Dear brothers and sisters,
Praise God for blessing us with the privilege and joy of sharing the Gospel in Japan. This month, we shared the Gospel with the homeless in Shibuya, our community, and our Lord opened the doors for us to share an older people’s home and the Elementary School students at an international school. Praise God for opening more doors where we can lift the name of Christ and make His message of salvation known. So many times, we have been rejected from sharing Christ in many places, but our Lord always opens new doors. Please pray so our Lord helps us communicate with clarity to older adults and children and that God’s power will save more people for the worship of His name.
Last week our children left for school, but after 30 minutes, they called us telling us that they were asked to wait with all the other train passengers at the train station because there was an “accident” on the train track just before they arrived. We were informed that it was another suicide. Last year 20,830 people committed suicide in Japan. Mount Fuji is a well-known touristic place, but people do not know that Aokigahara Forest, at the base of Japan’s Mount Fuji, is the most frequent place in Tokyo, where hundreds of people go there each year to end their lives. This terrible news moved us to explain to our young children the desperate need of fallen men for a Savior and how much we need to pray for the Japanese people. Also, God reminded us of the realities of heaven and hell and to continue sharing the Gospel with hope. Please help us pray for the Gospel to save all people in Japan and the world on the edge of committing suicide.
We have every year two church retreats where all our church families have time to study God’s Word and have fellowship and rest. We are organizing our Spring retreat, and it is a blessing to see how much God is helping us grow in number and service. Before, it was me teaching and doing worship, but now, we have some brothers in charge of teaching, and evangelism, others in charge of worship, service and logistics. Our retreat’s theme will be “Training the Next Generation”, from Psalms 145:4 “One generation shall commend your works to another and declare your mighty acts.” God has blessed us with many children, and some are becoming youths, so we want to be faithful to our God, knowing that our preaching of the Gospel and prayers start at home, continue at our church, and extend to evangelize in our community. Please pray that our Lord will lead us in strengthening the faith of the next generation and that we will train future church leaders with our example and by the grace of God.
Every time we have a new believer or a friend that starts understanding and believing the Gospel, one of the first things they ask is:
“I understand the Gospel and the meaning of being born again, but how am I going to tell my family members that they are not believers? How do I tell them that we live in a false cultural Christianity and we are Gospel ignorant? I will be rejected; they will get angry and not listen.”
When they ask these questions, it is an opportunity to encourage them to trust in the power of God; to rely that the same Gospel they heard has the ability not only to open their eyes but also the eyes of their loved ones. We are glad to see how our new believers share the Gospel with their families with hope and courage. Sometimes they come with good updates of their sharing and sometimes with tears because of rejection and adversity to the Gospel. So please help us pray for all new believers to be led by God and strengthen with joy, wisdom, and hope while they try to move their loved ones to repentance and faith through the power of prayer and the Gospel.
We are so thankful to God to see our children growing physically and asking difficult questions now. When they were very young, they accepted everything and didn’t give too much thought to the bible verses, but now they ask more profound questions. We are glad to see that their faith strengthens every time our Lord answers them with His word. Also, we can see that they have peace knowing that there are many answers that we will only know when we get to heaven.
Some of the questions were: how did people get saved before Jesus was born? Where do animals go when they die? How old is the earth, and can we choose what to do in the new earth? Please help us pray so we Christian parents and churches will rejoice when our children have questions and that God will allow us to lead them to biblical answers that will grow and strengthen their faith until it matures to saving faith.
“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that is in you.” 1 Peter 3:15
Thank you always for your prayers, encouragement, and support.