Praise the Lord! This month had its share of challenges, including another entire month under State of Emergency restrictions, typhoons, and the Bon Festival (traditional Japanese Buddhist custom of celebrating the dead, during which evangelism is greatly hindered culturally). Regardless, God has given us a wonderful month with a good balance of preparing for the future of our ministry, as well as taking every open opportunity to minister here and now!
A good example of this balance took place at the Kadoma Driver’s Testing Site on August 5, where I applied for my first attempt at the road test required to make the switch from a U.S. driver’s license to a Japanese one. I went in expecting to take the test on that same day; however, some of the procedures had changed, and I had to schedule the road test out to September 15, which was the next open slot available. It was a great blessing that I was able to submit all of the necessary paperwork (which was quite the process that very much reminded me of our beginning days of paperwork here in Japan) and pass the overly simple written test, allowing me to take that slot for the road test! Please pray for me, as the road test will not be nearly as simple as the written test—the entire course has to be memorized, and every maneuver has to be performed flawlessly, as the proctor will not be giving any directions. I was told that most do not pass on their first attempt. The biggest blessing that came out of that day was being able to help a Latino man named Luis, who was in my same situation but was struggling with his Japanese at the window. This quickly ended up turning into a friendship. I was not given the chance to witness to him that day, but we are keeping in touch regularly. Please pray that God would allow my wife and me to be a witness to Luis and his Japanese wife Akiko!
Traveling into the completely unreached cities in our neighboring non-State of Emergency prefecture of Nara to carry out the Luke Project has become our protocol when we are unable to evangelize in our home prefecture of Osaka. It was a perfectly sunny day when we began, but right as we reached the farthest point on our map from the nearest train station, the weather changed from clear to a downpour with thunderstorms in a matter of seconds. We rushed to our train station to find a wonderful witnessing opportunity—other people waiting out the storm. I had the privilege of witnessing to a man named Mr. Katsui, a practicing Buddhist. He was very much interested in our message and why it was important enough for us to travel two hours from home for. Please pray for these Gospel seeds that were planted to bear fruit!
In spite of all of the difficulties this month, God still allowed us to be able to give out close to 1,000 Gospel tracts between our local outreach and the Luke Project and make the 4 solid contacts mentioned above. We were able to participate in the many summer activities that the Senri Newtown Baptist Church hosted for the children and youth ministries, allowing us to learn more about the young people at the church, as well as gather thoughts and ideas for when God allows us to have a youth ministry of our own. I was given the opportunity on August 3 to speak once again for the church’s Ladies’ Meeting. Rain or shine, it is an awesome honor to have the privilege of serving the King of kings!
At the beginning of this month, the church hosted a children’s fun land, which I had the opportunity to help with. An eight-year-old boy came to the church for the first time that Sunday. He had just moved from America and only spoke English, so I was able to give him instructions and translate what he did not understand. It made me so happy to be able to help him! This month, we also had the opportunity to go posting in Nara again. While posting, I met an elderly man named Mr. Ozaki who was very interested in my testimony, as well as why we came to Japan. I spoke to him for a few minutes in Japanese, and he walked away reading the tract. Not too long after that, the sky became very dark; it suddenly became windy and started to downpour. In so many ways, it is easy to forget Japan is an island, but the weather here is a very good reminder.
Your friends and co-laborers to Japan,
Go and Danielle Oishi