June to July 2022
Our big event just recently was the appointment ceremony of Kim Jae Hyeon to be the associate pastor of our church, Nagano Shinonoi Evangelical Free Church. I played the role of officiator and we had a guest speaker, Pastor Motoo Iwai who shared the message.
Minister Kim received abundant blessings on that day filled with joy, congratulatory telegrams from all over Japan, and prayers from colleagues. We praise God for His purpose and plan by equipping this young minister for his devotion and service in missions in the countryside. We pray with hope for his future.
- Pray for the financial needs for minister Kim’s family to be fulfilled.
Naoki Suzuki is getting married this Saturday. We pray for the Lord’s specific calling on Him to be revealed. Naoki is in his final year of seminary and his desire is to be a part of several church planting efforts in the Nagano area ministry team. He hopes to get assurance from the Lord. Pastor Fukui is his mentor and coach.
- Pray for the wedding.
- Pray also for Naoki’s prep for his thesis for graduation from the seminary.
Chiaki is in his early twenties and works for a company with its headquarters in Nagano. A pastor in central Tokyo introduced Chiaki to our church and requested I mentor him as he is in need of special member care for spiritual growth and discipleship. Our former member, Kim H.J. is attending this Tokyo church as he goes through training for work in Tokyo.
- Pray for the spiritual growth of Chiaki.
Reiko, in her eighties, and her son Kumito, fifty, have been attending the worship service since the joint memorial service. They have been seriously considering buying a house in our region and near Shinonoi church. They were members of Ueda church where I used to be the pastor before. Kumito is praying he can get a job where his schedule no longer conflicts with Sunday church so he can attend the worship services. He would then quit his current work.
- Pray for clarity and knowledge of God in establishing our church regulations and codes.
- Pray for the salvation of ladies from the neighboring communities. Two ladies, Chieko and Ysauko have attended the rose workshop; they are in the same age group as both are in their sixties.
- Pray for salvation for Ryo, university associate professor.
- Pray for the health of Kim H.G. who works at a welfare facility for elderly people. He has been working there for two years and we are praying for him to be a light and a witness in this job.
Yuuki was called to become the associate facility manager at a care home for elderly people. We are praising God for this development as we anticipate Yuuki and Keiko playing a vital role at our church in the future. We believe that their service to the local community in the social welfare field will reinforce their servanthood at the church. They are able to have three days off per week, Saturday, Sunday, and an additional day, so they are happy with a good work-and-life balance. Upon their relocation, they will be searching for a house.
April to May 2022
The covid cases have increased in our area, Nagano, in contrast to the decrease in Tokyo where the number of cases has dropped. This increase means that Nagano city is now under alert level five, which is the highest, for covid-spread prevention.
Three individuals in our congregation had covid, and one suffered from a high fever. But both families recovered by staying home and isolating themselves from others, as per the advice of the local public health bureau. As a result, however, we canceled two of our regular prayer meetings.
Over the last two years, we never stopped seeing church members face to face at the church hall. But for the first time since the covid alert was effective, we held a hybrid service with both online and onsite being available. We actually treated the online portion as the main service for this hybrid one. Thankfully we had no further spread of covid in our group.
The two families had to quarantine for ten days but after having a negative PCR test, they could resume ordinary life and attend the onsite services.
For our Easter service, we decided not to invite a speaker from another church. We felt it was a homier fellowship this way.
- Pray for protection over the congregation. Currently, we are continuing hybrid services. Pray for no more covid patients.
Reiko (eighty-two) and her son Kumito (fifty), who we have shared about in previous reports, have been attending our church services for a month or so. They started coming after the joint memorial service. They participated twice online and came also to our onsite service.
Kumito works for the Shinano railway line. It is a local train line in the transportation industry. He often has to work on Sunday because of his shifts and the train schedules. He faces challenges on how to keep his Sabbath day holy. He started to seriously pray about his job, possibly quitting the current one and getting another one. He is searching for an answer.
- Pray for Kumito so he may be able to attend the service more often with his mother.
Megumi transferred back to Saku City of Nagano prefecture with the National Forestry Agency. This location is where she used to work, before she moved to our area of Nagano city. Currently, she continues to attend our church, driving the hour and a half via the highway, each way.
- Pray for the best in God’s hand on Megumi and for guidance for her.
Since the pastor’s residence along with the educational portion used to be an old inn and is a very aged old building, maintenance issues have begun to appear and replacement work for water heaters and faucets needed to be completed. These were large expenditures.
- Pray for this old building to be protected and used properly in the future.
- Pray for Aiko, who lost her daughters last year, to open her heart to God and to be led to the church.
We invited Pastor Motoo, a well-known pastor to preach for our outreach service. He often is the keynote speaker on the Christian radio evangelism program.
- Pray that this would be a time for curious non-Christians to come to know the Lord.
- Pray for the health of Kim who has been working at the welfare facility for elderly people. This is his second year working here and we are praying for him to be a light to others in his workplace.
- Pray for the salvation of Ryo, the university associate professor.
- Pray for the relocation and related preparation for Yuuki and Keiko.
Yuuki recently had his final interview to become the Associated Facility Manager at a care home facility for elderly people. Pray for the Lord’s guidance as they are relocating to our area of Nagano to help with our ministry.
- Pray for our outreach services and pastor Motoo speaking.
- Pray for the official appointment ceremony for minister Jae-Hyeon Kim as associate pastor.
- Pray for our Shinonoi Rose Workshop.
- Pray for the Kanto Region (East Japan)-West District Council General Assembly of our denomination this Saturday.