Praise the Lord! Opportunities to preach the Gospel have only increased leading up to our final days in Osaka, the place where God has allowed us to begin our first chapter in Japan. February 5 was the 57th Anniversary Missions Day services at the Senri Newtown Baptist Church, and I was given the incredible honor of preaching all of the services. As this would be our final special service at this church before we move on to Hokkaido at the end of March, we invited every single contact that God has allowed us to make thus far in our area. We praise the Lord that we had three first-time visitors and eight returning visitors from those we personally invited! Most of them were connections that were made through the couple in the Chuo Ward of Osaka, whom we have been witnessing to for quite some time, and we are thankful for the many doors that have been opened just through this one couple. God worked in a way that only He could, as a saved man made the decision to get baptized and a saved lady made the decision to surrender her life completely to God’s will during the invitation! The altar was very full for both services, and many others made wonderful decisions that day. Many of our unsaved visitors listened intently as the Gospel was clearly preached. Please pray that God would continue to work in them that they might trust Christ and be born again!
Shortly after, on February 9, we flew once again to Kisarazu, Chiba, to finalize our construction plans on the site for our home and church office for our upcoming church plant, the Kisarazu Kibō (“Hope”) Baptist Church. This trip was made with our real estate agent in Osaka, which allowed us to tell him personally about Christ for the first time. Thank you for praying for his salvation, as well as for our church-planting preparation to continue progressing smoothly!
One of the families that came as our visitors for the anniversary service was a mother and her six children from the city of Kobe in the neighboring Hyogo prefecture. We decided to follow up on this family by visiting them personally on February 11, especially because of how intently her two oldest daughters listened to the preaching. Their oldest daughter answered the door, and the visit was mostly made with her, while we also enjoyed the company of their two youngest. We were able to give them a John and Romans during this visit and invite them to the church’s upcoming Teen Camp. Please pray that she will be able to attend, as it will present the perfect opportunity to remove the many obstacles that prevent so many from receiving Christ’s free gift. Starting February 12, I was given the privilege of teaching a three-week series on world evangelism in the Teen Sunday School. At the end of the lessons, I challenged the teens to write a name of an unsaved person that they know and commit to pray for their salvation, while seeking an opportunity to tell them about Christ. Please pray that God would give them the boldness to shine as lights in the dark world they live in, as many of them are among the only born-again Christians in their public schools. On February 15, we were given the privilege of witnessing to a struggling mother of two sons through the introduction of a faithful couple in the church. Though I will not give the details of her situation, please pray for her and her children, especially for their salvation. It appeared as though she was about to make the decision to trust Christ right there at the table we were sitting at, but she decided not to at that particular time. Please pray, as God is clearly at work in her heart.
The Morgan family, a fellow FBMI missionary family to Japan, are set to arrive permanently on the field on March 2, and we were able to retrieve the keys to what will be their new house in Japan on February 28! Thank you for praying for this family of eight as we continue to help them in the days leading up to their arrival. We are excited to see how God will use them! Praise the Lord for another family of laborers to Japan!
This month was Missions-Emphasis Month at the church, so I had the privilege of giving my testimony in Japanese in the children’s church and teaching them a song in English to emphasize missions. I was also asked to write the weekly “Grace” (a paper with testimonies printed out for the ladies of the church) at the beginning of this month. I was able to thank the church for how good they have been to me, as well as let them know our upcoming plans in their language! In my Japanese lessons on Fridays, I have been learning how to write Sunday school lessons and how to teach core Bible doctrines, such as our sin nature and redemption, in Japanese. Towards the end of the month, my mom came to visit for the first time! It was so nice to introduce her to everyone at the church and to show her where we have been living for the past two years. Next, we will be preparing for the arrival of the Morgan family. They are an answer to our prayer for more missionaries, and we are so excited to have them here! Thank you always for your prayers.
Your friends and co-laborers to Japan,
Go and Danielle Oishi