The gospel was proclaimed, and God moved in people’s hearts to bring life to those who believed. During Crossover on New Year’s Eve, one hundred people responded to the call to repent and believe in Jesus Christ.[Read more…] about Relying On God While Doing Our Part
Christmas greetings to all in the name of Jesus Christ. May the peace from the Father rest upon you all. Due to your prayer help, our political situation is a little bit better than in the previous months. The Arakan Army and the Government Army are making temporary ceasefire agreements. Some roads are open but may are still closed so the price of goods is still very high and expensive. People are still encountering hardship. As we were under military control, we were unable to go to many places in the Paletwa township, so we did our best to share the gospel with our immediate neighbors.
Pastor Lunpah is working hard to reach new people with the message of salvation by giving our tracts and sharing the Word of God with neighboring people. Lunpah has been working at the refugee camp in Longkadu, some of our members from Temawa village were shifted to Longkadu as refugees. Pastor Lunpah is sharing the gospel with those who do not know Christ and inviting them to attend worship.
Pastor Jacob’s ministry in Bong Wee Church is doing well. They are not currently increasing in the number of members, but they are increasing in Christian life and their trust in God. Due to the political crisis, we were under such pressure that we could not fulfill our plan for ministry. However, we regularly worship God on Sundays and hold prayer meetings on Saturday mornings. It was amazing that we could conduct Christmas celebrations on Christmas day and the whole village came including non-Christians. I had the opportunity to share the good news that Jesus brought us for the whole world.
In Paletwa Town, David Joy is continuing his ministry. He reports that due to your prayers, the church is increasing in members. Weekly services are occurring regularly, including prayer meetings, worship services on Sundays, and Bible study programs. Christmas celebrations were conducted successfully on Christmas day and eight new people came to join us. They were people reached during the outreach ministry and they received Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. Praise the Lord!
- Give thanks to God for His goodness in keeping His children safe till the present day.
- Give thanks to God for our Christmas celebrations which were held successfully.
- Pray for more people to come to faith in Christ in this new year.
- Pray for our country Myanmar and pray specifically for freedom and peace.
Water Festival Holidays Camping Event at Bong Wee Church
Pastor Jacob’s Ministry
(Editors Note: Pastor Jacob works in an extremely remote area that lacks basic infrastructure, telecommunications, and roads. War and insurgency in his area continue to complicate matters. Due to these difficulties, updates from Pastor Jacob are posted as they are received.)
Pastor Jacob works in the township of Paletwa deep in the mountains of Chin State. He and a few other pastors diligently go from village to village, sharing the Gospel. Because of Government restrictions, it is difficult to travel in this region, and foreigners are forbidden from even being in the area Jacob works. The villages in this area are incredibly remote located in the Arakan Mountain region. The primary source of travel is by boat, which can take two or three days to reach a village.
In the last year, Muslim rebels from Bangladesh infiltrated areas of Rahkine and southern Chin state, attacking the local populace and battling the police. Myanmar’s Army, in a bid to eradicate the rebels and re-establish peace, entered into the conflict. Widespread violence has taken place, and the farms and villages our pastors work in have become the battlefields. Mines laid on farmland as well as pitched battles have caused both Buddhists and Christians to flee as refugees into neighboring towns and cities.
On top of this, a plague of mice destroyed the rice crops of several towns in this area, making a challenging situation even worse. Still, Pastor Jacob and others like him continue to pastor in their villages and go out and share the Gospel.
Greetings to you all in the name of Jesus Christ from the Paleta area, Myanmar. Due to your prayer help, God has protected us from all kinds of evils and keeps us safe. Our political problems in the country are limiting our weekly ministries and outreach ministries. However, we are continuing to proclaim the gospel to the people around us. The fighting has been happening everywhere. We need your prayers for peace in Myanmar.
Last month, we had a meeting with our co-workers in the Paletwa township and discussed our future ministry. We came to two decisions. The first is that if God gives us a good situation regarding safety and travel options in light of the current political issues, we will have leadership training in the fall of this year at Bong Wee village. The second is for Evangelist Thein Kyaw who joined our church this summer and has shown his dedication to ministry with us. We have appointed him to serve the Lord at Singsan village, where there are a few believers currently. He is serving there at this time with a salary, but with a monthly gift. Pray for Thein Kyaw’s church planting work in the Singsan village of Paletwa township.
Pastor Jacob and his church members are actively doing the weekly ministry and evangelizing among the non-Christians in the village. I am thankful to report that one family, U (Mr.) Tun Lyin and his family members were converted to Christ and joined Pastor Jacob’s church.
We have been unable to make contact with the believers in the villages of Pyi Chaung, Yitakhun, and Misa village. There are currently no internet, phone, or landlines because of the heavy rains. Many roads have been blocked by landslides. We have been out of contact for a few weeks now but are praying for the believers in these villages.
All my members are facing a difficult situation due to the floods, landslides, and limited or non-existent food supplies. In Paleta town, we have students from the countryside villages, and their parents were unable to send food for them for over a month. We had tried our best to provide for these students. We are asking for your prayer help for our daily food and for rental housing for these students because their current lodging was almost completely destroyed by the landslides.
- Give thanks to God for our weekly ministry and the success of our meetings during the summer with all of the co-workers in Paletwa town.
- Pray for the students and members who were affected by the flood and landslide; they need urgent prayer help.
- Pray for our new church building in Paleta, we have the land and need to build a two-story building.
- Pray for our country to have peace and freedom.
Pastor Joy David’s Ministry
“Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name.” It is a wonderful blessing that God has prepared me to be a church planter in Paletwa to the extension of His Kingdom. It is a great encouragement for me to learn that many men of God around the world are praying for our ministry.
I started a house church in 2013; our weekly programs consist of Bible studies, worship times, prayer, and evangelism. Though we are few in numbers, we conducted all of our weekly programs regularly. Some young people from nearby villages come and study at the local university and trade schools in Paletwa; I try my best to reach them with the gospel. If we can reach them with the Gospel, they will go and teach their parents and villages what they believe.
Last month, we had a two-day gospel training with twenty people. Daw (Mrs.) Thein and Daw (Mrs.) Sui receive Jesus and their personal Savior and Lord. They were ecstatic. They exclaimed, “We belong to Jesus, Praise the Lord!” They have joined my church as members. Pray that they will stand firm in their new faith and overcome all temptations. We are praying for more members and ask the Lord to bless us with a hundred church members by the next year.
Due to your prayer help, our ministry is doing well. Our weekly services are meeting regularly, including prayer meetings, home cells, and worship services. Every Sunday we have forty people in attendance.
- Pray for the new believers, Thein and Sui, to grow in their spiritual life.
- Pray also for Daw (Mrs.) Hting and Daw (Mrs) Htan who came to faith a couple of months ago, please pray that their faith will grow.
Pastor Kui Thang’s son recently passed away. He was twelve years old but physically disabled. It was hard for his parents as they cared for him. Now the Lord has taken him and is caring for him. At the funeral service, I had the opportunity to share the Word of God from John 11:24-25, “Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.” Some non-Christians attended the service, some from the surrounding villages. According to our customs, when people die, the neighboring communities also come to encourage and support the family.
- Pray for Pastor Kui Thang’s family as they lost their son, pray for the Lord to give them peace as they continue to do their duties.
- Pray for comfort from God’s Word.
- Pray for the jobs of my members to provide the income they may purchase their daily food.
- Pray for opportunities to reach more people with the message of the gospel.
Pastor Tin Saw Ministry
Tin Saw is a church planter high in the mountains of Chin State, Myanmar. He ministers near the township of Kanaplet which is one of the most isolated towns in the state. The people are destitute and local infrastructure remains underdeveloped. The village he lives in is home to subsistence farmers and traders who live in extreme poverty compared to the rest of Myanmar. An additional challenge is the numerous subtribe dialects and languages which differ from village to village. Pastor Tin started the church in 2016 and has seen the believers mature and grow. He and the church members face opposition and adversity from Buddhist leaders and cyclones that affect their area yearly. Nevertheless, Pastor Tin continues being faithful to the Lords call on his life and regularly engages his people and region with the Gospel.
Please continue to pray for the non-believers we have been ministering to, that they will continue to attend the church and come to understand salvation. Ms. Sasaki is working on Sundays and unable to participate often; we did get to see her briefly at the end of the month. Ms. Yasui is recovering from her injuries, so we are contacting her via phone and email. Kazushi is still coming to the church via bike despite the travel distance; we are praying that he will continue to attend.
- Pray also for Ms. Satoko’s salvation.
The number of participants in the Sunday school has been decreasing due to the spread of the virus.
- Pray for the two students who are still attending faithfully.
- Pray also for God to keep the students’ faith firm as they get older and enter the upper grades.
Our Korean Cooking class outreach went well. We had nine people.
Mrs. Yoneshima’s husband is objecting to her attending church.
- Pray for her faith to be firm and her husband to repent of his attitude and objections.
- Pray for the church activities to reopen soon; we have been refraining from larger group gatherings due to the coronavirus preventive efforts.
- Pray for my son to be faithful in Christ and focused on his studies at the university; pray for finances for his school expenses.
- Pray for witnessing opportunities.
- Pray for my daughter to enjoy school and not encounter peer pressures.
- Pray for my wife’s job as a Korean teacher.
- Pray for our church as we celebrate the sixth anniversary this month.
- Pray for evangelism and our church planting ministry in Kashiba city.
We have an average of five people at the worship services. In previous reports, I spoke of some of the non-believers and their circumstances. These men and women had expressed interest in the gospel but have not yet come to faith in Jesus Christ. They face various challenges in attending church.
- Pray for them to overcome these obstacles.
Ms. Sasaki is working on Sundays. Ms. Yasui is still going to the doctor for the injury sustained from the car accident. We contact her by phone and email.
Kazushi is a student at the Kindai University and is riding his bike to church despite the far distance.
- Pray for him to continue to attend.
Satoko is the daughter of Ms. Yamazaki, who is a member of another church.
- Pray for Satoko to attend regularly.
Recently, the number of students who are absent from our Sunday school has been increasing. Our attendance is now an average of two students.
- Pray for the Sunday school participants to grow in number.
- Pray for the children to retain their faith and trust in God as they enter the upper grades.
- Pray for their school activities to not give them excuses to be absent.
Pray for Mrs. Yoneshima. I shared her story in previous reports and her husband’s objection to her attending church. He had softened and allowed her to attend once a month for a while. However, recently, he changed his mind and is preventing her from coming to the church. He strongly objects to her faith and is pressuring her for a divorce.
- Pray for her to have fellowship with believers and follow God’s guidance.
- Pray for her husband to repent for his actions and to come to faith as well.
- Pray for God’s wisdom to guide all conversations.
We are holding a Korean cooking class.
- Pray for this event to be successful.
- Pray for our ability to reopen the church activities as soon as is practically possible. We have been refraining from gatherings due to the staying-in-effort.
My son started meeting on the university campus for courses at the beginning of the school year. He has made friends and enjoys school life in person after taking online classes for half a year.
- Pray for his faith to grow during this time.
- Pray for his focus on his studies.
- Pray for my daughter and her schooling.
- Pray for her to be safe and enjoy her education.
