It was encouraging to see firsthand the Senri Newtown Baptist Church take a step of faith by deciding to reopen their doors for in-person services at the beginning of the month in spite of the State of Emergency being extended. The June 2 midweek service was the first time the church had been able to meet since the middle of April, and I was given the opportunity to lead a game in Japanese for the first time in the teen class. After the service, my wife and I were so encouraged to find out that, during the State of Emergency, both the church staff and members had been personally giving and mailing out the Japanese Gospel tracts, which we wrote and designed, to their unsaved friends, family, and coworkers. We were requested to restock the church with our Gospel tracts that night! We are so thankful for the many ways that God encourages us through this church as we labor together for souls in Japan!
On the first in-person Sunday service on the 6th, a young lady came as a visitor and got saved after the service! On the following week on the 13th and again on the 16th during the midweek service, God allowed the Senri Newtown Baptist Church to see a visitor come and get saved that same day. We are so looking forward to when we will be able to reap the way that they are, but we are solemnly reminded that the church is now reaping as a result of over five decades of faithful sowing. We are humbled and encouraged to continue sowing faithfully as we witness how God blesses faithfulness!
On the subject of sowing, God allowed us to have another victorious month in advancing our Luke Project posting efforts in unreached areas in Japan. By God’s grace, we were able to deliver the Gospel to over 1,000 homes in spite of the heavy rains this month, completing the unreached areas in the town of Miyake and allowing us to venture north into the town of Kawanishi, a town without a single church. On less rainy days, we often see someone reach into their mailbox to begin reading our tracts immediately. It is also encouraging that the view count on our website also indicates that many have, at the very least, taken an interest in what is written in these tracts. An unforeseen blessing that comes with the Luke Project is the fact that we are able to explore areas that are farther out in Japan, allowing us to bring back local specialties for our neighbors as a way to create opportunities to interact and be a blessing. Please pray for the salvation of our neighbors!
I was given the privilege of preaching my first in-person message to adults in Japan on Tuesday, the 22nd, at the church’s Ladies’ Meeting. Language school has also been a unique witnessing opportunity, as we have been role-playing applicable situations, giving me the privilege to explain the Gospel in bits and pieces during lessons. One of my teachers is an atheist, yet after giving her one of my tracts, she read it and expressed great interest in Christ! Please pray for these opportunities to grow, as well as for my next project—the Japanese driver’s license!
This month seemed to pass by so quickly. A mother and daughter who attend our church almost always come up to talk to us after the service. A few weeks ago, the daughter told us that she started learning the violin, and her mother explained to me that she actually started because of me, which made me so happy to hear. I have not been using the English- translation service at church for about a month now, and I was able to give a short part of our Saturday Facebook Live update in Japanese! I was so nervous beforehand, but it ended up going smoothly! I was able to give out two tracts this month at the language school that I attend. One was given to the secretary at the front counter, and the other was given to the only teacher whom I had not yet had the chance to give one to. She was teaching me how to recruit helpers in Japanese by role-playing a church Christmas event, and I just so happened to have saved one last church Christmas event flyer from when we first arrived, which I was able to give to her during our role-play! Thank you for your prayers as I continue to learn the language and build new relationships here.
Your friends and co-laborers to Japan,
Go and Danielle Oishi