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

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

September Prayer Letter

Dear Praying Friends,                                                                                
Isaiah 43:10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
God gave us this verse as a mission call to Japan.  Today as we write this, October 7th, 2013, by the grace of God, marks the end of the first 30 years of fulfilling that call here in northern Hokkaido, Japan.  I recall on that day as we boarded the airplane out of Los Angles and we watched the lights of the Pacific coast of the United States fade away in the darkness, I silently sang the national anthem and thanked God for His calling.  In the years that have passed, many things in the United States have changed:  Economic, politics and morals have declined greatly.  There is a great need for those biblical Christians in the United States to abound in taking a stand for the Lord in the grace of God.  We are thankful for each of you that do this so that we and many other missionaries throughout the world can continue to give the gospel to the people God has called us to.  You too have a calling of God.  It is the same one we have; only the location is different.  May God bless your witness this day for the Lord.
Memories abound of God’s goodness not only here in Japan but also in His training period through the years since we got married in 1974.  Little did we know that each step we took in obedience and all along the way were part of His boot camp training time.  Helping us learn to trust in each other, walk along with each other and know that God was leading and helping us making decisions (first 3 years); leading Ken back into some schooling to finish one degree (1 yr) and at the end of that moving us to Minnesota where we were quite content in the assistant pastorate work we were involved in (2 ½ years) when God moved on our own hearts to go into full time church planting on a foreign field.  That led Ken to go back to Bible school one more time (2 yrs) to get some more training specifically in missions. While there we were involved in AWANA and jr. church, all the while seeking where God would want us to go.  It’s not an easy decision when the entire world needs the Gospel!!  Here is what Vicki wrote about our call to Japan on our 20th anniversary—
During his senior year at that time, a senior missionary from northern Japan, specifically the island of Hokkaido, came to visit on campus and tell the student body of his desire of reaching the northern rural area of Hokkaido, Japan with new missionaries where he had been ministering for quite a few years.  So many missionaries called to Japan stay in the southern larger populated areas.  His desire was to see more come north. And not only north to Japan but by a special program of new missionaries working with a veteran missionary for two years to lead them patiently through the ropes of everyday living, learning the language, and dealing with people in the difficult country of Japan. We praise God for that patient guarded teaching.
 Ken was on campus that day hearing the missionary speaker in chapel.  The campus chapel time was always broadcast on the local Christian radio station so I listened while at home.  When Ken walked through the door of our home that afternoon I don't remember which of us started talking first, but it was both of the same thing—what do you think about northern Japan?
We prayed, discussed the program, met with the missionary several times as well as several pastors that were working with him, got the counsel of our pastor and my Dad. What a blessing it was to meet and pray with him and when we asked him what he thought this was Dad's reply, "Your mother and I have been praying for several years now that God would send someone to help in this needy area.  Never did we dream our own daughter and son-in-law would answer that prayer." -----
After Ken graduated in 1981 we began our year and half of full time deputation with much fear and trembling but also joy that God had shown us his will.  God blessed and there is no way we can share all that He has done in these last 30 yrs. But this one thing we know: We fail, but God picks us up; We try and God works through us; We plant, water and pray that the seed will grow into true salvation and that the seed will not be plucked out.  That’s the way it was when we first started and that’s the way it continues. Japan is still a hard field to reach with the Gospel but we will patiently keep on planting and watering and waiting for the increase.  May we always be faithful for our God is Always Faithful and His mercies are new every morning.
Serving Christ Together,    
Ken & Vicki Mansell           Just A Prayer At Night – Your evening is our daytime!

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