My wife’s job as a Korean language teacher resumed last summer.
- Pray for witnessing opportunities and for the finances to assist with my son’s school expenses.
As Ms. Sasaki is working on Sundays at her new job, this affects her schedule and makes it difficult for her to attend the worship services.
- Pray for Ms. Sasaki to be a part of the worship service again.
- Pray for her salvation.
Ms. Yasui is continuing to see a doctor for the injury from her car accident. We contact her by phone and email.
- Pray for Ms. Yasui to come to church again.
Mr. Kasuzhi is eighteen and a student of Kindai University. I shared about him in my previous report. Continue to keep him in prayers, specifically so he can continue attending. Ms. Satoko is the daughter of Ms. Yamazaki. Pray for her salvation and for her to attend church regularly.
- Pray for these unbelievers – Ms. Sasaki, Ms. Yasui, Mr. Kasuzhi, and Ms. Satoko – to come to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
- Pray for evangelism and our church planting ministry in Kashiba city.
The amount of youth who have been able to attend Sunday school has been decreasing. Unfortunately, every event for the younger people, including the summer Bible camp, has been canceled.
- Pray for our Sunday school; our average attendance has dropped to only three this past month.
- Pray for the youth during this time of coronavirus and for their faith to grow stronger.
- Pray for the Sunday school activities to resume.
- Pray for the children as they enter the upper grades to be strong in their faith and for their relationship with God to grow and mature.
We were holding worship on weekdays with Mrs. Yonejima. But thanks to her husband’s good understanding, she has been able to attend the Sunday service at least once a month.
- Pray for Mrs. Yonejima to grow in her faith.
- Pray for her husband to come to faith and understand
Mrs. Yonejima’s desire to fellowship with believers.
- Pray for the reopening of church activities. We have been refraining from gathering due to the coronavirus preventive effort.
- Pray for my son Ye Shin and daughter Ye Jin.
- Pray for my wife with her job as a Korean teacher.
We did not have any visitors this past month. Some of the non-believers who have shown interest in the gospel have attended sporadically. Ms. Sasaki is in her sixties and started working on Sunday morning, so attending worship has become difficult. Ms. Yasui is still recovering from her car accident injuries. We are keeping in contact with her via phone and email, pray for her to attend church again.
Kazushi is eighteen and a student at Kindai University. He lives in Kashihara-City, a decent distance from the church, especially since he is traveling by bike.
- Pray for Kazushi to keep coming to the church.
Ms. Kudo is the daughter of Ms. Yamazaki, a member of another church. Ms. Kudo has come to church occasionally with her mother. She lives in the Nara prefecture. She is now in her forties but used to attend church regularly as a child, and we are praying that she will come more often.
- Pray for the non-believers to continue to attend church and for the believers’ faith to be evident to them.
- Pray for their realization of their need for a Savior.
- Pray for our evangelism and church planting ministry in Kashiba city.
We started the Sunday school during the summer and have had a few junior high school students attend, but none in the elementary age. The summer Bible camp was canceled.
- Pray for our Sunday school program.
- Pray for the children to keep the faith as they enter the upper grades.
- Pray for the re-opening of the church activities.
- Pray for my son, Ye Shin, who is attending the University via online classes.
- Pray for my daughter, Ye Jin, who is in school as well to be protected from peer pressure.
- Pray for my wife’s job as a Korean teacher.
We have not seen Ms. Sasaki this past month; we communicate with her via phone and email. She recently moved to a new house, and we are praying that she will be able to come to the church. Ms. Yasui has gone to see her doctor because of the injury she received in her car accident. She does not work full time, and we are communicating by phone and email.
- Pray for her to be able to come again to church.
The church is located in Hakuho-dai, a town in the northern part of Kashiba-City. The city was developed in 1982 and is relatively new in the Nara Prefecture, with about sixteen hundred people. However, the majority of the population is in their fifties and sixties.
The family immediately next to us is opposed to our establishment of a Christian church, and it has been challenging to maintain good relationships. They have not acknowledged our greeting notes. Although we have noticed that their attitude is less harsh than before, they still are reluctant to interact with us. The person living on the other side of the church has less prejudice against Christianity. He is the director of a hospital in Osaka. We have invited his family to our events, but they have not come yet.
Our focus is on reaching the people in our neighborhood and those who are living in Kashiba city. Through the cultural gathering and volunteer activities, people have come to know about the church and Christianity. The children at the Sunday school are from the neighborhood, and not all the families are Christians. We are forming relationships with each family individually. All of the families are Japanese. It is the first time for many of them to come to church. It might take a long time for the families to be willing to attend church, and we continue to connect with them steadily. One of our primary focuses is on preaching the gospel to the children. We firmly introduce the Bible and pray for their faith to grow.
- Pray for our church planting ministry in Kashiba City. Sunday school is resuming at the same time as the local schools are reopening.
- Pray for many of the children to be able to come.
- Pray for the children who are entering the upper grades to be firm in their faith.
- Pray for the reopening of the church activities; we have been refraining from gathering due to the coronavirus mandates.
My son, Ye Shin, is entering university. My daughter, Ye Jin, is beginning middle school.
- Pray especially for her protection as she interacts with her peers and the boys in her school, some of them can be inappropriate.
My wife will be resuming her job as a Korean Language teacher.
- Pray for my family’s financial needs and my son’s school expenses.
- Pray for God’s provision.
Our church interactions have changed with the current situation and concerns about the coronavirus. We have not seen some of our regular people and did not have newcomers. Our worship services average attendance is five people, and we had to postpone some events and meetings this last month. We are praying that we can resume our Sunday school and outreach to the children.
- Pray for our church believers to rely on God during this time.
- Pray for God to protect and keep the faith of the children as they enter the upper grades.
In past reports, I have asked for your prayers for three women who are not yet Christians, in their fifties and sixties. Ms. Sasaki was absent this past month, we are still praying for her salvation, for her to see that Christ is the only Savior and to believe in God. We have not seen Ms. Yasui since she had a traffic accident a few months ago. Ms. Kudo is the daughter of a couple who attends another church. She typically attends once a year but grew up attending church through middle school. As she moved to Nara city, not far from us, we were hoping she would come to church more often, but we have not seen her this past month.
- Pray for Ms. Sasaki, Ms. Yasui, and Ms. Kudo to understand salvation and acknowledge Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
- Pray for these world events to encourage them to put their trust in God.
Our ministry activities for this month included the Mothers’ Day gathering, and we held a worship service on a weekday. We had to postpone our Megumi (meaning “Grace”) Café.
- Pray for evangelism to our community and our church planting ministry in Kashiba city.
- Pray for the reopening of our church activities; we have refrained from gathering due to the ‘staying-in’ effort for COVID-19.
- Pray for God to sustain the families and bring them peace during these times of unknowns.
- Pray for the school lives of my son, Ye Shin, who is entering the university, and my daughter, Ye Jin, who started middle school.
- Pray for God to sustain them and for their academic growth despite the current irregular situation.
- Pray for God’s provision for all of our needs, including our finances. My wife and son have not been allowed to work due to the COVID-19 social distancing policy.
Ms. Sasaki comes to church once a month; she is in her fifties. We observe that her motivation appears to be a desire for friendship and connection with people. Our prayer is for her to desire a relationship with God.
Ms. Yasui is in her sixties, she has been absent since her traffic accident. We know that church was still a new experience for her. Our prayer is for Ms. Yasui to profess faith in Jesus. Ms. Kudo is also in her fifties and came to a worship service last month. She is the daughter of a couple; they are members at another Presbyterian church. Ms. Kudo comes once a year or so to church despite growing up attending church only through middle school.
- Pray for Ms. Sasaki, Ms. Yasui, and Ms. Kudo to see Christ as their Savior and to believe in God.
We had to cancel our outreach for the youth on Easter. We were able to hold our passion week daily morning prayers.
- Pray for our Sunday school and worship services; we had stopped meetings due to the coronavirus. We desire to resume our outreach to the children when possible.
- Pray for our evangelism outreach and church planting ministry in Kashiba city.
- Pray for God to keep the faith of our youth as they enter the upper grades.
We pray for their desire to continuing attending church and for their relationship with God to be secure as they grow and mature.
- Pray for the reopening of all activities when the current quarantine ends.
- Pray for my son, who is entering the university, and my daughter, who will be starting middle school.
- Pray for their sustenance during this irregular situation and their academic growth.
Please remember our church in your prayers. Last month, we had some people missing from our worship services for various reasons, and others have had limited ability to attend church due to health. Takahashi came for a service but is still feeling weak after being released from the hospital. Ms. Sasaki also came to church; she is in her fifties and is not yet a Christian, pray for her to see that Christ is the only Savior. Ms. Yasui has been absent since the traffic accident, pray for her to be able to return to church. Ms. Yoneshima has not attended church either.
- Pray for the salvation of the Yoneshima family. I have shared their story in recent reports.
- Pray for our church congregation, especially as many are elderly.
- Pray for everyone’s faith to be strengthened and for our ability to minister to and encourage them.
- Pray for those who are still considering Christianity but have not yet become believers.
- Pray for them to have faith to surrender their lives to God.
Our Sunday school youth are growing in their faith. Miri had been busy with other extra-curricular activities and recently came to Sunday school. Meguru has been coming every week, and we pray that he will continue to join us. Typically, this next month has lower attendance at church, as the students entering middle school get busy with new clubs and extra-curricular activities on Sundays. We are praying for our youth to choose faith over these other school activities.
- Pray for salvation for the youth and their families.
- Pray for the teens to feel comfortable and welcomed in the Sunday school.
- Pray for my son Ye Shin and daughter Ye Ji. Ye Shin is studying for the entrance exams for the university, also pray for the tuition needs. For Ye Ji, pray for her as she completes elementary school.
- Pray for Hyeon I, my wife, who is teaching the Korean language.
Pray for the salvation of Ms. Sasaki, in her fifties, who has been regularly attending the Sunday service. She seems to enjoy coming to church to be with friends but appears to be having difficulty in understanding that Christ is the only way to salvation.
- Pray for her to gain clarity concerning the gospel message.
- Mrs. Yasui has been absent from church. Pray for her to be able to come to church again.
Ms. Yonishima has also been absent recently due to hospitalization for an injury on her foot.
- Pray for her family to come to know the Lord.
- Pray for the believers to be able to attend church and be encouraged by the faith of each other.
- Pray for those who are not saved, to fully understand their need for a Savior and have faith in Jesus Christ.
Our Sunday school attendance has varied. The sisters Seria and Serika, and their relative, Ryo, have not been at Sunday school this past month. Pray for them to return. Sayumi, a girl in the sixth grade, has been coming back.
- Pray for the salvation of the youth and their families.
- Pray for the young people to feel comfortable and welcomed in our Sunday school.
- Pray for my family.
For my son Ye Shin, to pass his entrance exams for the university and the tuition.
- Pray for my daughter, Ye Ji, in her studies for the remainder of her term at elementary school.
- Pray for my wife Hyeon I as she teaches the Korean language at two locations.
We had a special event, Family Christmas, and twenty-nine people came. The youth in our Sunday school performed a Christmas play. A few of the people who usually only attend the non-Sunday activities also came to this event.
