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, February 9, 2010

January News and Prayer Requests

Ac 16:9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.

It is interesting that we often refer to this verse as Paul's call to enter Europe as a mission field and so it is. However, do we stop to think that no Macedonia man met Paul and his team at the dock when they arrived. No Macedonia man rushed to be saved when they began to preach in the first city, Philippii. In fact the first European Christian was a lady, Lydia. So where was that Macedonian man that Paul saw in his dream? I'm not sure if I have the answer to my own question. However I do know that when Paul got God's clear leading to a place to preach the gospel, he immediately endeavored to get there. That is what God is doing in the lives of many who are trying to get to the mission field in these financially challenging times. Please pray harder and give more so that more young people can not only endeavor but get to their field of service. Thank you for the many years of faithful prayers and support you have given us to follow our "Macedonian Call" to Japan.

January each year is usually a slow month for us with families concentrating on each other during winter vacation, no English classes until the end of the month and wintery weather that makes us want to either be inside or we are out shoveling! The Lord provided a special month
Getting the builtup snow and ice off our roof and deck.

for us in several ways, the first being we had an 18 year old young man with us for the month. Matthew Callahan is the son of Pastor Charles Callahan who has a church for the military in the Yokohama area on Honshu. Matthew's older brother had taken a 'senior trip' by joining us for 3 weeks in the fall several years ago. When it came Matthew's turn for a senior trip he asked if he could join us as well. Matthew hadn't experienced a snowy winter for a long time. Needless to say the shoveling was 'fun' for only a short time but he certainly willingly gave his strength and time to help us keep the heavy snow off areas that had to be cleared including our building and the two outlying buildings in Enbetsu and Horonobe. Matthew also has a unique hobby which he has become quite good at: the art of trick yo-yoing. His hands were constantly in motion when he had a few moments and he joined Ken in various opportunities of outreach both here We had a make it yourself sushi party before Matthew left.

in the home, in places we went, and the last week in schools. They worked up a biblical lesson especially for one of the tricks.
He also willingly helped Ken with a final project in the ongoing reformation of the kitchen area of our home. With his help the last step of getting the counters redone and a new sink put in was all completed, thanks Matthew!

Our month of opportunities with the unsaved we have been currently having studies with continued with fair regularity even though it was winter vacation. We are excited to see what the Lord is doing in Mirei Fukuda's, Motomi Minemura's, Hitomi Tsuzuki's and Dr. Mitsu's hearts. We only have one more time left with Motomi Minemura at this time because she leaves for at least a 6 month contract as a dentist in Vietnam. The Lord has provided a contact there though that we hope the Lord can use to further the work of the Gospel in her heart. We will also be connected with her via Skype so the connection will not be totally broken. Motomi told us recently her study of the Bible is a very serious one and one she cannot take lightly. She said she is afraid in some ways but doesn't want to stop studying either.

Mirei continues to come as she can when her husband (police station) has to work on Sundays. We still are praying about the timing of more questions into her concept of the Gospel and the truths she is hearing. She seems open but is not very verbal about it. We have been able to have her husband in the home on a couple of occasions and trust in time he might be willing to come with her. Miss Tsuzuki and Dr. Mitsu also continue to take the learning of English through Bible study to heart and we wait on God's plan for their lives and pray for each of these people to come to a saving knowledge of Christ. It has been exciting to be here for these people and for this time period in their lives!

Our contact with Dr. Nao Nishino continues on an almost once a month basis. We had another weekend opportunity with her in January and she also continues to take the Word of God into her heart. There is a new twist to this story--she will be making a trip to the United States for a study on anesthesiology techniques in hospitals there. After a short visit to Canada where she did her home stay a couple years ago, she will be in St. Louis, Missouri for three weeks! We are praying that the Lord will put one or more Christians into her life while there which can continue the work that has been started here AND right after our arrival in the States for our short reporting furlough we will be driving right through St. Louis where she will have already arrived. We are trusting to spend the night in that city and be able to have an evening with her on our way from Kansas City to the east coast. She leaves the middle of February. We are praying that she would attend at least one church service if she has a Sunday off (many times interns don't) before she leaves.

We do have our trip to and from the States arranged for and continue to try and get the order of travel while in the States in place. We need to finalize some meetings, as well as finish several steps of preparation while here. Mirei Fukuda has a license to teach grade school children English so we have worked out a deal for her to cover our Teshio pre-school and grade school classes while we are gone that will allow some continuity to continue even though gone. She appreciates the opportunity to practice what she has seen us do and what she desires to try before actually getting a contract in the future in the public schools.

Health check-ups continue to have no change to them for Ken so we are thankful for that. Vicki is now consulting with eye specialists at the same hospital he had his surgeries to see if anything else can be done for her eye with the herpes virus. She is back on medications (drops, ointment-yes in the eye-, and oral) and we have to make the trip to Asahikawa once a week for a couple weeks for them to watch over the effects on the eye. The medications are quite powerful so one cannot avoid being checked regularly. Although the herpes damage cannot be completely healed and she will always have to fight this virus in her body, they are hoping that some of the damage to the cornea still can be repaired.

Thank you for your prayer support for these we are working with and for ourselves. We never take your prayers for granted. Don't forget that prayer support goes both ways and we would be happy to be informed of your needs too so we may remember you.

Prayer and Praise:

1. Continued health in spite of various things that have gone around through the schools

2. Salvation of believers' husbands and families and believers' baptism needed for ladies

3. Salvation of Miss Minemura, Miss Tsuzuki, Mrs. Fukuda (and her husband); Dr. Mitsu, Dr. Nishino

4. short furlough preparation

5. more healing in Vicki's eye (update since this was written: a little improvement so a stronger steroid has been started which also brings down the immune system. Praying for healing and prevention of other difficulties)

6. job and/or supply of Joshua & Alicia Appels' needs while still being youth pastor; leading for Richard and family in right pastorate for him; health needs in both families; supply of needs for Michael & Stacy

7. Jonathan and Heather Marks preparing to come and train with us and serve in Hokkaido!! Current training is taking place in Georgia. Also for Matthew Johnson to yet be able to come and in need of meetings

Serving Christ Together,

Ken and Vicki Mansell Just A Prayer At Night – your evening is our daytime

Ken with Miss Tsuzuki at the high school. She comes on Sunday nights for English Bible study.

from left to right: Mrs. Sonoda one of our faithful believers; Miss Tsuzuki, Matthew, Vicki, and Motomi, the dentist going to Vietnam.

We held a surprise birthday party for Ken and were able to have Miss Tsuzuki as well as another high school teacher, Motomi, and Mr. Fukuda (Akira) came with his wife, Mirei, too.

The fellas after they completed the counter project.

Dr. Mitsu who comes on Wednesday for study.