To God be the glory! We will skip our introduction line this time, as we have so many blessings to report covering our first full month back in Japan! We have been given increased opportunities to serve in the ministries of the Senri Newtown Baptist Church upon our return from the U.S. For the next year, my wife and I will continue to serve in the children and teen departments respectively, but with much more involvement. In addition, I have begun my training as a church van driver, which will equip me even more for when we plant our first church. We were also given certain neighborhoods on the eastern edge of our city outside of their typical outreach radius on which to focus our evangelism this year. Please pray for the 15,000-plus homes in these neighborhoods that need the Gospel! God has given us a good start this month by allowing us to make 28 personal contacts and deliver 2,413 Gospel tracts in these areas.
We have been able to reconnect quickly with our contacts here through the giving of souvenirs. We have already been able to share a meal with the couple from the Chuo ward. Two of our contacts live in downtown Osaka, where it is common to find people who are physically lost, giving us the perfect opportunities to make contacts. Please pray as we continually seek ways to confront the Japanese people, who culturally avoid social confrontation completely, with the Gospel.
On the 19th, I had the privilege of witnessing to another Japanese exchange student. As she came from an agnostic household in Tokyo and attends a Buddhist middle school, staying with her Christian host family and attending church regularly were completely new experiences for her. After just a few months of experiencing the love of Christians, by the time I connected with her, her heart was already filled with the desire to know Christ personally. Upon carefully explaining to her the Gospel and presenting her with the invitation to trust Christ, she told me that she desired to pray herself to receive Christ rather than having me guide her. As soon as she began to pray, she began sobbing as she sweetly accepted Christ as her personal Saviour. Immediately following her salvation, she was filled with the desire to grow more as a Christian and had so many great questions about knowing and pleasing Christ. Upon her return to Japan just two weeks after, my wife and I decided to send her a Bible. Please pray, as my wife will continue to follow up with her.
God allowed us to come to the Senri Newtown Baptist Church at the perfect time, as they are now resuming so many of the events that they had to put on pause due to restrictions. This process of resuming ministries serves as a perfect learning opportunity for us, as we will be starting everything from scratch. On the 14th, we were given permission to pass out Gospel tracts at the new Osaka University campus in our city of Minoo. On the 17th, we had the Youth Camp and Singles’ Retreat, which the church hasn’t been able to host in three years. We were blessed with 117 campers and 14 churches represented from all over Japan!
With all of our new opportunities to serve, my wife and I decided that it was time to purchase our first car in Japan, which in this country is typically a three-week process from deciding on the car. We were praying for a car, reasonably priced enough to pay in cash that was good on fuel economy, yet seating more than five people so it could be used to transport people for church. Most of this process took place in May, but by the end of April, we praise God that not only did we find the perfect fit for our vehicle, but He provided for a majority of the cost through a very generous anonymous investor! Please be looking forward next month to the photos of our first car in Japan: a pearl-white, seven-seater 2017 Toyota Sienta Hybrid G!
It is so good to be back home in Japan. Since I have resumed my in-person language school and the children’s ministries at the church, I will also resume “Danielle’s Journey.” This month has been the start of so many new opportunities for me. We have resumed our outreach multiple times a week, and on one of the days, I was able to make 17 personal contacts in one day! I was also able to make my first visits on my own when I delivered souvenirs from America to our neighbors. In the children’s ministries, I have been given the opportunity to lead the Scripture memory time on a weekly basis. I also had the opportunity to fellowship with the youth of the church at a Youth Fellowship and Youth Camp, which was held this month. It was so exciting to see so many young people excited about the Lord, and it was such a blessing to be able to speak with them in their language.
Your friends and co-laborers to Japan,
Go and Danielle Oishi