We ask for your prayers for the salvation of Ms. Sasaki, who has been attending the Sunday worship service. She is in her fifties, and we are specifically praying that she will understand Christ is the only one true God instead of multiple gods. Ms. Yasui, sixties, has been absent from church.
- Pray for the salvation of Ms. Sasaki.
- Pray also that Ms. Yasui will be able to attend church again.
In Sunday school, the sisters Seira and Serika have come consistently along with their six-year-old relative, Ryo. Sakyo, in eleventh grade, has come back after a length of absence as well.
- Pray for these children to come to faith in God and for their families as well.
- Pray for them to feel comfortable and welcome at our Sunday school.
We held the first baptism at our church. Praise the Lord. Mrs. Yoneshima was baptized. Pray for the salvation of the whole family. Mrs. Yoneshima is still facing difficulties at home as her husband is not supportive of her coming to church.
- Pray for the spiritual growth of Mrs. Yoneshima and for the salvation of her husband.
- Pray for more opportunities to have these sorts of events and to invite more people to come to hear about God in a comfortable and relaxed setting.
- Pray for my son Ye Shin and for his entrance exams for universities.
- Pray for my daughter Ye Ji, she will be starting Junior High School this spring.
- Pray for my wife, Hyeon I, who has been teaching Korean at the International Cross-cultural center in Kashihara and possibly adding another location, the Nara Korea Education Center.
- Pray for witnessing opportunities at these locations.
We all rejoice after many months of prayer. Mrs. Yoneshima was baptized on December 18, 2019. This is her testimony; “I used to feel alone, but I found Jesus and accepted Him in my heart so I am not alone; I used to feel that my life was meaningless, but now I know Jesus would show me His Way. John 3:16.” Please remember Mrs. Yoneshima when you pray, she is asking for her spiritual growth and salvation of her family.
Our senior citizens have sporadic attendance, which means our group meeting each week is small. Our worship averages eight people. Pray for Ms. Sasaki, Ms. Yasumi, and M. Takahashi to be able to attend more often and to stay healthy in their walk with God. Mrs. Yoneshima is still facing discouragement from her husband about her faith. Yet, recently there seem to be slight signs of improvement. We are praying and anticipating things getting better. Pray for the entire household to be saved.
- Pray for our regular attendees to be able to come consistently.
- Pray for new people to find the church and get connected.
I shared in the previous reports that some of the children who had stopped coming were back again, which was exciting for us. Seira and Serika are sisters and their cousin, Ryo, is six years old. We are praying they will be able to attend more often.
Pray for the youth to feel at home and comfortable in our Sunday school. Pray that we can show the love of God to them and for the youth and children to have a relationship with God.
- Pray for my son and daughter, Ye Shin and Ye Ji, as they are preparing for college and studying in school.
- Pray for my wife Hyeon I as she teaches the Korean language at the International Cross-Cultural Center and for witnessing opportunities through this job.
Ms. Sasaki, fifties, has been attending the Sunday service every other week. Ms. Yasumi is in her seventies and comes once a month. Mr. Takahashi is also in his seventies and has not been attending lately.
- Pray for those who are irregularly in their attendance to be able to come on a more regular basis.
- Pray for new people and for those who are searching for the truth to be led to our church.
Continue to pray for the situation with Mrs. Yoneshima and her husband’s discouragement for her to think or believe in God. There seem to be slight signs of improvement, and we are praying and anticipate things to get better.
- Pray for the entire household.
- Pray for Mrs. Yoneshima to be encouraged and at peace despite this challenge to her faith.
We were excited that two sisters, Seira, in sixth grade, and Serika, in second grade, came back to the Sunday school. They brought a relative, Ryo, who is six years old. Ryo lives in Osaka and visits the sisters almost every week. The three children used to come more frequently in the past, but for a time, Ryo did not want to, so the sisters also stopped coming. This recent visit, Ryo seemed to be having a good time.
- Pray for the salvation of Seira, Serika, and Ryo.
- Pray for them all to continue to come and to be comfortable in Sunday school.
- Pray for my son Ye Shin as he prepares for college and for Ye Ji to thrive in her current school until she graduates.
- Pray for my wife, Hyeon I, to have witnessing opportunities through her work teaching the Korean language at the International Cross-Cultural Center in Kashihara.
Mrs. Sasaki and Mr. Takahashi, who I mentioned in the previous reports, have been faithfully attending the Sunday service. We have, on average, nine people at worship, seven in the Sunday school, and four at the prayer meeting.
- Pray for our group to grow and for new people to be led to the church.
- Pray for those who recently started to attend our church to be faithful in attending and grow in their knowledge and understanding of God’s Word.
Due to the faith of a wife and daughter, one family is experiencing tension in the marriage because the husband/father is not a believer. I have shared their struggles before in previous reports, and the pressure is getting worse. Now, the father is pushing the five-year-old daughter to enter an elementary school with a strong Buddhist influence run by a new sect of Buddhism called Bentenshu.
- Pray for the faith of the mom and daughter to be courageous as they navigate this trial.
- Pray for the entire situation, especially for the husband to come to faith in Jesus Christ.
Yasui, a woman in her seventies, came for the Sunday service after coming to the Megumi Café. She is retired and used to work as a public administrator. The Kashiba Megumi Café had fifteen people this month and is an outreach opportunity to the community.
- Pray for Yasui to continue to attend the church.
- Pray for the other people who have come to the café, we hope they also visit the Bible study and the Sunday services.
We had a special outing with the youth and went to a local spa for fun and fellowship.
- Pray for the salvation of the children who attend Sunday school each week.
- Pray for them to feel comfortable during Sunday school.
- Pray for their families as none are believers yet.
Continue to pray for my family. My son, Ye Shin, with his preparation for the college entrance exam and my daughter, Ye Ji, to be protected at school. Pray for my wife Hyeon I as she teaches the Korean Language at the International Cross-Cultural Center in Kashihara.
- Pray for witnessing opportunities.
Many of the youth who came for the summer Bible camp are not from Christian homes, yet a few are still faithfully coming for Sunday School. Praise God. We are thankful that these non-Christian parents are allowing their children to attend the church.
Mrs. Sasaki is a student in the Korean Language class who has also been attending the Sunday worship services. She seems to be having some life issues and we are praying that she comes to accept the Lord.
Mr. Takahashi recently started attending our church. He used to attend another church but stopped going when he moved to this area ten years ago. As he was searching for a church, he found us.
- Pray for Mr. Takahashi’s faith, pray that his faith would be strengthened as he hears God’s word.
Pray for Mrs. Yoneshima and her daughter, Ririka, who are believers. Currently, the father is not willing to allow Ririka to even pass near the church and is opposed to them attending the services.
- Pray for newcomers to be led to our worship services.
- Pray for salvation for the youth and for their parents.
- Pray for the youth to be comfortable and feel at home at our Sunday school.
- Pray for my son, Ye Shin, and daughter, Ye Ji, as they study.
- Pray for my wife Hyeon I and for witnessing opportunities as she teachings the Korean language at the International Center in the local community.
The Summer Bible Camp was held at Nara Prefecture Outdoor Recreational Activity Center this past month. A total of thirty-three people participated. We are praying that the seeds of the gospel message from this camp will grow and change the lives of these youth so they will become followers of Jesus Christ.
- Pray for the youth to come to faith in God.
- Pray for them to feel comfortable at our Sunday School and to grow in their understanding of salvation.
I was invited by the Doshisha University in Kyoto to give a lecture as a special guest speaker on the topic “Christianity in Korea.” About forty students attended. The invitation was from my Christian friend and associate professor, Wako. Two years ago, I presented a similar lecture on this campus. This time, I also spoke to the twenty students in the Korean language class. I had a wonderful time fellowshipping with this class, and my son Ye Shin was allowed to observe as well. He enjoyed the experience, especially as he desires to enroll at this University in the future. Since I was introduced to the students as a missionary and pastor of a church, it was very natural that I felt the freedom to share the gospel and my testimony with the students. Doshisha University was founded by Christian churches with a strong influence by an American board. I hope this University carries on the traditions of its foundation in Christianity. I am aware that quite a few of the students, even non-believers, are taking Bible courses at this University.
- Pray with us for the students to be touched by the Bible stories they hear in their classes and come to understand salvation.
- Pray for the University students to contemplate the concepts they heard and desire to learn more about God.
Praise the Lord for this opportunity to speak about salvation on the campus.
- Pray for Ye Shin and Ye Jin as they enjoy their summer vacation. Ye Shin is studying in preparation for the entrance exam to the University.
Fukui is in twelfth grade and visited church last month. He is the best friend of my son Ye Shin. Fukui desires to work for the automobile industry in the future. We are praying for his salvation.
- Pray for Fukui to see the faith of his friend, Ye Shin, and desire the relationship with God.
We request special prayer for Mrs. Yoneshima and her daughter, Ririka, who is five years old. The mother is feeling more resistance from her husband about coming to church. He also will not allow his daughter to attend the playtime during the week. The freedom of faith for Yoneshima and Ririka is being taken away by the husband. Pray for the family.
- Pray for Mors. Yoneshima and Ririka as they deal with this situation and for Yoneshima to have courage and patience.
- Pray for her husband to understand her faith and her desire to fellowship with believers.
Mrs. Sasaki is in her fifties and is a student in our Korean language class. She came for one of the church services and shared with us her daily life concerns so we could pray for her.
- Pray for her to be led to accept Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior.
- Pray for Mrs. Sasaki to continue to ask questions and desire prayer.
- Pray for her understanding of salvation to grow and to come to faith in God.
Recently we had mechanical issues with our vehicle. I attended a meeting with other missionaries and pastors in Hiroshima and on my way back, the car stopped on the highway due to an issue with the timing belt in the car engine. It was a dangerous situation because of the location, and since it was already late in the evening, I stayed at a hotel nearby and took the bullet train home the next day. When we purchased this vehicle, it was inexpensive but had many miles on it. We decided it was cost more to fix it than buy a similar used car. We are considering safety and security features of vehicles in addition to cost, due to my recent adventure. We frequently give rides to children and church members for outreach events, as well as my own family. One church member donated cash to purchase a seven-passenger mini-van, and we are grateful for the gift but have not yet saved enough for this large of a purchase.
- Pray for our search for the most appropriate vehicle and for the finances to purchase.
Give thanks that no one was injured when the car engine quit functioning.
We are continuing the Baptism prep course with Mrs. Yoneshima every Wednesday. Mrs. Yoneshima and her daughter were able to attend the worship service once last month but had to leave early due to her husband’s influence. Since Mrs. Yoneshima shared about her conversion with her husband, he has been resistant to his wife and daughter’s attendance at church.
- Pray for comfort and courage for Mrs. Yoneshima and her daughter Ririka as they are facing an especially challenging face walk.
- Pray for more new people to come to the worship service.
Meguru, in sixth grade, is still continuing to attend the Sunday School every week. Often his mother brings him to the church, and lately, she has been bringing goodies as well. We are glad to have a good relationship with Meguru’s family. Riru and Ai are coming to Sunday school as well. We are planning for our Summer Bible Camp at Nara Prefecture Outdoor Recreational Activity Center. We are expecting non-believing kids and their parents to come to this event. Last year we had fifty-three people. We are praying for witnessing opportunities and for the attendees to be blessed by their time.
