Hallelujah! This has been another miraculous month, with even more souls coming to Christ as their Saviour! We are thrilled to share with you all that God is doing here. It is difficult to believe that we are already halfway through our six-month term serving at the Immanuel Seisho Baptist Church of Nayoro, Hokkaido, before we plant our first church. God has already taught us many lessons through the many mountains and valleys of pastoring the work here. Last month, we rejoiced over the baptism of a couple who got saved back in April. Lately, they have gone through a period of stumbling, and we unfortunately have not seen them in church this month. We believe that their decision to trust Christ, as well as their decision to publicly follow Christ through baptism, was genuine, but just as many of us Christians do, they are going through a battle. Please pray that this couple might make their next step of recovery by returning to church.
There is a boy and his mother who have been regularly coming to our services since we arrived in April. On Saturday, June 17, during the invitation time of our Saturday children’s program, Bible Adventure, just like the other boy who got saved last month, he clearly expressed his desire to trust Christ as his Saviour by drawing a star next to his name on the clipboard. Sadly, in his case, his star was promptly crossed out by his mother. He was dropped off alone on the following day for church, and when my wife tried to speak with him privately, he began to shake in fear and expressed that though he desired to get saved, his mother forbade it. We clearly explained to him that this was a personal decision for him to make and that Christ would hear and save him if he were to call upon His name in genuine faith. We suspect that he has done that, as in the following times we have seen him, there has been a certain joy in him that wasn’t there before. The spiritual battle is real, and we appreciate your prayers in each of these cases that require much wisdom. We cannot do this apart from the Lord!
One of our major projects since arriving in Nayoro has been to design a new Gospel tract for the church. We completed them this month, and our first box arrived on June 19. We have already begun giving them out personally and canvassing the area. Please pray that God would use them mightily! Our other venture has been the honor of helping the Wilhite family, a fellow missionary to Japan who have served in Nayoro for 15 years, move to the city of Kushiro, where they are getting ready to plant a church. We are so thankful that God has kept them here for our first three months, as they have been a tremendous help in our transition. We had their send-off service on June 25, where their family sang and gave testimonies and Bro. Wilhite gave the message. We had our highest day thus far, with a total of 39 people across all services that day, representing 14 different families and including a family of 3 visiting for the first time! We praise God that one of the girls whom the Wilhites have been praying for got saved that day! The 2 children from the visiting family also expressed a desire to get saved, but unfortunately, the family had to leave before we had a chance to speak with them privately. These children come to one of our weekday English classes that we have been teaching every week, so we are trusting that God would give us the opportunity to speak with them in class. Please pray that God would continue to work through the Wilhite family in a very special way, as He most certainly did at their send-off service!
In each of our respective weekday English classes, we have a planned Bible time where my wife and I have been clearly going through the Gospel. By the end of this month, our students have come to a point where they themselves can explain the plan of salvation. As they clearly wanted it for themselves, we extended an invitation for them in class. We praise God that on June 26, 4 boys trusted Christ as their Saviour, and on the following day, 2 girls trusted Christ as their Saviour! One of the boys even caught himself after his prayer, admitted that he got distracted, and prayed once more to genuinely receive Christ! That makes a total of 7 children who trusted Christ this month! Our next big push is VBS from July 15–17. Please pray that God would continue to work in a mighty way!
This month was filled with exciting preparations for the Wilhites’ send-off service, as well as the weekly English classes, church services, and Bible Adventure. The send-off service went amazingly, and it was such a blessing to see God work mightily through it. The Wilhites’ presence is already missed, as their move to Kushiro was at the end of this month. We are looking forward to seeing how God uses them in Kushiro. It is so exciting to see God’s work being multiplied right before our eyes. We ask that you continue praying as God works on the hearts of the English students that are yet to be saved as they hear the Gospel each week. Thank you always for your prayers.
Your friends and co-laborers to Japan,
Go and Danielle Oishi