To God be the glory! As our title suggests, God gave us a very fruitful month after a period of anticipation and preparation for His moving! Last month, we reported that we were invited by Pastor Smith of the Immanuel Seisho (“Bible”) Baptist Church in Nayoro on the northernmost island of Hokkaido to speak and provide music for their special evangelistic services. The end of our previous report left off covering just the preparation for these services, which were held on October 2. There we had the privilege of providing special music, and I was given the joy of sharing my salvation testimony, followed by Pastor Smith giving a clear Gospel presentation, after which I led a time of a very direct invitation for those in attendance to trust Christ. We praise the Lord that He gave us 5 first-time visitors that day and 1 soul saved! This was only the third service for the young man who accepted Christ that day; he had recently begun coming to this church, seeking direction and purpose in life. He came forward during the invitation without any hesitation, and I had the joy of leading him to Christ as his personal Saviour. It was a huge blessing to see him fellowship afterwards with his new family in Christ with a new joy that was not there before! It was truly a blessing to see God work in this way through the outpouring of love that the Smith family had already invested in this young man.
We returned to Osaka on Monday, October 3. On the following Wednesday and the Tuesday after, I had the privilege of preaching in Senri Newtown Baptist Church’s midweek service and their weekly ladies’ service respectively. I am thankful that they have been allowing me to speak once every month in each of these services. The church held a teen barbecue activity at the end of this month. There, I had another privilege of sharing my salvation testimony and giving a clear invitation to trust Christ by God’s grace. There were 6 first-time teen visitors who came that day! Please pray for their salvation and that our church’s teens would have the boldness to continue inviting their friends to hear the Gospel.
Two matters that have taken up much of my time as of late is our land and property planning for our church plant and home, as well as helping the Morgan family, a fellow missionary family to Japan, prepare for their upcoming immigration as they are finishing deputation. God has given us much favor in both of these areas. On the 13th, we were able to submit all of the documents needed to process their immigration paperwork, along with Danielle’s visa renewal application, and on the 16th, we were able to sign the official contract for the plot of land in Kisarazu upon which our future home and church office will be built! We are eternally grateful for Senri Newtown Baptist Church’s help in both of these matters, as well as for the generous offering we received for the land from one of our supporting churches. Please pray that my wife and the Morgan family’s documents will be processed smoothly and quickly.
The original reason we were invited to the Immanuel Seisho Baptist Church of Nayoro, Hokkaido, was to scope out the possibility of our covering for a short furlough that the Smith family had been hoping to take. Through our fellowship and service together, God has given all of us peace about caring for their work next year from the beginning of April through the end of September. We have been silently praying that God would somehow open a way for us to gain pastoral experience prior to planting a church, and so this is truly an answered prayer for us. We will thus be ending our time here in Minoo, Osaka, at the end of March to minister in Nayoro, Hokkaido, until the end of September, when we will make our final move to Kisarazu, Chiba, for our church plant. Please pray for us, as God is now preparing us to step into ministry roles and phases that we have never experienced before.
We began our month in Hokkaido, preparing for and partaking in the Sunday services in Nayoro. We had been praying for many to come, and it was so encouraging to see so many attend the services. There was a time of fellowship after the services with those who came. I’m so excited to head back there again next year to spend more time with the people there! Later in the month, we once again applied for my visa renewal. It is hard to believe we are approaching our third year here! Japan has truly become home to us. It once again proves that no matter where you are, you are happiest in the center of God’s will. At the end of the month, the church held a youth fellowship! We had an American-style barbecue for lunch, so I had the privilege of making the desserts and helping with some food preparation before spending time with the teens. A few days ago, I was able to invite our next-door neighbor to our “Welcome Church Day” next month. She gladly took the invitation and seemed very excited about the service! We were even able to exchange contact information so that she could let me know after speaking with her husband. Please pray that she would be able to come with her family!
Your friends and co-laborers to Japan,
Go and Danielle Oishi