- Pray for Meguru’s salvation and for his family.
- Pray for Riru and Ai to continue attending the church.
- Pray for our Summer Bible Camp to be a fantastic event and for God to use it to bring people to Him.
- Pray for the youth to be comfortable in our Sunday School.
We are thankful to God for touching the community hearts through Kashiba Grace Café. We hold this even three times a year and have found that the local neighbors are more comfortable stepping into the church when it is in an open café style. Many of the non-believers who attend the Grace Café also come to our Christmas outreach. The Open Korean Cooking Workshop is held twice a year.
- Pray for those who attend these outreach events also to be led to participate in the Sunday Worship or the Bible study group.
- Pray for perseverance as we continue to reach out to these people with the news of God’s love for them.
- Pray for God to work in their hearts and draw them to a relationship with Himself.
Pray for the pastor’s son and daughter, Ye Shin and Ye Ji, as they study. Pray for the pastor’s wife Hyeon I as she teaches the Korean language to twenty students at the International Center in the local community on Friday night and Saturday morning. Pray for her witnessing opportunities there.
Ririka and her mother Mrs. Yoneshima came to the Sunday service last month. Every Wednesday we are doing the baptism prep course with Mrs. Yoneshima. Mr. Yoneshima is gradually starting to show more understanding of Christians and church but is still not happy about his wife and daughter attending regularly.
- Pray for God to open the door and protect this family so they may be able to attend the church more regularly.
- Pray for Mr. Yoneshima to become interested in the gospel and willing to allow his wife and daughter to be a part of the church.
Meguru is in fifth grade and has been attending Sunday school every week. We are teaching him how to pray. Often his mother brings him to church. Riru and Ai both attended church this past month. We are praying that they may come more often. We had a Sunday field trip to a nearby farm and planted sweet potatoes. We are looking forward to the harvest in the fall. Our Summer Bible Camp will be held this month at Nara Prefecture Outdoor Recreational Activity Center. We are expecting non-believing kids and parents to attend this event.
- Pray for Meguru to grow in his knowledge and understanding of God’s Word.
- Pray for Riru and Ai.
- Pray for our youth to feel at home and comfortable in Sunday school.
- Pray for the witnessing opportunities at the Summer Bible Camp.
We continue to reach our community through the Kashiba Grace Café. We are thankful God is touching the hearts of the people. We have full reservations of twenty-five people and sense that God is using this outreach program as an effective way to evangelize in the community.
- Pray for the participants of the Kashiba Grace Café to understand God’s grace and love for them.
- Pray for opportunities to witness to our neighbors.
- Pray for open hearts to hear the good news.
Pray for the pastor’s family. Y Shin is studying for the entrance exam to the university. Ye Ji recently started sixth grade. Hyeon I is teaching the Korean language at the International Center in the local community.
- Pray for opportunities to witness to the people she meets.
Mrs. Yoneshima and Rika were able to attend church this month. We have a baptism class with Mrs. Yoneshima every Wednesday.
- Pray for God to open the door so that she can attend the service each week and for God to protect her. I have her testimony in previous reports.
- Pray for Mrs. Yoneshima to have opportunities to learn and grow in the knowledge of God’s Word.
- Pray for her husband to accept her faith and pray for his salvation, that he may also come to faith in Jesus Christ.
Meguru has been attending Sunday school every week. He is in fifth grade, and we are praying for his salvation. Himika, a friend of our daughter Ye Ji, has also been attending most of the Sundays. Pray for her salvation too.
Meguru has been attending Sunday school every week. He is in fifth grade, and we are praying for his salvation. Himika, a friend of our daughter Ye Ji, has also been attending most of the Sundays. Pray for her salvation too.
- Pray for Meguru and Himika to come to an understanding of their need for a Savior and to put their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
- Pray for the youth to feel at home in the Sunday school and comfortable to ask their questions and share with each other.
We held the first meeting of our new outreach for “Moms and Kids,” but unfortunately, no one attended the first meeting. We had anticipated a few people from the Sunday school group, but they were not able to come. The desire is to reach infants to kindergarten-age children and their mothers. We were hoping Kou-chan, and his mother from the Sunday school class would be able to come.
- Pray for our outreach next month to have more people and for God to use the time to touch the mothers and toddlers with His love.
- Pray for the outreach to the mothers and toddlers in the community.
- Pray for the leaders to remain excited and enthusiastic about this event despite the lack of participants at the first meeting.
- Pray for any challenges to be overcome and for the mothers and children to feel welcomed.
God is touching the community hearts through Kashiba Grace Café. We have full reservations of twenty-five people each time and sense that God is using this outreach for His Kingdom.
- Pray for our evangelism to the local community.
- Pray for open hearts as we share the love of God.
Pray for our upcoming events. In June is the seminar and retreat for our denomination. The same week is the Summer Bible Camp at Nara Outdoor Recreational center.
Pray for the pastor and his family. Ye Shin is busy with preparing for the entrance exams to university for next year. Ye Ji just started sixth grade, and we are praying for her to continue to enjoy the remainder of her time in elementary school.
- Pray for Hyeon I’s health. She is teaching the Korean language at the International Center in the local community and anticipates meeting new people.
- Pray for opportunities to share God’s love.
We mentioned two districts, Shimodera and Amadera, where most of the people who attend our outreach events live. At this time, we are focusing on the area called Amadera. Mrs. Yoneshima, Ririka’s mother and many of the others who came to the summer Bible camp all live in this district. Behind the church, there is a route to the Amadera historical park where the old Buddhist nun temple used to stand in the late 600’s. There are some blocks of newly built houses interspersed among the ancient historical structures. Mrs. Yoneshima was able to come to church a few times while her husband was away on a business trip. We are doing a baptism prep class with her.
- Pray for Mrs. Yoneshima as she prepares for baptism.
- Please pray for her spiritual growth.
- Pray for Kashiba church planting ministry; we currently have four church members and average eight people at worship and ten at our Sunday school.
Meguru, a fifth-grader, has been attending Sunday school every week. Pray that he will come to salvation. Himika, our daughter Ye Ji’s friend, has been attending almost every week as well. My daughter Ye Ji just had her confirmation of faith. Miri is doing her baptism prep class. We are already anticipating a blessed Christmas this year celebrating baptism and testimonies of faith.
- Pray for the youth, both the believers and unbelievers, to be comfortable at the Sunday school.
- Pray for Meguru to come to an understanding of his need for a Savior.
Give thanks for the youth who are professing believers.
We are doing a new outreach, “Mom and Kids,” starting this month. We are aiming to have the young children, between infants through kindergarten, and their mothers. We are hoping for some of the families in our Sunday school to join this group. Our prayer is that God would use this opportunity to touch these mothers and their toddlers with His love.
- Pray for our evangelism to the local community.
- Pray for people to be drawn to our outreach through our flyers and through word of mouth.
My son, Ye Shin, is busy with studies for the entrance exam to the university next year. He attended an Open Campus of Doshisha University, a Christian-founded private university, well-known for its high standard in academics, last month. Pray for my son’s studies. My daughter, Ye Ji, is now in sixth grade. Her principle retired this year as he had reached the retirement age, we were hoping he would stay another year. Pray for Ye Ji to continue to enjoy school. My wife, Hyeon I, has a new role as a Korean language teacher at the International Center in the community. She anticipates meeting new people there. Pray for her new role.
- Pray for my family as they conduct their daily tasks.
- Pray for their influence on the people they meet and talk with throughout the day.
- Pray for protection, good health, and joy in service.
- Pray for our upcoming events. May fourteenth is our Kashiba Grace Café. Mid-June is a three-day seminar for our denomination.
The majority of the people who come to our outreach events live close to the church. The area is known as a historical area with much Japanese Buddhist influence. The district has two names, Shimodera and Amadera. In Japanese, when a word contains a ‘dera’ or ‘tera’, it means a Buddhist temple. So translated, Shimodera means temple in the lower corner of town and Amadera means Buddhist nun temple. The streets are narrow, some even too narrow to drive cars. The main road in the city is named after Taishi Shotuku, an ancient political figure whom historians claim to be the father of Japanese Buddhism.
Historical Area near the Church
Studying about Baptism
- Pray for our outreach to the district and for opportunities to engage our neighbors in conversations regarding Jesus Christ.
- Pray for the courage to stand up to the influence of Buddhism in the community and to witness to its followers.
Mrs. Yoneshima came to the service with her daughter while her husband was getting a haircut. As she desires to be baptized, we are continuing to have a Bible study with her on Wednesday’s. Continue to pray for her husband to understand and accept her salvation and desire to be baptized.
- Pray for Mrs. Yoneshima to be able to opening attend the church service and for her husband to come to accept her salvation and desire for baptism.
Quite a few of the youth had been absent in the past months but recently some of them came back this month to Sunday school. We saw Misora and Seira at the beginning of the month. Ibuki came another week. Meguru enjoyed spending time with my son playing the guitar. His mother has come to church events in the past, but Meguru informed us that he decided by himself to attend Sunday school. We pray he will be here every week. Miri is preparing to be baptized, and we are praying for her family to understand her decision. We are joyful for our daughter Ye Ji’s confirmation of faith.
Youth Group during Sunday Service
- Pray for the youth to be comfortable and feel at home at the Sunday School.
- Pray for those who are saved to grow in their faith and understanding of God’s Word.
- Pray for those who are still questioning to come to understand salvation in Jesus Christ.
Our new outreach to ‘Moms and Kids’ will start in April. We are gearing this event for infants through kindergarten children. The mothers will meet every third Thursday in the morning. We are praying for God to use this opportunity to touch the mothers and toddlers with His love. Our activities include arts and crafts, Bible talk, Kids worship and snack time.
- Pray for this outreach to the community and for opportunities to reach the neighbors with the gospel message.
- Pray for evangelism to the local area.
On the recent Monday holiday in Japan, I was the translator for the keynote speaker, Dr. Kim, at the Freedom of Faith Network prayer conference. Dr. Kim is the head of the mission institute, a chairman of the Korea Presbyterian History Society, and has been on the faculty at a Seminary. Dr. Kim was also the former chief editor of Korea Christian Newspaper. He addressed the issue of the relations between churches, government, and society. The theme of the conference was Freedom of Faith in the Nation having Enthroned a New Emperor.
Freedom of Faith Network Conference
Dr. Kim- keynote speaker
- Pray for the nation of Japan and Japanese Christians at this time of transition.
- Pray for the upcoming conference for our denomination in the western part of Japan.
- Pray for the pastor’s children, Ye Shin, and Ye Ji, as they study in school. Ye Shin is preparing for the entrance exams and desires to be a pastor.
- Pray for the pastor’s wife, Hyeon I, to have good health and for her search for a job to help pay for Ye Shin’s tuition costs for college.
January 2019Mrs. Yoneshima came to the church service, slipping out of her house while her husband was still asleep, and has declared that she desires to be baptized. We are planning to have a study session with her in preparation for this commitment.
New comers and seekers join us on Sunday’s.
- Pray for Mrs. Yoneshima and her family, especially for her husband to be willing for her to make this decision.
