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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

February Prayer Letter

Ps 51:7 ¶ Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me,
and I shall be whiter than snow.
between our bldg-rt and neighbor on lt

Praise God for his use of earthly examples to help us to understand the infinite truths of the Bible, God's word.  Our sins need a great cleanser like hyssop.  Only Christ's blood is strong enough to clean our sins!  Nothing else will do.  When God washes us with his perfect sacrifice we are truly and completely white.  The white color of snow is used to describe an ultimate clean white color.  Snow is something we know about living here in northern Hokkaido, Japan.  This winter we have already received twice the snow that we usually get.  Snow is made of intricate ice crystals.  Each one unique and each one in reality, transparent.  So the white of snow is really closer to clear.  By our Lord's mercy we have been cleaned and washed so that there is absolutely no trace of sin because of Christ.  We stand positionally sanctified in heavenly places by His grace.  May we all strive to live experientially sanctified in our actions, attitudes and thinking for Christ's glory and as a testimony to those who are yet without Christ and headed for destruction.

February is always a short month but when you are getting ready for a short furlough and keeping up your full schedule it can be quite interesting. Lists are a missionary's best friend! Then God has also given us some unexpected 'free' days with the extra amazing blizzards and snow amount we have had this year and this month.  For the 2nd time in two weeks, schools closed down today due to blizzards and typhoon like winds. We have never seen quite a winter since we came although we used to have quite the 1-3 day blizzards.  We also had an extra interesting show of God's power with lightning and thunder in the midst of the blizzard last night!!  Never knew there could be such a phenomenon! God's power is truly beyond our understanding!

We praise God for safety on winter roads and continue to ask for that as we travel 6 hours or so to the airport we will be flying out of on February 23rd. This trip will be a little different from the last few years. We will fly from Hokkaido to Seoul, S. Korea and then on to Atlanta, GA instead of Hokkaido to Tokyo and then to the USA.  Will be an interesting trip for sure and we pray for God's appointments that will take place.  Packing is almost done and we are just finishing up last classes, etc.  Sunday services were special in that one of our ladies who can't be here very often, showed up for the a.m. service. It was great to see her again especially just before leaving and that she is doing well in spite of losing her mother a couple months ago. One never knows how even a Christian Japanese will respond to the lost of an important family member who was unsaved.  We also had one more good study with Miss Tsuzuki Sunday evening. She also seems like she will be willing to come when she can to the a.m. study with Mrs. Sonoda while we are gone.  Miss Tsuzuki said on Sunday night, "I know there is only one God. I understand that now".  We pray that she is just that much closer to understanding also her need of salvation through the one way of the cross!!

Both Ken and Vicki had check-ups before leaving for the States.  Praise God, Vicki's eye remains 'stable' through the medication drops and cream she uses twice a day. This will be a permanent prevention issue so those meds are going with us!  Ken also had another check up and it was not quite as encouraging although we continue to rest in God's decisions and will concerning the issue of kidney stones.  To clarify his kidney stone situation: He has 3 stones left in one kidney and one in the other.  The one in his left kidney is too large (4cm) and impacted high in the kidney under the liver, so they can't do much other than monitor its condition.  If it breaks up and clogs the exit or begins to cause other problems, then they can do something about it.  The kidney stones that have been in his right kidney  have broken up several times and are trying to get these big pieces broken up and removed.  It was one of these kidney stones that they tried to use the ESWL machine on the 7th of this month.  The "shock wave" machine is a table with a water filled bladder suspended in a hole in the table.  A large arm wraps around the table with an x-ray gun on top to target the stone and a shock wave device under the table to break up the stone.  Ken is a lot bigger man than they have worked with before and so it took four doctors, two nurses and two machine technicians over an hour to try different positions for him and adjustments of the machine and table to finally find the right one to get the "shock wave" device in an accurate position to hit the kidney stone. Ken then had to lay still for an hour while they shot 3000 shock waves at the stone.  It was painful but not unbearable.  The next morning, the x-ray did not show conclusively whether the stone was broken up or not.  At the follow-up this last week, it was determined that 'probably' there was no extreme change to the stone they targeted.  So Ken is on hold until the middle of May when the next check-up will be.  We do not have insurance to cover incidences in the states except through accidents (through our ticket insurance) so do not plan on doing any checking with doctors there. We have complete trust in the urology department of this university hospital.  God does not seem to be through with further "Hospital Evangelism" in Ken's case so we will wait on Him!

While we are in the United States we will be meeting the young man who has started preparations for being a summer intern with us this year. We are still seeking and praying in one or two more young men to be with us. Please make this a part of your prayers for us and if you know of anyone that might be interested in joining him, please let us know right away. Thank you very much.

Mrs. Sonoda will hold a Bible study each Sunday a.m. while we are gone with any ladies that come. Our English classes will just be on hold until we get back. We will return on April 25th. This trip will combine family time and meetings on the east coast this year (New Jersey to Georgia). We are sorry we won't be able to see Michael in Tucson.  We are trying to mainly be an encouragement to churches, but as so many other missionaries, we also need to raise some more support. Thank you for praying to that end.  Thank you for being a part of our ministry through support financially and prayerfully as well as friendship.

Prayer Requests

1. safety in traveling to the airport (winter roads), travels on the east coast, and return trip April 25th.
2. To be an encouragement when we visit churches; possible prayer and financial support
3. 1 or 2 more interns for this summer
4. our believers to remain faithful and strong
5. for no flareups with kidney stone episodes while in the States and Vicki's eye to remain stable
6. salvation for Miss Tsuzuki; baptist of our believers; new opportunities in the community as well as Hokkaido

Serving Christ Together,

Ken & Vicki Mansell

Just A Prayer At Night

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