Greetings friends and family.
I hope you are having a great start of the year. May 2018 be filled with blessings and new achievements 🙂
I want to share with you a short update on our life and ministry in the last few months.
Korea Youth Camp
Jana and I had the chance to join the national youth camp for Korea District as part of the Japanese delegation… 😀 It was a great time and we were able to listen to sermons and testimonies from leaders from Japan, South Korea, and even a Christian leader who escaped from North Korea.
Japanese youth decides to study theology and become a pastor.
I am excited to share these news with you. Some time ago one of our friends at church started asking questions about the seminary in the Philippines. The questions became more and more detailed and, eventually, he confessed that he was feeling God calling him to pastoral ministry. Even though he had a very stable job and a comfortable life in Japan, he chose to leave it all and is currently starting his Master of Divinity in the Philippines!
Youth Convention in Samoa
Jana had the chance to travel for the first time to this small island nation in the midst of the Pacific Ocean to preach and train youth leaders. The country may be small but the people have a huge heart and faith. The event was also attended by NYI members from other countries like Fiji and Papua New Guinea (PNG).
The event included outreach evangelism and worship services. If you want to have a glimpse of the energy in the convention, click here (but careful! It comes with muscles…)
Children’s Retreat in Urasoe Nazarene Church.
I was honored to preach during this children’s retreat. We played and studied the story of Moses’ birth, fun time!
Japanese people will only hug you if the victory of the team depends on it.
Field Day with the Youth Group.
We got together with some members of the youth group in Okinawa for a day in the outdoors. We played some sort of golf and since it was quite long it was a good chance to talk about our faith and desires for Okinawa and Japan.
Asia-Pacific NYI Council Meeting
Jana gathered with her Regional NYI team in Thailand. The yearly meeting was evaluative in character, but they also focused on strategic planning for Youth Ministry in the different fields this year.
Creative Access Youth Ministry
After Jana’s meeting with the council, she also met with some youth leaders from creative access areas. These areas face difficulties in different ways, so it was a good time for youth leaders from those places to discuss how to live out their faith in such contexts. I am moved when I think that even now we have places in which one’s safety is at stake because of one’s faith 😦
Shouhashi Half Marathon
After four months training, the day of the half marathon came. Unexpectedly, one week before the race I had an injury because of physical activity ( a first in my life 😀 ). It was painful but eventually, I decided to go for it and rest afterward. Thank God I was able to run and finish with a better time than my estimate. Sadly, Jana was not able to finish. Japanese people are very serious about time. She was trying to save her energy for later in the race, but they did not allow her to continue after running 13 kilometers. Anyhow, it was an enriching experience and exercise is another way of being good stewards of our body.
More and Deeper Friendships.
More and more we realize that there is no better way to share our faith than having good relationships with people around us. Even though it has taken a lot of time, some people have offered us their friendship. Recently we were on an outing with one of these new friends and suddenly she asked us, “So what exactly do people celebrate in Christmas?” What a question! It was the perfect chance to explain to her about Jesus and God’s love to all of us. Please pray that these seeds will keep growing and that in the midst of prevailing consumerism, more people follow her lead searching for the true source of joy.
Please keep on praying for our friends, that they all may know Jesus’ love.
Youth Camp in Papua New Guinea.
Janary had the chance of going to PNG again for the Melanesia Nazarene Youth Conference and Crusade. She was able to facilitate training with more than 1000 young people from different districts of PNG and even Samoa and the Solomon Islands. Several of them had walked more than a day just to get to the campsite :O
Of course, we also had a lot of Christmas spirit. We are so blessed being surrounded by people who love us and who, like us, love the Lord.
If you made it here is because you read everything even though it was kind of long, thanks! (Or maybe because you scrolled skimming through things… if that is the case please read because it took me forever to write this :p ). Janary and I are excited about 2018. 2017 was a year to grow, learning the language, strengthening relationships, etc. We believe that 2018 would be a year to apply even more all the things we have learned until now.
Please help us pray for these things:
- I will start teaching the youth Sunday School class this month… in Japanese! It will be a challenge (not only for me :p ) but I trust God will help us all.
- Jana is still teaching English at the church and she has recently started a Bible study with some ladies whose English level is a bit higher. Please keep on praying for these intentional relationships.
- I am still deep into my studies. It is seriously hard but I can see I am making progress. Please pray that God would open my understanding and give me the wisdom to use what I am learning for our ministry here.
Do not forget to write to us with your prayer requests. Have our best wishes for you to fulfill your goals for the new year 🙂