This past month, our Sunday school group has grown, especially the number of boys in the fifth grade. We are excited that they are feeling at home during Sunday school. We are praying for the youth to grow in their faith as they learn about Christ. Some youth have music and or sports activities on Sunday’s which make it challenging for them to attend regularly.
Sunday School youth group children!
- Pray for the youth as they grow in their faith and for those who are still considering salvation to have the desire to fully surrender their lives to Jesus Christ and make a declaration of faith.
We welcomed a short-term mission team for Jeju Grace Church of Korea. The group passed out ten-thousand tracts in the surrounding neighborhoods of the church. We held a special outreach at Jeju Fair that attracted locals, we talked with thirty-six people who came to the mini-bazar. We introduced goodies from Jeju, had a game-corner, worship time, Bible talk and shared testimonies.
Give thanks for the missions’ team and pray for those who read the tracts to come to faith.
- Pray for our evangelism outreach to the community locals.
We have noticed a few families in our immediate neighborhood are against us having a church in this location. One family who lives right next door intentionally parks their vehicle in front of the house, and this only happens on Sunday mornings. They intend to make it more difficult to park for those coming to church. Some neighbors loudly speak and complain as they are taking out the trash. We have heard of false rumors around the neighborhood.
- Pray for perseverance as we deal with these challenges, for peace as we ignore their hurtful words, and for our neighbors to come to faith in Jesus Christ.
- Pray for my children as they study in school. Ye Shin is preparing to take the entrance exams for the upper school.
- Pray for my wife Hyeon I, pray for her strength and to rejoice in the Lord while serving.
This month I will be a translator for the prayer conference, Freedom of Faith. Pray for everything to go well. We have the annual church members’ assembly in March; also the Conference for our denomination in the Western area of Japan will be in March.
- Pray for preparations for these events and for wisdom in conversations.
Chisako, a friend of Tomoko’s, came to visit the church for a Sunday worship service. In the past, when she was studying abroad in Australia, she attended a church but had not been to church since she returned to Japan. Kudo, the daughter of Yamazaki, also visited us recently. We are praying for her to come more often and to grow in her faith. Yoneshima is still having difficulty being able to freely attend church activities because her husband is not supportive or her coming to the church. Pray for Yoneshima’s husband to understand and allow her to participate.
- Pray for Chisako to come again to church.
- Pray for Kudo to grow in her faith and attend more regularly.
- Pray for Yoneshima to have perseverance, staying firm in her faith and personal studies, and for her husband to be willing for her to join us more regularly.
We were thrilled to welcome more youth to the Sunday school program. Two sisters, Riru and Runa, were at the camp this summer. Two more girls, Yuzuki and Yuina, and two boys, Meguru and Fuuki, also joined us. It was a merry gathering. Takuro is in eleventh grade and a friend of my son Ye Shin. Takuro recently dropped out of school after causing some trouble at the school; he is studying by himself at home. We are encouraging him to continue coming to the church.
- Pray for the youth to feel welcomed and comfortable in Sunday school.
- Pray for their faith to grow as they learn from God’s Word and for those who are still uncertain about salvation. Pray that their questions will be answered and their doubts will decrease and be saved.
Thirty people attended our Family Christmas celebration including the mothers of the previously mentioned youth and many newcomers. We celebrated Jesus’ birth with a Christmas play and storytelling. We had a great time with music by the piano and Japanese string instrument koto and singing worship songs. We heard testimonies of God’s grace in the lives of our members.
- Pray for evangelism to the local community and for more individuals to be willing to listen to God’s Word.
In past reports, I shared some history of our church plant location. We moved to this spot in the fall of 2014. As the building was not brand new, we did some renovation work. We were thrilled to have a contractor did a superb job on the complete interior renovation for a reasonable amount. When we first moved in, we informed the neighborhood resident’s association about our plan to have a church in the building. Our immediate next-door neighbor, the N. family, was entirely opposed to the church and went to all the other neighbors with their complaints. It was all way beyond the typical response. The leader of the resident’s association visited us, and we offered to have an informative session for the neighborhood. Some of the other families were so shocked and bothered by N.’s unreasonable response that they resisted his viewpoint, everything temporarily was settled, and no explanation session was required. We always sincerely greet our neighbors and sends out gifts regularly. Sadly, the N. family does not accept our gifts, nor does their attitude change. They either ignore us or show an expression of distaste whenever we meet.
- Pray for the N. family and the other neighbors surrounding the church to be more open to listen and not create more issues in the future.
- Pray for the neighbors to come to salvation through the persistent witness of the church members.
- Pray for the Pastor’s family. Ye Shin and Ye Ji are studying hard. Ye Shin is preparing for entrance exams.
- Pray for the Pastor’s wife Hyeon-I, for her health to be sustained and for her to have energy and continue to rejoice in serving the Lord.
I remember the challenges we had in finding our current church building. First, there was a lousy realtor who only showed us buildings in poor condition. I made multiple calls to other real estate companies, and they refused to work with us. At that time I was living in Chiba which is on the eastern edge of the country, about three hundred and fifty miles from Nara, our current location. During the week, I stayed in Nara to do the property search, on the weekends I took the super express train between Tokyo and Kyoto and the local trains on either end. This continued for over a month while my family stayed in Chiba. I was not shown any property that could be used for a church with our requirement for it to be on the main street. I was by myself for the process and often felt helpless as I searched. On the day I was supposed to return to Chiba, I was shown a house in a residential community in the neighboring town called Asahigoaka. It was not in our target area. I was not keen on this house, but we were not going to be able to continue the process much longer, so I told the realtor that we would consider the last one. On my way to the station for my return trip to Chiba, I saw the sign of a realtor, and I recognized the name because I had almost made an appointment. I only had a half-hour of time before I needed to leave, but I decided to go inside and see if they could help. I prayed as I went and told myself that it would be my very last visit to a realtor. The realtor was kind and promptly showed me the perfect spot, the location where we are now. It took over a month of hustle and stress with the other realtors, but this particular realtor took only thirty minutes. Praise the Lord for providing our location and for leading our steps. We had fifteen participants at our church retreat last month, mostly mothers and children from Sunday school. Miri, Sayumi, and Himika are three of the girls who came with their mothers. Ryota and Yamazaki have been attending service lately, and we praise the Lord that they can join us.
- Pray for the participants in the church retreat to grow in their faith and continue to attend services faithfully.
Mrs. Yoneshima and her daughter, Ririka were able to come to the Sunday school but only because Mrs. Yoneshim told her husband that they were going to take a walk while he was asleep. We are praying that they would be able to come more freely.
- Pray for the Yoneshima family to be able to attend the church openly and pray for the salvation of Mr. Yoneshima.
- Pray with us for God to open the way for Mrs. Yoneshima to be baptized.
Ibuki has not been able to attend because her parents are against her coming to the church. Konomi, Azumi, and Kanna went to the Summer Church camp but have not been able to attend church recently because their mothers are not supportive of them joining the church neither. We are praying for our Sunday school to be a place where the parents of the youth are comfortable allowing their children to come and for our church to be well-recognized by the local community.
- Pray for the reputation of the church in the local community to be such that the families are willing to send their children to the church.
- Pray for the church to be a place where the youth feel comfortable and have the opportunity to connect with God.
I wish to share more of the history of Kashiba Grace church. In the earliest stages of the church plant, there were many challenges in finding a property. The first location was excellent since it had a great parking area near the building, but when the deal had almost been finalized, the seller abruptly changed his mind. The second option was near to our current location, but the seller would not sell to us when he learned we were a Christian group planning to open a church. He did not seem to want to offend the locals and now that spot is a liquor shop. God provided and has blessed our current location and we are thankful to own the church land and building. In my previous report, I shared the effects of the recent Typhoon on the life of one of our church members, Ryota. He is a college student who had been attending twice a month, but he has missed a few services recently. We are also praying for Mrs. Yoneshima to come to service again as well. I shared about her husband not being supportive of her attending the church. She often said that she wanted to be a Christian.
- Pray for Ryota’s faith to be protected and for him to be able to attend service again regularly.
- Pray for God to change the heart of Mrs. Yoneshima’s husband and for her to attend the service.
- Pray for Mrs. Yoneshima to surrender her life to Jesus Christ and accept Him as her Lord and Savior.
As I shared last month, we have more youth coming regularly to the church and because of the influence of Ibuki and Himika, two other youth, Miyuh and Kosuke have started attending the church. We had a special event for the girls at the church, a mini-retreat and over-night stay. We are excited that Himika’s mother has gradually changed to be more supportive of her coming to church events. We are praying for her sister, Juno, to also come to the church.
- Pray for the whole youth group to have a welcoming atmosphere to the local youth are attracted to coming and joining the group.
- Pray for the influence of the youth on their friends to draw more young people to faith in God.
We had four people who came to our Korean cooking class. We are hoping this outreach will strength the sense of fellowship among the participants and open opportunities to witness to new people.
- Pray for the Korean Cooking class and the participants.
My son and daughter, Ye Shin and Ye Ji, are in their third month of the fall term. We appreciate your prayers. Ye Shin is preparing for the entrance exam to the upper school. Ye Ji is playing the Koto, Japanese harp, and did great in a recent recital. My wife is continuing to rejoice in serving the Lord despite her health condition.
- Pray for Pastor Park Joo Hyun’s family to stay healthy and for his children to study hard and do well in school.
September 2018 The establishment of Kashiba Grace Church was the result of a life-long vision of a Christian woman in Busan, Korea. She was known as a humble, very obedient Christian and a role model to others. She loved God. In her twenties, she started to save funds, and through the passion of the believers in her church, they gave the funds to build a church in Japan. This was the beginning of our church in Nara, Japan. She wished to remain anonymous, but her passion and love for God have given the believers involved in Nara missions and this church the hope and courage to carry on. We are also blessed by your prayers and support for our church. Give thanks for God’s work in bringing many Christians together with the desire to reach those who have not yet heard about God or salvation, and for the power of prayer in encouraging Christians to continue ministering faithfully. The recent typhoon-affected one of our church members. Ryota is a college student who lives in Izumi city, a suburb of Osaka. For three days after the typhoon passed, the water and power were suspended. There were significant scale earthquakes in the Hokkaido area.
- Pray for Ryota’s faith to strengthen despite the recent events and for his life to recover from the effects of the typhoon.
Mrs. Yoneshima has decided to attend the worship service more regularly. However, when her husband is around, she is unable to participate in the church. We started a Bible study with her during the week.
- Pray for Mrs. Yoneshima to find a way to be able to attend the service.
Ibuki and Himiki recently started attending Sunday school again after being away for a while. These girls also influenced Miyuh (girl) and Ksuke (boy) to come to the church. Seira and Serika are sisters who live closest to the church, and their parents used to be against them coming but have started to soften and be more willing to allow them to attend.
- Pray for our Sunday school to have a welcoming environment for the youth.
The community evangelism is continuing through our culture center activities with great attendance so far. We had five people come for the first cooking class, but fifteen people came to the cooking class a week later. We are praying for the students to be led to attend the Sunday worship.
- Pray for the outreach to the community through the culture center activities.
- Pray for the students to be willing to attend the worship service due to their interactions with the staff in the cooking class.
- Pray for my son YeShin and daughter Ye Ji as they recently started a new fall trimester.
