Giving you a little view of Japan without leaving your home!

Prayer letters, curious subjects, events, people, customs, and more for you to enjoy and learn.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

April/May Short update & New Grandchild

Somehow it seems hard to keep up with emails and blogs when on the road so we apologize for our delay in getting an update here on the blog. What a blessing it was to report to our Minnesota churches as well as one across the border in Wisconsin. We finished the reporting time of this year's trip the end of April. Each of the churches we were in were an encouragement to us and there were special blessings along the way as well. We thank each one for the opportunity to share our continued burden for the souls of Teshio and the area as well as continued desire to see young people trained for future work on the field.

We want to begin with a prayer request for one of our believers who you have heard about for many years, Mrs. Sonoda. We just found out that her father-in-law passed away a week ago. He was 91, unsaved, and that means both her in-laws are now in eternit without Christ. Pray that we will be able to reach her husband before he joins enters eternity as his parents did. Mrs. Sonoda's mother is saved but her father is not. Both are in poor health. Also pray for Mrs. Sonoda. Beings she is the wife of the first born, she has the main responsibility for entertaining and taking care of other members of the family who will be coming to their house every 7 days for 7 weeks to hold traditional Buddhist rights. Since the father-in-law died on Monday that means these will be held on Sundays. This will keep Mrs. Sonoda away from services until late July. We will work out another day to have worship times with her once Vicki returns. Please pray for spiritual and emotional protection and that she would not have to take part in any type of service that would compromise her testimony for Christ during this time of extra cultural, family, and spiritual opposition.

Facing death in the country of Japan includes many rituals, superstitions, time factors, and almost unbreakable cultural rules. One of our English class adults who has also been in the weekly Bible study had two relatives pass away while we were in the States. We were not even sure how soon she would be able to come back to the class or if she would. One of her parents was a Buddhist priest, another of another faith. She still listens but says she cannot change her religion because of that. She returned to the English class and Bible study this Monday (June 1st) and Ken was able to talk to her of the truth of God's Word for about 15 minutes. This included two verses that are on the Bible Scripture passage calendars that we hand out to our contacts and English class adults. Pray for Mrs. Ishikawa that her heart would soften and be open to the Gospel as well as her husband, who she says has 'no religion'. Being a Japanese and following 'cultural' practices in Japan IS a religion although they do not realize it many many times.

Contact has been made with 1 of the other three ladies who attend services with any regularity. That so far has only been by phone. We have not heard from the other two yet. We pray they will come back and that satanic forces against them would be defeated.

We had the privilege of meeting with Jonathan and Heather Marks who will soon be moving to Ohio to be with their home church in preparation for coming to Hokkaido to train with us!! We had met them a couple years ago. They now feel that God has continued to lead them this way and are desirous of getting ready to begin the internship program. To do this preparation they are moving from North Carolina where they are have been living back to Ohio. They will spend about a year with their home church getting some good advice, training, and various preparations made. They would like to make a short preview trip next spring and then start raising support for at least a two year commitment to the training. We would love to have them on the field NOW but know we must wait on God's timing. If at possible we would like to see that happen within two years! Please pray for Jonathan and their two children (the 2nd to be born later this summer) and the grace of God to be upon their lives in a very special way. Also for their move: safety, packing, etc. and the safe arrival of their 2nd child.

Two other young men are preparing to come to Hokkaido and we know they would also appreciate your prayer support. Mr. Matthew Johnson is currently on deputation but Satan has continued to try and defeat him through various car difficulties (including being rear-ended totalling his present vehicle) and other challenges. Pray for him to be able to get on the road and that churches would open up to him. Mr. Tim Turner has just one semester of Bible College left and some bills to finish getting paid but also wants to come back as the Lord allows. Both of them have been with us in Teshio and helped in the work in some form or another. Thank you for upholding these young men in your prayers! How we need these young lives to be able to reach more of those continuing to head to hell in the country of Japan!

Ken has adjusted fairly well to being back in Japan and is holding the fort. Vicki will arrive again on June 18th. They will both be glad to be back together working for you and for the Lord! We are so thankful though for the timing that has allowed Vicki to help Alicia and family. We were beginning to wonder if most of the helping was going to be before Jason Kenneth joined their family but we are sure due to answered prayer he arrived on May 30th (12:38 a.m.). He is 21 1/2 inches long and weighed 8 lbs. 9 oz.! Although they had to help the contractions really get going with medication after her water broke the final delivery was much shorter than the rest. Stil recuperation time is needed and Vicki is sure to be busy for the full two and half weeks she has left with them. It is always hard to be apart from each other but the blessings of this opportunity make it easier.

We will include a few pictures in a separate post and include little Jason as well as a few shots from our family week vacation in S. C. which was such a blessing as we all met together for the first time in two years. Thank you for upholding us in prayer and we continue to covet that support from each one.

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