Dear Praying Friends, August 2013
Genesis 24:27 And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the Lord led me to the house of my master’s brethren.
Many times we are asked, "How did you know the Lord wanted you in Teshio, Hokkaido, Japan as missionaries?" The whole process of God's leading us to this rural town in northern Hokkaido is rather long and strewn with various details. However, the main thing that continued to show itself was the small phrase in the verse above. “I being in the way, the LORD led me". Just as trying to steer a car that is not moving, is more difficult than steering a running and moving car, so it is with knowing and following the Lord's will for our lives. We continued to be busy serving the Lord right where we were at the time and God directed our path through Bible reading, preaching, prayer and Godly counsel. It is in this confidence that the Lord led us to Japan and on to Teshio and gave us the faithful supporting churches and friends, that has helped keep us here for thirty years.
Soon after we arrived in Teshio, we met a doctor and his wife in a nearby town via English conversation classes. Over the years we have remained friends and recently one of their daughters won one of the top prestigious piano contests here in Japan. She was going to have a recital in central Hokkaido. Vicki could not attend due to conflicting responsibilities, but Ken attended. We remember hearing a cute three year old play the baby grand piano in their small apartment 20 years ago. Now this beautiful 23 year old, who is continuing her studies as a senior at Boston Conservatory of Music, was playing before hundreds of people on a grand piano amazing pieces of memorized classical music. Their family graciously allowed Ken to stay in their home and he felt like one of the family. God gave many opportunities of witness during that time. Pray with us that this family would truly follow the Lord Jesus Christ.
With the Dan Cross family attending regularly now and their desire to see the Gospel presented in their community in any way possible, they asked if we would come and do a short couple hour “Joyful Kids” time with neighborhood children and any moms that might stay. We were thrilled to work out the details including games, songs in both English and Japanese, a Bible story via large picture cards on Noah and then a treat time with homemade ice cream that they had helped crank during the game time and chocolate chip cookie bars. Seventeen children attended, ages 4-12 as well as three mothers stayed for the whole activity. The Crosses report that several mothers have mentioned since that time that they were glad they came. Although location is a difficulty at this point, we trust to be able to continue to do some special activities in this town and build upon the testimony already being given by the whole Cross family, at work, at school and in the neighborhood!!
We just finished studying the Rich Man (in hell) and Lazarus (in the bosom of Abraham/paradise) from the book of Luke with Hitomi Tsuzuki. What a picture of the eternity of pain and desire for our family members to not go to hell. Our hearts continue to hurt because again Hitomi said she still understood her need and that she WAS going to go to hell, but she could not go to the next step of accepting the gift of salvation. We praise God for each step of progress in her understanding and we know we will truly never comprehend the deep strong hold that family, work pressures and the Japanese society have on those that are seeking. We can only keep faithful and continue giving them the plan and need in their life and ask God to work the miracle that only He can do. Thank you for supporting us in this effort. Keep it up through your prayers!
Baptism was again a portion of a study we have been doing on walking with the Lord. Mrs. Sonoda was present and Vicki, Rie Cross and Mrs. Sonoda had a long time of discussion on the reasons behind Mrs. Sonoda’s need to be baptized not being fulfilled. She desires and understands but we now know there is deep opposition within her home from her unsaved husband even on a personal level with daily issues. We continue to pray for our dear believers who need this step but have so much opposition in their lives. We continue to ask you to pray for victory for our believers even when so much is against them especially when they are wives of unsaved husbands. May God bless their testimony before their spouses as each one perseveres and lives for Christ as she can.
Just A Prayer At Night – Your evening is our daytime!
More photos from our Joyful Kids time!
They were amazed at making ice cream!
Bible story time!
eating the ice cream!
even the youngest attendee thought it was great!