Hallelujah! We have major answers to prayer to report this month. This past July, God led us to the decision of planting the Kisarazu Kibō (“Hope”) Baptist Church, and we have asked for your specific prayers from that time as we studied and labored through the many procedures that had to be completed in order to make this vision a reality. Taking one step at a time and through the untold help and counsel from the Senri Newtown Baptist Church, God has put the pieces together for us. In terms of major contracts, there were still two major steps remaining before we could officially report that we were locked into this project, and we are pleased to announce that this month, those steps were completed. The first and most difficult of these two steps was finding a bank that would approve a loan for this land and building that would be used for the furtherance of the Gospel. Due to Japan’s “religion allergy” and a multitude of other logistical reasons, God had to open the right door for us. We praise the Lord that He did just that by allowing our loan to be approved by a local bank near where the church will be, as opposed to a much looser internet bank or loan company! This is a long-term victory, as we now have a bank that our church plant can work with going forward. The loan prescreening was passed on the 3rd, and the official screening was passed and approved on the 22nd. With that, we were able then to finalize and sign the contract for the blueprint for both our home and the church office building on the 25th! The construction is scheduled to begin next year in the middle of March, with the estimated handoff in July and full completion in September, just in time for our move back from Hokkaido to begin preparing for our first services. Thank you for all of your prayers that have led to this victory!
God gave us several unique opportunities this month in between our major victories. On the 6th, our friends from the Chuo Ward of Osaka came to our home again after visiting a regular church service for the first time. Up till now, they have only come on special days, and we are thankful that they were able to come and hear the Gospel once again and that we were able to answer more questions that they have about the Bible. Please pray that this couple will trust Christ. On the 10th, I had the joy of visiting the same elderly widower I visited last month with the church’s assistant pastor. He has not been able to come to services due to distance and his physical handicaps. We went to a large open park nearby to have a small service of our own, enjoying snacks, reading Scripture, praying, and singing praises unto God as tears of joy were shed. It was a reminder that a great part of the ministry that God has called me to goes beyond just reaching the lost and growing the saved, but also includes caring for lonely men like this gentleman. On the 16th, a saved lady and a saved gentleman from the Philippines visited our church for the first time, and we had the joy of serving them and fellowshipping with them. On the 20th, our church held the “Welcome Church Day” evangelistic services. We praise the Lord that many visitors came, and a young teenage girl whom we have been praying for trusted Christ that day! I had the privilege of dealing with a man who had raised his hand during the invitation time. Please pray that he, too, would place his full trust in Christ as his Saviour.
On the 23rd of this month, the most crucial document for the Morgan family, a missionary family to Japan preparing to make their permanent arrival, was processed! This was the other major victory this month, as this has been in the works since September. Please pray for their upcoming survey trip in December, when we will have the privilege of introducing them to life in Japan and helping them with several other procedures. Immediately afterwards on the 24th, Danielle’s visa was extended! Thank you for your prayers that amounted to so many victories this month. We pray that you all have a very Merry Christmas, and we look forward to reporting to you in January with reports from our Christmas outreaches and 2022 totals!
I have an exciting announcement from this month: I completed my final Japanese language lesson! When I first came to Japan, I found it difficult to even place an order at McDonald’s, but now, thanks to all of your prayers, I am able to hold conversations, listen to preaching without a translator, and explain why I came to Japan. After the lessons I have completed, my school only offers business Japanese. We, however, thought it would be better to focus on vocabulary used in the Bible and in church settings. I would also like to improve my reading and writing, since I am very much lacking in that area. I still have a long way to go, but as I have been working on this since February of 2021, this is a very exciting victory for me! Also this month, the church held “Welcome Church Day,” an evangelistic outreach service, and the children’s ministry performed a puppet show! I had the privilege of participating in it as “Townsperson C.” The room was filled with children and several visitors! I’m so thankful for the privilege of training at this church, where we see God move time and time again.
Your friends and co-laborers to Japan,
Go and Danielle Oishi