Hallelujah! God has already given us much to praise Him for at our new church plant! We fully moved into the city of Kisarazu in the Chiba prefecture to plant the Kisarazu Kibo (“Hope”) Baptist Church on October 12 and began holding “soft opening” services right away on October 22. We are excited to report all of the miraculous things that God has already done in our midst!
We forgot to mention in our previous report that we have decided to support our first missionary out of our church plant on our first Wednesday evening service! We have been giving to missions since we were in Bible college, and we truly believe that God blesses churches that give to missions. We have a desire to teach people to give, and we believe that we are to lead by example. We are honored to increase our giving in this way, and we ended up taking on our second missionary on the last Wednesday of this month. Please pray that we will be a giving church, as many of you are!
We are eternally grateful for four of our supporting churches that have decided to send people during this early phase of our church plant to encourage and help us in our ministry. The first group came from the Victory Baptist Church of Carterville, Illinois, and we are so thankful for their group of four laborers who labored with us during the first week of this month. Their group became the first of many missions trips that we pray God will allow us to host through our ministry. Many pieces of Gospel literature were delivered to unreached homes during our time together, and God used their efforts to bring the first visitor to our church on November 12; he came because of a Gospel tract that was left in his door by one of the laborers who came on that trip! He is a fellow English-speaking believer from Hong Kong who has been looking for a church where his family could grow and be used of God. Please pray that God would use our church plant to help him grow in Christ. On the very next Sunday, November 19, he brought his two sons, as well as his Japanese friend, who became the first Japanese visitor at our church plant! Please pray especially for his friend, as her testimony is unclear, and it seems that she has yet to place her full faith in Christ as her personal Saviour. We praise God that, even before our upcoming Grand Opening services, He brought these four souls for us to minister to!
On November 16, we had the joy of hosting our second visitor from the United States, this time from the Faith Baptist Church of Oak Creek, Wisconsin. They sent one of their finest men to labor with us for three weeks, and we are grateful for all of his labor in passing out more Gospel tracts, as well as using his gift in construction to help us build shelves around the house and a beautiful wooden cross for our church office, which we are also currently using as our auditorium. Our friends from home have been a tremendous encouragement to us, especially in these beginning days where we and the few visitors to church thus far are the only Christians we know of in our entire city. Where Japan is abundant in almost all areas of physical comfort, it is certainly a socially and spiritually lonely place, with little local fellowship for a church planter. One of our groups commented that it is a mission field that truly reveals how spiritually blessed the United States of America is. We are excited to see how God will grow our church to be used as a lighthouse for the lost and a haven for believers to fellowship, serve, and grow!
Thank you for praying for our Grand Opening Christmas services on December 3, 23, and 24 at a popular rental hall, which God miraculously allowed our church to book! This hall is typically closed to religious groups, but God miraculously allowed us not only to book this venue on some of their busiest days but also allowed us to leave stacks of our Gospel tracts at their front desk! In addition, God allowed us to get permission from five different schools to pass out tracts by their gates to students returning home from school, which is another rare open door! Many of these outreaches were done with the First Baptist Church of Goodrich, Michigan, our third missions-trip group that came on November 28. We look forward to reporting to you all that God has already done through them in our next report. We pray that you have a very Merry Christmas and a victorious New Year!
This was a very exciting and busy month for us. We have finished unpacking, for the most part! It wasn’t long until we were beginning to feel the loneliness of not knowing anyone in our new city; however, God sent friends at the perfect time. One of my closest friends from Bible college came with a group from her church to visit, encourage, and help in our ministry here. The time that we spent with them was so refreshing, and we are thankful for the sacrifice they made to come here. They headed back to the United States on November 6, and we continued preparing for our Grand Opening Services, while holding our weekly services here at the Kisarazu Kibo (“Hope”) Baptist Church. I have been working on designing the church’s website and itineraries for the upcoming mission trips that we are hosting. I have also been preparing lessons, games, and crafts for a children’s class in preparation for when God sends children to the church. We are so excited to see how God will grow His church here in Kisarazu! Thank you for your continued prayers, as they mean so much to us! Merry Christmas!
Your friends and co-laborers to Japan,
Go & Danielle Oishi