HALLELUJAH! We are writing this report in awe of what God has done in the past few weeks. In our previous report, we left off with the First Baptist Church of Goodrich, Michigan, our third missions-trip group, arriving in Japan to help us with the planting of the Kisarazu Hope Baptist Church, where we have started holding services since October 22. God has already opened miraculous doors for our church leading up to this month by allowing us to secure a popular venue, which is typically closed to religious groups, for our Grand Opening Christmas services, as well as allowing us to get permission from public schools to pass out tracts by their gates to students returning home from school. One of our first school-gate outreaches was done on December 1 with our five fellow laborers from Michigan and Wisconsin, and we praise God that almost every student gladly received our invitation! On that same evening, we attempted another bolder evangelism method by caroling and passing out tracts at a busy train station, while seeking opportunities to witness to people. God gave us another victory there, as we received no complaints from the officials, and many commuters received our invitation! Across all of our school-gate and caroling outreaches, over 1,000 Gospel tracts were directly given, and we pray that God would use this Gospel seed that has been planted in these homes, many for the first time.
December 3 was the first of our three Grand Opening Christmas services, featuring special music and salvation testimonies by our group from Michigan. Our faithful visitor from Hong Kong was also a tremendous help in helping drive church equipment and setting up the venue. Our services began, and no one else came. As we have always done, we held the service as if the room was full, as He is worthy, and we trust that He will use it in His time, in ways we cannot always see or understand. With that faith, our friend from Wisconsin departed on December 5, after three weeks of laboring with us, and our friends from Michigan departed on December 7, all rejoicing in what God was going to do on this new soil that has been freshly tilled with prayer and sown in tears.
Our group of eight laborers from the Broadview Heights Baptist Church of Broadview Heights, Ohio, our fourth and final missions-trip group this year, arrived on December 19, with the same faith and fervor as our previous three groups. This group is a part of the Serenity Chamber Players, a unique ministry of their church that provides special music using their voices and instruments to help churches with their evangelistic meetings. We are truly grateful for their willingness to sacrifice their Christmas and New Year’s to help with our church plant, as well as the many churches that gave to make this missions trip possible. God immediately began using this group from their first day by simply allowing us to meet people along the way who were interested in what we were doing, as well as opening unique, spontaneous open doors, such as being asked to sing hymns at a historical museum that had Buddhist and Shinto altars in the same room. After many rehearsals and more school-gate, caroling, and canvassing outreaches, it was time to set up the big rental hall for our last two Grand Opening Christmas services on December 23 & 24. We stand in absolute awe, as God gave us 23 first-time visitors across the 2 services. Nine of them expressed to me that this was their first time ever setting foot in any church service or hearing the Gospel. However, the greatest miracle of 2023 was what happened on Christmas Day. One of the unsaved Japanese visitors who came late on December 24 called me, asking if he and his friend, who was interested in the Bible, could stop by. Though no public events were planned that day, we ended up inviting them and our regular from Hong Kong to our Christmas Dinner last-minute. The friend came, eager to hear the Gospel, especially wishing to celebrate Christmas this year knowing the reason behind the festivities. We spent an hour and a half thoroughly going through the Gospel with her, and before giving any invitation, she told us that “in that case, I want to believe!” She sweetly trusted Christ as her Saviour that night! She, the man who invited her, and our family from Hong Kong have all expressed a desire to continue attending. We praise God that He is already building His church in Kisarazu! Please look forward to our next report, as the miracles continue!
Christmas here was incredible! We prayed for many people to come and hear the Gospel, and God brought us over 20 visitors! We prayed for people to get saved, and on Christmas Day, God allowed us to see a lady accept Christ as her Saviour! We prayed for God to use us, and it was so exciting to see God do just that! We are excited to see how God grows His church in Kisarazu from here! While I was waiting to pass out flyers at the school gates, I handed a tract to a construction worker passing by. He told me that he had already received one and was planning to come on the 24th. He showed me on his calendar where he had it marked. Though he was not able to come to any of the opening services, we pray that he will keep the tract and come! Another one of my prayers for the future of our church is a children’s ministry. Two children came to the opening services, and we would love to see them attend faithfully and start up a children’s program for them. Thank you so much for praying with us and rejoicing with us during one of our most exciting months on the field. We appreciate your continued prayers for us and the ministry here!
Your friends and co-laborers to Japan,
Go & Danielle Oishi