since September. We praise God that He has blessed our preparation and allowed them to enter on their long-term visas on their first arrival on December 10, which was key to completing many other procedures during their time here in preparation for their permanent arrival with their six children in early March. We are still in awe of how much we were able to accomplish, by the grace of God, during their time here. On Monday, December 12, we were able to fellowship with another missionary family to Japan, who was also here on their survey trip. It was a privilege to explain and help both missionary couples create their mass-transit cards and signature seals, both of which are indispensable for life in Japan. Afterwards, we enjoyed taking them on a brief tour of downtown Osaka. The next day, we were able to complete the Morgans’ mandatory residence registration procedures at the City Hall and help them open a Japanese bank account. On the day following, we were able to submit all of the necessary documents to the Immigration Bureau for their six children to be able to enter on their long-term visas. What was truly unbelievable was that on Thursday, December 15, one of the church staff arranged appointments for the Morgans to be able to view potential rental houses, and all of the documents and procedures that we have been able to obtain and complete up to this point allowed them to decide, sign, and secure a house on the next day! We are truly thankful for all of the pastoral staff of the Senri Newtown Baptist Church who have each helped us and the Morgan family in a massive way. Also on December 15, we received our loan as scheduled and were officially able to purchase our land in Kisarazu! On the next day, we were able to arrange private trial language lessons for each of them at the same language school that Danielle recently completed her language learning. It was quite possibly the fullest week we have had since arriving in Japan, but it was truly a week full of fellowship and blessings! Please pray for Bro. and Mrs. Morgan as they complete their deputation in preparation for their arrival in March with their six children.
In the midst of all of this, we have been busy preparing and inviting for Christmas Eve and Christmas services, the most opportune time to reach people in Japan. We praise God that our friends from the Chuo Ward came back for the Christmas Eve service and that the wife brought 9 visitors with her on Christmas Day! Please pray for the many who heard the Gospel for the first time on that day. This year in Japan, God has allowed us to help the Madrigal and the Morgan families get established, see 4 souls trust Christ as their Saviour, and personally give out 17,774 Gospel tracts, adding to a total of 31,658 since arriving on the field. We praise God for all that He has done and look forward to what He will do in 2023!
December was my first official month out of language school! I am still taking lessons from Go’s mom once a week, but I am no longer a full-time language student. This allowed me to be fully involved when the Morgans visited for their survey trip. We thoroughly enjoyed showing them our area, where they will also be living very soon! I was able to show Mrs. Morgan our local grocery stores, furniture stores, and clothing stores so she could get an idea of what is available here. We also took the trains and buses in the area so she could become familiar with the system. It was really fun getting to spend time with her and getting to know her, and we got so much accomplished during the short time they were here! At the church ladies’ meeting, I had the privilege of translating my husband’s Japanese message into English in real time for the first time so that the Morgans could understand it as well. We then ended our month with Christmas. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. Thank you so much for your continual prayers.
Your friends and co-laborers to Japan,
Go and Danielle Oishi