Glory to God! He is allowing us to learn more on how to reach the people here effectively as He allows us to do more for Him the longer that we are here. This has been another exciting month full of new opportunities, and we are thrilled to share with you what we have learned and how we have been used!
We were blessed to have been able to furnish our new apartment at the beginning of this month. As we are now less than a five-minute walk from the church, we pray that our home would be used to build relationships with visitors and the lost that they might be saved and to refresh the people of the Senri-Newtown Baptist Church. We have been able to have one guest over so far. In our part of our apartment building, we have one neighbor directly next to us and two below us, all with whom we have been able to meet. Please pray for the Takashimas, the Nakagawas, and the Sakaguchis, as we hope to begin building meaningful relationships with them and lead them to Christ! Speaking of meaningful relationships, the Uemuras, an Atheist couple whom the Lord has been allowing us to work with, dropped us off at our apartment after a meal we enjoyed this month specifically to check the location of the church! This, of course, is wonderful progress, and we pray that their hearts would continue to be softened for the Gospel.
It is amazing that we are still hearing back from some of the churches we visited, letting us know of their decision to invest in our ministry. Last month, a church in Berne, Indiana, partnered with us, and this month, God has allowed us to partner with a church in Broadview Heights, Ohio, and Parkersburg, West Virginia. We are humbled to know that God always has a much greater vision than we ever could!
Sunday, February 7, was the 55th Anniversary of the Senri-Newtown Baptist Church, and they always celebrate it with a Missions Day! My wife and I were honored to sing a special and speak in the combined children’s church on this special day. This was my very first speaking opportunity in Japanese since coming to this church, and we were blessed to see a good number of children make decisions for the Lord! On the following Sunday, a deaf visitor came from Suita, located on the far south side of Osaka (Senri-Newtown is far north), because of a tract that was left at her door. She came, bringing that tract, as well as a tract she had received two years before, which she had held onto all this time! Two weeks later, she returned with two deaf visitors. Every Sunday, Pastor Ogawa clearly presents the Gospel during his message. All of these things are being used to teach us and excite us for reaching the Japanese for Christ!
I would like to mention something big, new, and exciting in my life. I began language school this month! I now attend classes every week from Monday through Thursday at a language school near the Senri-Chuo Station (about a 40 minute-walk from our apartment). It is a unique program that I believe is going well; it is a one-on-one class with different teachers each day, so I am able to speak with different people instead of only feeling comfortable speaking with one person. This also gives me the opportunity to try to give the Gospel to more teachers. Please pray for them, as I have had the opportunity to give personal invitations to two of them so far. The classes are all in Japanese, so I have no English to relate to or rely on, only pictures and the building blocks of what I have learned so far. I truly appreciate your prayers as I continue my Japanese lessons! Sundays are also going well here at the Senri-Newtown Baptist Church. This month, I had the privilege of sharing my testimony in a children’s class while my husband translated for me and taught a Bible lesson. Also, one lady who began attending the church regularly but is still unsaved said that she would like to practice speaking English with me and was encouraged to come more regularly since I came. It was a blessing and an honor to hear, and I pray that the Lord will give me more opportunities to be a blessing while I am still in the process of learning how to speak.
Your friends and co-laborers to Japan,
Go and Danielle Oishi