Praise the Lord! After over eight months of praying, fasting, obtaining counsel, researching, and visiting several of the most unreached places in Japan, God has given us absolute peace about planting our first church in the city of Kisarazu in the Chiba Prefecture as early as next year! Thank you for so many of you who have prayed with us going into this major decision, as well as for your part in our 50 months full of praises thus far! We look forward to many more!
It has been a wonderful blessing and encouragement to continue hearing about the results of our two evangelistic services that took place last month. Out of the 35 first-time Japanese visitors who came and heard the Gospel on our “Welcome Day” services in the city of Iwakuni, we have heard that many of them have returned multiple times since! What an encouragement Faith Baptist Church of Iwakuni is to us, as this U.S. Military ministry continues to press forward to reach not only the nearby base and the local English-speaking people, but also the local Japanese souls despite all of the cultural challenges! As for the “Grace Fellowship” services that took place here at the Senri-Newtown Baptist Church, we have had many of the faithful ladies at the church tell us how their unsaved friends and relatives, whom they brought as visitors that day, have been considering Christ more than ever before since hearing the Gospel clearly presented that day. Please pray that God would continue to work in hearts, as many continue to battle their various relationships that hinder them from making the decision of trusting Christ alone as their personal Saviour!
We dedicated the second week of this month to quietly fast and pray once again to seek God’s clear direction on our church-plant location after we surveyed one final location. Though we had felt a strong burden to come here since we first surveyed this city back in December, we wanted to confirm that this was God’s will and not our own. Over eight months later, on the 13th of this month, we can say with absolute confidence that God has called us to plant a church in Kisarazu, an unreached city with a population of over 136,000 people, as well as one of the few cities in Japan with a growing population by about 1,000 annually, with many young families. The city sits on the eastern end of the Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line that connects the Bōsō Peninsula on the east and the Tokyo Metropolitan area on the west across the Tokyo Bay with the world’s longest across-water roadway. Many young families seeking work opportunities in the larger cities, but looking for affordable housing, are quickly moving to the Bōsō Peninsula, especially to the city of Kisarazu, as well as the neighboring unreached cities of Sodegaura to the north and Kimitsu and Futtsu to the south. These four cities comprise an area with a combined population of over 300,000, locally known as Aqua-Line East, and will be the area that we will be targeting with the Gospel by planting a church-planting church in Kisarazu as early as next year. For many reasons, we believe that God has been preparing both my wife and me our entire lives to reach this area with the Gospel, and we are excited to enter the early stages of planning the Kisarazu Kibō (“Hope”) Baptist Church!
On Sunday, the 24th, we invited our unsaved friends from the Chuo Ward of Osaka again to enjoy another church service together with us, as well as to celebrate their birthdays at our house after the service. The Madrigals, our missionary friends who recently arrived here from Mexico, also joined, and it was a wonderful time to give the Gospel yet again to this couple! It has been evident that God has been working stronger every time we meet, and we are prayerfully looking forward to the day that they get saved! Thank you for continuing to pray for them, as well as for our many other friends we have made who are in need of Christ.
This month definitely felt like summer here in Japan. The church currently has a summer program going on during the children’s summer break. Every week, there is a special promotion. We began with Otanoshimi (“Fun”) Land, where the church sets up booths of games, like ring toss and paper fishing, to be enjoyed after a salvation message. I had the privilege of helping with the setup, as well as the water-gun booth. It was such an encouragement to see about 40 children come to church that day. We also are praying for one of our visitors from the “Grace Fellowship” meeting to return and bring her son during the summer promotions. Also, thank you all for your faithful prayers for our church-plant location decision. We are so excited to begin preparations for our future church in Kisarazu, Chiba! I am so grateful that we have so many faithful Christians praying for our future ministries here in Japan.
Your friends and co-laborers to Japan,
Go and Danielle Oishi