Praise God! Even as restrictions have tightened again here in Osaka, God has used this occasion to begin a new lifelong project that will become our first major sub-ministry in Japan! Countless opportunities besides this have opened up for us this month as well, and we are excited to share all of this with you.
This month began with busy preparations for our first Resurrection Sunday here in Japan. We had the privilege of preparing gifts, as well as posting Easter flyers into the mailboxes (which we found out that day is legal here in Japan!) of the church’s entire surrounding neighborhood with the church staff. God blessed all of these efforts with a very full house on Resurrection Sunday! Many heard the Gospel preached very clearly for what was likely the first time for them, and quite a few of those visitors have continued to come. Please pray that God would continue to work in their hearts. In a nation where God is completely foreign to its people and cultural ties to idols run deep, it often takes time before someone is ready to accept Christ alone as their Saviour.
April, in many ways, marks the beginning of Japan’s calendar. It is the month that marks the start of every school year, as well as Japan’s hiring season, and the church is no different; in that, they announce the year’s new theme and assign new ministry responsibilities in April. This year’s theme at the Senri Newtown Baptist Church is “For With God, Nothing Shall Be Impossible.” Starting with Resurrection Sunday, my wife and I were given the privilege to start playing our instruments with the church’s congregational song service. In addition, I was assigned to help with the Youth Ministry, and my wife was also assigned to help with the primary children’s classes every other week. We are extremely thankful for these opportunities, especially because they maximize our time spent learning from the leadership of this great church in how to effectively minister to the Japanese people.
God has continued to open doors through our ministry to the Japanese exchange students back in the U.S. This month, I had the privilege of explaining the Gospel to a young lady named Kanon through the Christian academy of one of our supporting churches. As everything was so new to her, the furthest I was able to go was to leave her with an invitation to get saved. Please pray that God would cultivate this wonderful Gospel seed that was planted!
On the 25th of April, the prefecture of Osaka announced its third state of emergency, heavily restricting ministry activities once again. Please pray that God would give us wisdom and patience as we navigate how to minister effectively in a nation where we often cannot take the same liberties as we would be able to in the U.S.! In the midst of this, God encouraged us with two new supporting churches (in Caseville, Michigan, and Carterville, Illinois), a new community language-learning outlet for my wife and me to minister to foreign residents in Japan, and a vision for a new large-scale project that can be started even in the midst of restrictions: posting Gospel literature into every home of every unreached city in Japan. For this, we designed a new Gospel tract entitled, “Unchanging Truth, Unwavering Hope,” and ordered over 5,000 of them to kick off this ministry at the beginning of May. Please look forward to more on this next month.
Your friends and co-laborers to Japan,
Go and Danielle Oishi