- Pray for my wife Hyeon-I and her health, she has a hypertrophied thyroid gland; the doctor is advising a test every three months and did not find anything negative on the last check.
Our church is in the block of Hakuhodai, in the northern part of Kashiba City. We are less than half a mile north-west from Shizumi station of Japan Railway Wakayama Line. The entire area was established in 1982 as a “new settlement” and the young people at that time have now aged to their 50’s and 60’s.
- Pray for the fruitful ministry of the church reaching the people in Hakuhodai.
Many people in Japan typically take a vacation this time of year to visit family and relatives who live long distances. As a result, our church attendance and Sunday school were lower as many members are traveling. Some of our regular attendees are still seeking to understand the gospel and have not yet come to the point of surrendering their lives to the Savior Jesus Christ. We are praying for these individuals.
- Pray for safe travels, rest and renewal for those who are away.
- Pray for the believer’s witness to distant relatives and for conversations to be positive.
- Pray for those who remain to be strong and steadfast even though the numbers are lower.
- Pray for non-believers who are still considering the gospel to come to a complete understanding of salvation and to have all doubts removed from their hearts and minds.
Our Sunday school had lower attendance as well. We are praying for the youth who attended our Summer Bible Camp to start attending the Sunday school this fall. We had over fifty-five middle school and high school students from all over Japan.
- Pray for our Sunday school to grow this fall.
- Pray for the youth who attended the camp to come to regular services.
Our Culture Center activities just started at the beginning of this month. Please pray for the students who attend the Culture Center to also attend the Sunday Worship. We had a cooking class and have two more planned for the month of October. We have a church retreat planned for November, pray with us for a time of rest and reflection.
- Pray for the Culture Center outreach to the community and its role in reaching non-believers.
- Pray for the attendees to start coming to regular services and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
- Pray for our upcoming church retreat, for unity, rest, reflection and a time of worship together.
- Pray for the family of Pastor Park JooHyun, for his son Ye Shin and daughter Ye Ji as they start the fall term of school.
- Pray for Pastor Park Joo Hyun’s wife Hyeon who is undergoing medical testing for a hypertrophied thyroid gland. Pray for her health, good spirits and for the doctors to have wisdom as they view the results and decide on treatment.
Kashiba city is located at the northwestern edge of Nara prefecture (state), on the border to the Osaka prefecture. Along the boundary line is also the National Nature Reserve with vast areas of greenery. There are over thirty-one thousand households in the city with a population of almost eighty thousand, the majority of which are of the younger generations. Highest density is of thirty’s, forty’s and elementary school age children. There are eleven elementary schools, five middle schools, one high school, and one college. The city is very convenient for commuting to the nearby large cities and the train ride to downtown Osaka is only twenty-two minutes. Multiple main highways travel through the city and there are eight train stations. Among the cities and towns in Nara prefecture, Kashiba is the first in population growth. There are five churches Kashiba city and amongst all five, possibly a hundred believers. Forty-percent attend worship service every week so the evangelized rate is only pointing two percent.
- Pray for these five churches to continue in their mission to reach the non-believers.
- Pray for outreach to the population of working individuals in their thirty’s and forty’s.
- Pray for outreach to the population of elementary school children.
Tomoko is a member of the Osaka Christ Church and she invited her friend Tomari to come to our worship service. Tomari lives in Misato, a neighboring town, and her daughter is planning to study abroad in Korea. They both like to meet Koreans. Join us in praying for Tomari’s salvation.
- Pray for wisdom, discernment, and courage for Tomoko to continue inviting her friend and to share the gospel with her.
- Pray for Tomari to come to an understanding of salvation and to continue coming to the church.
This summer, a short-term mission team of middle-schoolers and high-schoolers, came from Busan the fourth Yondo church in Korea. They also participated in the Summer Bible Camp and did a fantastic job ministering to the kids. It was a joyful time for both Japanese and Korean youth and they had great success in overcoming language barriers.
- Pray for these seventeen youth as they return home to Korea and continue serving in their church.
Our Summer Bible Camp had fifty-three participants. Thank you for your prayers. We held our camp at the Outdoor Activity Center of Nara Prefecture, we had wonderful fellowship in the midst of God’s creation. Our goal was to have special spiritual nurturing of the youth with the theme of “New Promise (Covenant)” from Exodus 6:7. We enjoyed worship songs, Bible reading, and Bible verse memorization. We were busy with outdoor activities and games, campfires, open-fire picnics, and Suika-wari (local watermelon hunting and splitting game). It was a blessed time to be able to enjoy God’s Word in nature. Each year we have doubled the size of the camp. Pray for an increase in staff for next year so we do not have a shortage of help. In past years, we also experienced a decrease in the attendance at the Sunday school immediately after the summer camp and concluded it was because some parents were concerned about their kids getting “too close” to the Christian church.
- Pray for the youth to continue to attend Sunday school and to be even more curious about the gospel due to their camp experience.
- Pray for the parents to be willing to allow their kids to attend Sunday school and for their kids to invite their parents to attend church.
- Pray for God to call more leaders and staff for next year’s camp.
Give thanks for the success of the camp and for the blessing of the Missions Team from Korea. Our Culture Center activities were closed for the summer but are starting up again this fall. Please pray for the beginning of a new term. This is a vital community outreach for our church.
- Pray for the Culture Center activities – Korean Language class and Korean Cooking class
- Pray for our outreach through these classes and for God to stir the attendee’s hearts a desire to know Him, an interest in attending church, and ultimately an understanding of the gospel.
A member of our church Nao is having a hard time getting better after a traffic incident she had. She had to quit her job at the airport shop due to the injury. Nao lives with her mother but seems to be having a hard time communicating with her mom. Nao attends our bible study but does not talk or participate with the group. Please help us pray for her, pray that her heart will be in the right place and that she would open to the group so that we can help her grow spiritually.
Ryota is a young man we had asked for prayer in the past. We have not seen him since October, and we know that he might be very busy with school and his part-time job. Ryota is majoring in Law (Under Japanese education system, there are undergraduate-level Law majors.) He wants to become a government official in the future. He lives by himself. Ryota’s mother is a firm Christian believer, and we believe that is one of the reasons why he continues to stay connected with us. His father lives in Singapore; his parents have been divorced for some time. Continue to pray for Ryota and his relationship with God.
Whenever Shuta comes to church, he starts off the day by attending the worship and later joining in the Bible study. Shuta is a close friend of our oldest son, and we know Shuta’s parents think it is good for him to attend church. At first when Shuta started coming to church, he seemed interested in only playing games; however, lately, we can tell, he eagerly listens to the Bible lesson. I remember he was actively helping us at the summer camps. He likes to sing, so he enjoys singing out loud along with the worship team. Please pray for Shuta, he is still very young (16 years old), and his parents are not interested in coming to church right now. Pray that he would get into the automotive industry which is part of his future career plans.
We had three students return to church after a year of not attending. We praise God that they returned. We also have a young boy who is in second grade that stopped coming because of behavior issues. His mother decided to come with him even though she is a non-believer. However, we did learn that the mom formerly attended church when she was young. Hopefully, we will not have any problems with the young boy since his mother is there with him. We recently had a visitor who enjoyed our Korean cultures, she mentioned that she had not been to church in a long time. We encouraged her to come back and bring her husband. Please help us pray for her and her husband.
(2) Mitsuyo is familiar with the church, she was married to an English man in the past, and they attended church together, but she’s no longer married to this man but has married a new man that does not attend church. She recently started attending the Korean language class and the Korean cooking class. She travels to Korea once a month and seems interested in learning the Bible. She usually stays after each the Korean session to talk about the Bible. Mitsuyo also joined our other church activities. We’ve encouraged her to invite her husband to come to church. Please help us pray for both Mitsuyo and her husband, that they would both come to faith.
Yoshimi works at a local supermarket. She started coming to our Korean Language class a year ago. She lives close to the church, and we noticed that she and Mitsuyo have a love for Korea. Yoshimi participates in church activities, and she also seems to enjoy the Bible discussion at the end of the Korean Language session. We are praying that Yoshimi will be led to understand and accept Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior.
Please pray for Church’s Culture Center students. Six of them are part of the Korean Language class, and eleven of them attend the Korean Cooking class. Pray that they will be lead to the church service or Bible study group.
We have seen the youth group increase on Sunday’s. We are praying that the youth will grow in their knowledge and be led by the Spirit.
Ye Ji, our daughter is doing well at school. She will be in 5th grade in April. The school she attends only has two fifth grade classes; we are praying that she is not is the same class as the girl who bullied her last year. Please remember Ye Ji in your prayers that she will have a smooth transition going into the 5th grade. (Japanese school calendar year starts at April).
(3) Every year Tomoko, and her daughter Ririka visit during Christmas and Easter. Tomoko attends a Christian middle school, so she is opened to church activities. Other than these two events, they do not attend church regularly. Recently, Tomoko told me that she is planning to take her daughter to the afternoon Sunday school on a weekly basis. Please pray the salvation of both Tomoko and her little five-year-old daughter Ririka.
Mariko was introduced to us by a mutual friend who attends Osaka Christ Church. Both women came to our April worship service, and we had beautiful fellowship. Mariko lives about 15-minutes from the church. Mariko seems to be open to Christianity. We intend to invite her for various events and activities.
Pastor Akitoshi family of six have been attending our group since April. Pastor Akitoshi used to be a pastor at a church in Chiba, suburban Tokyo, and he is currently on sabbatical leave. His family decided to live in our area and attend our church. We are anticipating that we will have great fellowship together.
(4) Tomoko and Ririka (mother-daughter) have become regular attendants of our Church Sunday School. In May they both attended our Sunday worship service for the first time. Tomoko seemed to be open and is responding well to the sermon messages about the Bible and faith in the Savior. After hearing the word about ‘forgiveness’ at Sunday school, we learned Tomoko had sent her mother some reconciliation mail, which to me was very encouraging, and to her I am sure was such a new dynamic and a new way of living. We are praying so they both continue to come to church and to be lead to salvation.
Chiemi came to the worship service with her daughter Miri in May. It was their second time doing so. Chiemi’s son Yakuto has been absent from coming to Sunday School. Please continue to pray for Fujikawa family and their salvation.
We are having an upcoming event with our Sunday school youth and a nearby nursing home and a summer Bible Camp event in July. We are expecting a group of 50 people. Out Bible camp will be held outdoors, at the Nara Prefecture Center.
(5) Nara Prefecture is located at the very center inland of Kansai region, surrounded by Osaka, Kyoto, Mie, and Wakayama regions. Nara is known as an area with a long history. It used to be called Yamato which goes back to the 6th and 7th century and was the center of culture and politics and was also the state capitol. Around that time Buddhism was brought in to Japan, and with its creation, the first-generation Buddhist temples and sculptures were built in the region. There are quite a few archaeological sites in town that are all Buddhist related. Later Kyoto was set as the capital in the middle ages, Nara was no longer as influential as it was and Kyoto became what Nara was. Yet influences by Buddhism in the community are still evident in local customs and traditional performances. People still hold on to these Japanese traditions.
