We officially launched the Luke Project, a ministry of posting Gospel tracts into the homes of cities that are out of the range of any Gospel-preaching efforts, this month. The 5,000 tracts we ordered for this ministry arrived towards the beginning of this month, and Danielle put in many hours mapping the areas that I have researched and targeted, starting in the three rural towns that comprise the Shiki District in the neighboring non-State of Emergency prefecture of Nara. Our first posting trip took place on the 6th in the town of Miyake, and we have had the privilege of going back periodically to complete the area. By God’s grace, we were able to plant a total of 1,603 Gospel seeds by foot by the end of the month in these homes that have likely never been reached!
God has blessed us yet again with more churches announcing their decision to partner with our ministry. Two were from churches we visited in North Olmsted and Columbus, Ohio. The other two, much to our surprise, were from churches in states where we never presented (Austin, Texas, and Tyrone, Georgia)! It was thanks to these extra funds that we were able to begin our life and ministry here in Japan without raising a start-up fund, and it is also thanks to the extra support that we are now building a fund for what will be our first building when we begin our first church! The extra support is also the reason why we were able to launch the Luke Project (just the round-trip travel to Nara alone costs us $60 total each time) and to enroll both my wife and me into an accelerated, one-on-one language school. We are grateful for all these ways God has allowed us to advance our ministry in Japan by His provision! It was toward the end of May that I made the decision to also attend language classes. Of course, I am able to communicate fluently in Japanese without any issues; however, if I want to maximize my effectiveness in reaching a people that require much time and trust, I determined that I needed a mastery of the language. The course I am taking is business-level Japanese, which will be used to preach God’s Word more effectively and give me the skills needed to help the Japanese people in more ways. We are thankful for your part in all the ways that God is allowing us to both grow and labor.
On the 14th, I was given the privilege to preach for the Married Ladies’ Meeting online. This was my first opportunity to preach to an adult service at the church, and next month, I will be speaking to them in person. We are thankful for all these ways that the Senri Newtown Baptist Church is growing us!
In our previous report, we mentioned a young lady named Kanon with whom I had the privilege of sharing the Gospel via our ministry to Japanese exchange students in the United States. On the 16th, we received wonderful news that Kanon had trusted Christ as her Saviour! Please pray for her now, as she will face challenges to her faith as she returns to Japan. It was three days later that my wife and I celebrated our three-year wedding anniversary on the 19th! We are thankful for every day that God allows us to serve Him together in His harvest.
Language school became much more enjoyable this month because now I get to walk to and from the Berlitz Language School with my husband! I am now able to read Hiragana (one of the three Japanese character sets), which is exciting for me because I can now read the Japanese hymnbook and sing along with the congregational hymns. The church was not able to hold in-person services this month, but my husband and I were given the opportunity to attend the recording of the services. There, since there is no translator, my language comprehension was truly put to the test. It was encouraging to find that I understood much more than I expected to understand! Also, on the back of our new Luke Project tracts, we included a link to our Japanese website, which we very quickly realized needed an update. I completely redesigned the website to now include our salvation testimonies and links to online service through the church we are serving at here and our sending church back home. I often feel like I am getting used to living here in Japan, but there are still so many new surprises; it certainly keeps life exciting!
Your friends and co-laborers to Japan,
Go and Danielle Oishi