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Monday, June 21, 2010

May Prayer Letter

Dear Praying Friends,

1Ki 8:41 Moreover concerning a stranger, that is not of thy people Israel, but cometh out of a far country for thy name's sake;

When we go beyond our Jerusalem, we do so for the Lord's name sake. We have a command to go beyond our comfort zone and reach the people in a far country. From the perspective of one on the field of ministry in Japan, we appreciate when others come to learn and help in that work in a far country "for thy name's sake". God has given us to privilege to work with fellow missionaries and missionary interns over the years. God provided through some special circumstances our current summer missionary intern, Amanda Blain. She has come half way around the world to learn from and serve with us when she had never met us. We were strangers. Praise God that He has directed her to us this summer. Pray for her as she adjusts to the Japanese language and culture "for the Lord's name sake" to show forth Christ with us this summer. Amanda will be with us through the month of July at which time she will return to get ready for her senior year at Ambassador Baptist College.

English and Bible studies have started up again with Dr. Mitsu and Miss Tsuzuki. Dr. Mitsu (in his 70's) has been trying to stop smoking. When explaining that to Ken a couple weeks ago he said, I want to stop and then I don't want to stop. Ken took him to the verse in James that said: A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. Dr. Mitsu replied, "That's me!" while pointing at the verse. So Ken talked to him about the verse. The doctor continues to be open in many ways but his spiritual eyes are still 'unseeing'. We pray for a great break-through in his 'vision' and that he will only see Christ as the answer to His needs! Miss Tsuzuki attends on Sunday evening and we are halfway through the Christianity Explained course. So far whenever we ask for questions she says she has none. We have more opportunity for questions from us at the end of the course which we trust will open up more conversation about the study. Please pray for her also that her spiritual eyes, which for the moment are 'darkened', will be opened and the truth clear and plain. From our experiences with single young people no matter how old, we can't just pray for salvation...we have to continue to pray for Satan to be defeated in his clear plan to not only keep one from being saved but to snatch them away once they make a profession. You may remember we had that happen in a major way just 2 years ago with Mr. Kikuchi, age 31, (and this wasn't the first time) enthusiastic and growing in discipleship UNTIL he talked to his parents and for whatever reason, he walked away, never to agree to speak to us or see us again. The demonic hold on this land both as a whole and person by person is EXTREME in ways we can not even see or fully understand. Pray for victory in our believers' lives and the challenges that face them day to day no matter what age they are.

With the new school year beginning in April, Ken returned to his classes at the schools with several new teachers involved now. This always means new possible contacts!! He is also praying for an opportunity to get to know one of the new principals who had a painting of a church hanging on the wall behind his desk. This is a first so opens again the doors for possibilities! Although the required constant transfers of most people within their jobs brings challenges when trying to plant a local church, we praise God that we have come to see them as new 'fields' in which to plant seeds. We also continue to pray for those that have come and gone and that the next place they are moved to in their job will have faithful workers for Christ to continue the seed planting, watering, and harvesting as the Lord allows!! The need for those kind of workers is still great here in Japan. Please continue to pray for those to work in the harvest fields of this country and for those that are trying to get here!

Health Update:
1. Ken's remaining large kidney stone continues to be stable and has not moved to a more dangerous place. Praise God.
2. Vicki's eye with the herpes infection had been stabilized for some months and was very slowly receding. During the first week of June, 4 new cuts appeared on the eye but with a quick reaction to the possible symptoms and a doctor's visit, within 4 days, 3 of the 4 small cuts had cleared up. Stress is said to be a major factor in allowing the herpes to become acute again so we continue to pray for healing and for her to be able to 'rest' all plans and challenges in her Saviour's arms.
3. Vicki also went through a few days of lower right back pain which she wondered about so had some tests done. What a surprise to find out that she also has a gallbladder filled with stones!! They wanted to do surgery right away but said they would try and control any inflammation via medication until the first part of September when the major events of the summer will be completed and she can just have the surgery and rest as needed.

Prayer Requests:
1. for the devil to be defeated in his attempts at keeping our unsaved from getting saved: "...then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved."
2. that the "...cares and riches and pleasures of this life, ." would not keep the saved from growing--two of our ladies especially have fears still that fight against them
3. for believers to be able to be baptized and fully understand this need of obedience
4. for those with fears to be able to rest in Christ
5. for new contacts to open up to the Gospel
6. for Vicki to not have any more gallbladder difficulties until she is able to have surgery

1. for continued contact with our current seekers
2. for Ken's continued health
3. for Amanda's safe arrival and enthusiasm
4. for safety and protection of mind and spirit for Mrs. Sonoda during the two weekends of death anniversary ceremonies
5. for you in upholding the work of the Lord here in Teshio

Keep on praying!! It's so important!

Serving Christ Together,
Ken & Vicki Mansell

Just A Prayer At Night

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