The Nara prefecture has a population of 1.4 million people. There are 86 Christian churches, and 2,787 believers attend worship service s(which is 0.19 % of the population). Among 39 regions in Nara, 18 are known as un-reached where there is not a single church. Those 18 regions consist of 120,000 people and have no church. Nara is also known as Tenri city with a population of 66,000. Tenri city is where the main temple of Tenri-kyo, the Japanese new age sect is located. There are no churches in Tenri city. Our prayer request is that churches would be established within those 18 regions in Nara that are in what we call the unreached zone.
There is a family who moved from Chiba, and joined our group recently. They come to Sunday worship every week where we have approximately 10 to 12 people attending. We just finished the Gospel of Luke and I am moving into the study of the early churches through the series of Ephesians. Out of the twelve people about seven of them are seekers who come every now and then. We praise the Lord that Tomoko Yoneshima now comes to our Sunday service quite regularly. We appreciate your prayers for seekers who come to our outreach activities, please pray that more of them would come to the Sunday service.
Last week the Sunday School youth visited a nursing home. It was our second time visiting this nursing home. We had about thirty people, and they all enjoyed the ocarina performance and our worship songs. We were able to share our testimonies as well. Those in the nursing home feel isolated from their families, and our visit gave instant energy to those older adults and staff allowing us to show God’s love for them. Pray for our next opportunity to share the gospel at the same Nursing home, we are hoping to do so again soon.
We have an upcoming Summer Bible Camp which will be held at the Outdoor Activity Center run by Nara Prefecture. Because of the event, we have increased the number of youth, especially the children in kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade. We also have three mothers who started coming to Sunday School this month. On average we have about twenty people which includes both youths and adults for our Sunday School.
This is the third year of our annual summer camp outreach. The first year we counted 12 youths, the second year there was 23, and this year we are expecting over 50 people. We are blessed to have an increasing number of attendants for the summer camp. This is partly because it would be a joint group and there are 17 students (middle schoolers and high schoolers) from Busan the fourth Yondo Church from Korea. This is our first attempt at this kind of combined event. We are inviting quite a few children from non-believing families, so please pray that God would use this camp event effectively that by hearing the gospel many youths will surrender their lives to Christ. Pray as well for the safety of all the attendants.
Youtube Kashiba Megumi (Grace) Sunday School Kids Worship We had a Megumi (Grace) Café this week, and ten people came. We hold this Megumi Café three times a year mainly for our Culture Center students and their friends. It is a free conversation, open talk fellowship time. We had many new faces, and we are praying they will come back for other church events.
Our Korean language class is held on Wednesdays and Thursdays. This is our third year having this Culture Center, meaning we have had a relationship with many of the students over two years, and now are in our third year. Most of them live near our location and come for special events such as Christmas, but not many come for the Bible study nor Services. We have been praying for those who are in the Culture Center will come to know the Lord. The shortage of parking space is a concern, so our prayer request is provision for additional parking spaces so many more people could come to the group.
Ye Ji my daughter is doing well at school. She has no issues at school these days. The elementary school Ye Ji goes to has been around for 140 years. Many of the families in that community have lived in the same place for a long time. I feel we must still ‘watch out’ for there had been occasions in the past when we were treated as “outsiders.”
My son Ye Shin is in the 11th grade. He goes to a nearby public high-school. He enjoys school life. There are only a couple of international students in that high school, and Ye Shin is very fluent in Japanese. He used to be troubled by vicious bullying from other students back in junior high school, so I sometimes wonder if he will have a similar experience now. Ye Shin wants to become a pastor in the future and is praying about it. He serves in various capacities at church such as at the Sunday School and the worship leading. Please remember Ye Shin in your prayer that he may have a good school life and for his academics. My wife Hyeon-I is busy with various ministry tasks every day including the Culture Center and visiting households. It appears to be very challenging for Hyeon-I to divide her mind between church-related activities and her work in homes. Hyeon-I can become exhausted after a long day committed to multi-preps and responsibilities. It would be ideal to have our family housing someplace else. So we are praying to find a new house to live in. Please remember my wife in your prayers.
Nao is a young lady in her mid-30’s that attends worship service every Sunday. Please pray for her salvation. Nao attends Bible Study study as well. Please pray that God would protect our time studying God’s word. Ryota came to the worship service twice in October. Pray for his assurance of faith and continue to pray for him and his health, he is a young college student who lives by himself. Sakyo is a 14-year old boy (8th grade) who attended our fellowship before the summertime. His parents are non-believers, but they allowed him to come. However, Sakyo has not been back to fellowship since after the summer vacation. We are praying to see him after November. Minori Fujikawa is a young girl who attends our church. Her parents are non-believers; however, they allow her to participate despite her young age (9-year old, 4th grader). Please pray for Minori; she does not get along with other children in the church school. Please pray that she will repent and accept Christ as her savior. Let’s pray that she would be spirit led; not only by the intellect. Please pray for the harmony among those who are coming to our church school. Yakuto has been absent from coming to Sunday School. He is a child that has autism. We saw some other children were having difficulty being with Yakuto, but we are praying God touches the heart of Yakuto and he will return to Sunday school. Please also pray for his parents who are non-believers. Shuta is a 16-year-old boy who came to church one day in October. His parents are non-believers. Please pray that Shuta will go back to church.
- Please pray for Church’s Culture Center students: 6 of them at Korean Language class, 11 of them at Korean Cooking class, so that they are led to the church service or Bible study group.
- Please pray for the salvation of our Sunday school students (10 children) and their families.
- Please remember those who came to a summer Bible Camp Pray that the boys and girls will come to church.
We started another format outreach named Megumi (means Grace) ‘Talk” which we target ladies, and most of them come for our cultural center. The first time we met, it went well. We are anticipating to have it as a regular activity for evenings while we share tea. Please pray that people coming to this group will enjoy visiting with each other, and potentially people might start to go for additional Bible study opportunity.
- Please pray for our upcoming outreach opportunities:
Tuesday, November 21 and Monday, November 27 ～ Korean Cooking Class. Thursday, November 30 ～ Megumi (Grace) ‘Talk.” Sunday, December 17 ～ Christmas gathering for families Our daughter Ye Ji (9-year old girl, 4th grade, believer) Please continue to remember our daughter Ye Ji in your prayers. She seems not to have any particular issue at school these days. We are asking God for His protection over her at her school life. Pastor Park Joohyun
We had a new person join our bible study on Sundays. Her name is Nao, and she is a non-believer. Please pray that God would protect our time during her study in God’s word. Our church member Ryota was away for the summer. Starting in October, he will rejoin our congregation. Please help us pray for his assurance of faith. Please also continue to pray for his health, he’s a young man who lives alone. During the summer break, Sakyo was at his Grandmother’s house in Hiroshima, so he was not in town. I am hoping to see him back soon this month. Yakuto is a 7-year-old boy who attends church almost every Sunday. His parents are non-believers, but they allow him to attend church. Yakuto has a difficult time relating to other children, because of his autism the other children cannot connect with him. Please pray that the Lord will touch the other children and they will come to accept Yakuto.
- Please pray for those who have not been coming back to the Sunday School for a while.
We’ve had a few members who have not attended church for a while. Shuta is one of them. He is a 16-year-old boy whose parents are non-believer, please pray that he will come back and continue learning God’s word.
- Please pray for the students who attend the Church’s Culture Center: 6 of them at Korean Language class, 11 of them at Korean Cooking class, please pray that they will come to church service or Bible study group.
- Please pray for the salvation of our Sunday school students (10 children) and their families.
- Please remember the children who attended the summer Bible camp. Please pray that the children will be led to attend church.
We were able to resume the Korean Language class and Korean Cooking class this month, after the summer break. We are praising the Lord.
- Please pray for our Kashiba Grace Café on Tuesday, October 17.
We had planned a church retreat for October. However, we have postponed it to November during our Holiday. Please pray that our planning team will have wisdom and guidance from God.
- Please continue to remember our daughter Ye Ji in your prayers. She seems to be doing well in school with no issues. We are asking God for His protection over her at her everyday school life.
One of our church members Nao attends service every Sunday. Nao is participating in a retreat with our area churches on Monday (a national holiday). Pray that God would use this opportunity to speak to Nao and she would come to faith and join the fellowships at the retreat. Ryota Aota (Male college student, 21 years old, once believer, single) Ryota is a 21-year-old college student who is single and was once a believer in Jesus Christ. He attended the worship service in August. Ryota had some stomach problems and was hospitalized, but he recovered well. Pray for his assurance of faith. Pray that he would be able to attend church every week. We would also like to ask you to pray for Ryota’s health; he is a young man and lives by himself. During the summer break, Sakyo was at his Grandmother’s house in Hiroshima, so he was not in town. I am hoping to see him back at the church for September. He attends church on his own (14 years old), and his parents are non-believers. Please continue to pray for this young boy. Shuta came for the Summer Bible camp. Please pray that Shuta will continue to come to join more fellowships for the September month. Prayer:
- Please pray for Church’s Culture Center students: 6 of them attend the Korean Language class, 11 of them the Korean Cooking class. Pray that through their interactions they would be led to the church service or Bible study group.
- Please pray for the salvation of our Sunday school students (10 children) and their families.
- Please remember those who came to summer Bible camp, that these boys and girls are led to attend church with us.
- Please remember our daughter Ye Ji on your prayer for she just started the new fall trimester after the summer break. Ye is 9-years old and is in 4th grade.
- Ryota Aota was sick in the hospital, as mentioned earlier, but he got well soon. All the summer Bible camps and activities were a success.
Upcoming Events: We are resuming Korean Language class and Korean Cooking class for September. We are participating in a retreat of our west area churches group held in September. Please pray for good studying and fellowshipping time together. We are also planning to have a retreat in October. Yours in Christ, Pastor Park
Pastor Park JooHyun Kashiba Grace Church (The Presbyterian Church in Japan) Nao is a non-believer young lady who attends worship service every Sunday. Recently, she started reading the Bible regularly. Please pray for her salvation. Nao’s mother Taeko is also a non-believer and has not attended church the entire month. Please pray that Taeko would come back to church with her daughter. Ryota is a non-believer young man who attends college. He attended worship service on July 2nd and July 25th. He attends twice a month, please pray for his assurance in faith, and that he will have the desire or time to attend church weekly. Satoko came to church on July 2nd, and Rikuo has not attended church the entire month of July. Please remember and pray Satoko and Rikuo that they would come back to church fellowship. Sakyo is an 8th grader who occasionally attends church on his own. Both of his parents are non-believers. He attended Sunday school on the 16th. Please pray that Sakyo continues to attend church and that his parents will also one day visit the church. Shuta is a 10th grader who attended the Summer Bible camp. Both of his parents are non-believers. Please pray that Shuta will continue to come and join more fellowships. Okata is also a 10th grader who came to Sunday school on July 9th, both of his parents are also a nonbeliever. Okata has attended other youth activities in the past. Please pray for Okata so he may come back to church.
- Please pray for Church’s Culture Center students: 6 of them attend the Korean Language class, and 11 attend the Korean Cooking class. Pray that the students will be lead to church service or Bible study group.
- Please pray for the salvation of our Sunday school students (10 children) and their families.
- Please remember those who came to the summer bible camp; these boys and girls were non-Christians, nor their parents.
Miri (9-year old girl, 4th grade), Yakuto (7-year old boy, 2nd grade), Konomi (9-year old girl, 4th grade), Azumi (7-year old girl, 2nd grade), Kanna (5-year old girl, kindergarten), Asahi (7-year old boy, 2nd grade), Misora (9-year old girl, 4th grade), Sayumi (9-year old, 2nd grade) , Seira (9-year old girl, 4th grade) Ayaka (9-year old girl, 4th grade), Aiyu (5-year old girl, kindergarten). All the students listed above are non-believers along with their parents. Please continue to pray that their minds and hearts will be opened to the gospel of Jesus Christ. We had a church Summer Family Camp at Nara-City Outdoor Youth Activity Center on Monday, July 24th through Wednesday, July 26th. We had 23 youth who attended the camp. We had returning students as well as new ones. Please pray so that the youth would come back for other church activities in the near future. We took our Sunday school youth to a nearby retirement home to play the ocarina (wind musical instrument) on Sunday, July 30th. It was an excellent sharing opportunity, and 40 people in that facility joined our time. I am participating in a Summer camp for 49 youth at Yumori Bible Camp with my son. The Camp will run from Monday, August 14th through Thursday, August 17th. Please pray that I can participate as one of the coaches for middle school and or high school students. My daughter Ye Ji (9-year old girl, 4th grade, believer) Praising God that Ye Ji had a good trimester; and now she in on summer break. Please continue to pray for Ye Ji. She is starting a new fall trimester next month. May the Lord continue to bless you, Pastor Park JooHyun Pastor Park JooHyun Kashiba Grace Church (The Presbyterian Church in Japan) Nao is one of regular attendees, she attends worship service every Sunday. Pray for her salvation, she is a non-believer. Nao’s mother Taeko has been absent from church the month of June. Please pray that Taeko returns to church. Ryota is a young college student who has attended worship service a few times. He once believed, but we are not sure of his assurance in faith. Please pray that he will be able to come to church every week. Satoko and her son Rikuo (non-believer) have been absent from attending church in the month of June. Please remember Satoko and Rikuo in your prayers, please pray that they would return to church fellowship. Sakyo is a 14yrs old boy who usually attends Sunday school. He was absent this month. Pray that Sakyo will come back to church. Also, please pray for his parents who are non-believers. Shuta has not been able to come to church since he entered high school. Pray for Shuta that he would have the opportunity to return to church. Also, please pray for his parents who are non-believers.
- Please pray for Church’s Culture Center for students: 6 of them are at the Korean Language class, 11 of them are at the Korean Cooking class. Please pray that the students would be led to our church service or Bible study group.
- Please pray for the salvation of our Sunday school students (10 children) and their families. We had three new children at the Sunday School. Please pray those would continue to come.
- We had 10 seekers, students of Culture Center and friends, came for Megumi (Grace) Café. Please pray that this outreach can continue to be extended.
- Summer Family Camp, as a church Sunday School activity will be held at Nara-City Outdoor Youth Activity Center between Monday July 24 and Wednesday July 26. So far twelve people signed up. This event is open for seekers as well, and we are hoping to have eighteen people attend.
- We are planning to have Sunday school youth visit at a nearby home care and for the student to perform using the Ocarina (a small egg-shaped wind instrument with a mouthpiece and holes for the fingers). This event will take place on Sunday July 30.
Please continue to pray for Ye Ji for God’s protection over her at school. She had trouble last month with a few students. Ye is in the 4th grade. Yours in Christ, Pastor Park We have two women, a mother and daughter who have attended church on Sunday. Nao and Taeko are both non-believers, please pray for their salvation. Ryota came to church once in May. Please pray for his assurance in faith and that he would be compelled to attend church every week. Satoko came for the first time in May, pray for Satoko’s understanding of what it means to accept Christ. Her son Rikuo has been absent from attending church events, please remember Rikuo during your prayers so that he can attend church on Sunday. Both mother and son are non-believers, though they both attend church. Sakyo came to the Sunday School twice in May on his own. He is 14-year-olds, and his parents are non-believers. Please pray that Sakyo will come to know the Lord and get baptized. Also, please pray that his testimony will impact his parents and they would have a desire to know who God is. Shuta has not been able to come to church since he entered high school. Please pray for Shuta that he may come back to church and that his parents would have a desire to join their son. Please pray for the Church’s Culture Center for students, 6 of them are part of the Korean Language class, and 11 of them are in the Korean Cooking class. Please pray that they would lead the church service or bible study group. Please pray for the salvation of our Sunday school students (10 children) and their families. We had ten people (seekers) come for the Megumi (Grace) Café. Please pray that they would be lead to attend church.One of the new cooking classes that started in April had eight students who are non-believers. Please pray that they would come to know Christ during this time. Megumi (Grace) Café held an outreach event on Tuesday, June 20th, the outreach focused mainly on students and friends of Culture Center. Music and testimonies were the highlights of the day. Please pray for the people who were there and heard Gods word through these young people’s testimonies, please pray that His Word would not fall void in people ears. Summer Family Camp will be held at Nara-City Outdoor Youth Activity Center between Monday, July 24 and Wednesday, July 26. Please pray for our planning team as well as any seekers that are interested in attending. Please continue to pray for Ye, my daughter who was absent from school (3rd grade) because she was bullied by other students. Since then she has gone back to school, please pray for God’s protection over her. We are praying and hoping that her school life will not be hard. Ye knows the Lord in her early age, please keep her in your prayers. Yours in Christ, Pastor Park
With Great Thanks, A Report on Four Years of Support from White Fields.
For these past four years, White Field’s partners have been valued supporters, mentors, and friends to our small pioneer church plant. The monetary support has been a great financial help, but even more than that, the fellowship, warm encouragement, and prayers have strengthened my heart many times. Clearing a new path for a pioneer church plant has included many difficulties and spiritual battles. When these stressors strained me, the presence and support of White Fields have been immense.
Over fifty-thousand tracts have been distributed with your support, and more than five-hundred unbelievers have taken part in various church events. More than fifty kids, a total of twenty-five percent of the nearby elementary school, have attended at least one of our children’s events. Praise God. Many of these people had never been to a Christian church until they entered our church for the first time. This first step into a church is such a unique opportunity for sowing the seeds of the gospel.
The summer Bible camp has grown into a significant ministry with thirty to fifty children participating. Some of the children not only attended the Sunday school but also participated in the morning worship services. Gradually, unbelievers have begun to join in the worship services. The church strives to be community-based, and we are getting to be known by the people living nearby.
With the support of White Fields, we have created many opportunities to proclaim Jesus Christ to the Japanese people. Our first baptism was a year and a half ago; it was with great joy that I shared this event that year with our White Fields supporters. This new believer first became interested in the gospel through one of the tracts I handed out in this area. She participated in the church events and gradually understood and genuinely believed in Jesus with all her heart. Despite opposition from her husband, she publicly confessed her faith and was baptized.
Many of the kids in our Sunday had been attending for three to four years. Throughout this time, they have constantly heard the gospel message. Unfortunately, the covid crisis of last year has made it challenging to meet in our usual manner. Children are drifting away from the church. We are praying for the resolution of the covid crisis soon. We will continue to move forward, knowing that there will be difficulties. We will miss the financial support from White Fields as we graduate out of the program, but we are so happy that you will continue to remember us in your prayers.
I have enclosed the testimony of Mrs. Yoneshima that she read to the congregation at her baptism. I pray that it will be encouraging to you.
Thank you to everyone for coming today, despite your busy schedules. I am so grateful for the leading of Christ, for the Holy Spirit’s help, and for everyone’s efforts and prayers at church that have led up to this day.
My first contact with Kashiba Grace Church was through an invitation flyer for a Christmas party for children. Together with my child, I attended Sunday school, and while listening to the Bible stories, I had the feeling that my heart was mysteriously being washed clean. So I began to participate in the adult worship services on Sundays as well.
The circumstances and family that I grew up in were a bit complicated, so I was always very anxious and lonely even as an adult. From my youth, I wondered why I existed and what was the purpose of my life. Even as an adult, I felt like I was in the shadows with no understanding of anything.
I pursued whatever was in front of me—tangible things like work, clothes, and so on. But nothing filled my heart, and each day was painful.
While in this condition, I heard the Bible verse that stuck with me the strongest. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” Those words rocked me.
When I heard this verse, I thought, “I am not alone. There is Someone who loves me, even a person like me.” My heart experienced salvation. I was suddenly and indeed free from that ‘something’ that was always chasing after me and holding me in bondage. Afterward, while studying the Bible, I realized that God composed and sustained everything in the world. Finally, I found the answer to all the things weighing me down with burdens, the loneliness, the meaninglessness of life, and whatnot.
I had opposition from my family, and at times, my faith was weak, but even amid these circumstances, Pastor Park continued to teach me the Scriptures. And his wife would send me Bible verses of encouragement. All this supported me and led to this day of proclaiming my faith through baptism.
Pastor Park’s family has deeply moved me with their example of what it means to live faithfully with God. I suppose there will still be various difficulties and hardships in the future, but unlike before, I am no longer lost, with nowhere to go. I believe God will light my path, and I will keep walking in that light.
Pastor Park Joo Hyun Testimony
My name is Park, and I was born in the town of Daegu; located in the middle of South Korea between Seoul and Busan. I began to go to church when I was in the fifth grade of elementary school. I attended the summer program for elementary school students, and it was at this time that I began to go to church.
When I was a freshman in junior high school, I accepted Jesus as my Savior. It was at the church summer camp on the last night that the evangelist was preaching about Jesus and the Cross. At the end of the sermon, an invitation was given to us to pray and become a believer in Jesus. Everyone was praying desperately. However, I did not know how to pray since I went to church to have fun with my friends. I was troubling to me when the preacher said, “If you do not know how to pray, call on the name of Jesus and just say, “Please Jesus help me.”
At that time I decided I would like to believe in Jesus sincerely. I called on the name of Jesus three times in my heart. At that moment, my heart became hot, and my tears stopped. All of the sins I committed until that time projected as a panorama in front of my eyes. Then for three hours, I prayed a prayer of repentance, and the tears did not stop. I believed in Jesus, and He heard me. On the way back from camp, it looked like a beautiful new world. In my second year of senior high school, I got baptized in the Korean Jesus Christian Presbyterian Church. After receiving baptism, my faith gradually grew strong, and God has given me explicit faith.
As an adult, I felt the call to the church, and after several years of study, my wife and I began serving in Japan. We are eager for the Lord to use us and for many people to become disciples of Jesus.
The Nara Prefecture is located at the very center inland of Kansai region, surrounded by Osaka, Kyoto, Mie, and Wakayama regions. Nara is known as an area with a long history. It used to be called Yamato which goes back to the 6th and 7th century and was the center of culture and politics and was also the state capitol. Around that time Buddhism was brought in to Japan, and with its creation, the first-generation Buddhist temples and sculptures were built in the region. There are quite a few archaeological sites in town that are all Buddhist related. Later Kyoto was set as the capital in the middle ages, Nara was no longer as influential as it was and Kyoto became what Nara was. Yet influences by Buddhism in the community are still evident in local customs and traditional performances. People still hold on to these Japanese traditions.