Ministry Partner Development

April 7, 2014

PrayerCardFront3 Our time state side has been both busy and refreshing.  We are so blessed to be surrounded with so many friends and family who have showered us with love.  However, the time has come for us to go back to Japan and continue the work that God has for us.  We want to thank everyone who has joined our support team.  Your giving has allowed us to not only go back to Japan but continued the ministries that God has laid before us to do.  Your prayers have enabled us throughout the last three years to minister during even the hardest times and will continue to fuel and guide our spirits.  We are faith base supported which means no one church, organization, or individually supports us financially.  Thank you to those who have trusted God by giving.  We are also thankful for our home church, FBC Arlington.

Even though we are going home to Japan, our fund raising will continue.  If you are not a part of our support team yet, we would like to offer you an invitation to join us in furthering the work God is doing in Japan.  Below are links to our support letter, contribution fact sheet, and two videos that help to give perspective to the ministry we have been a part of the past three years.  Please feel free to share this information with others.  We would be glad to hear from them.  Thank you as always and God Bless you!

Support Letter 2014

Contribution Fact Sheet

 

 

Categories: Hope for Japan News, Prayer Needs.

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Happy New Year!

January 10, 2014

Greetings from Texas!

We hope you had a wonderful Christmas and a blessed new year!  Our Christmas in Japan was filled with joy as we shared the meaning of Christmas with many Japanese people!

We came back to Texas last week and have been adjusting to our new life here.  It took us a while to get over jet lag and cold weather but we are finally feeling better.  It has been fun to see our family and friends.  We know many of you have been praying for us and supporting our ministry in Japan, and we want to thank you.

One of our main goals for this trip is to share what God is doing in Japan and to recruit prayer partners and financial supporters.  We would love to meet with you in person or visit your Sunday School class/church to tell you more about Japan, Japanese people, and our ministries.   Please send us an email at michaelandyu@gmail.com to let us know if you would like to have us.  Also, we want to get to know you better and to know how we can pray for you and your family.  We look forward to seeing you and spending time with you!

We are planning to attend a support raising conference in GA at the end of this month.  We appreciate your prayers as we prepare for this important trip.  We look forward to seeing our friends in that area as well!

Thank you for your prayers and support!  We pray this year brings many blessings to all of you!

Kids English

Kid’s English Christmas Party

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Kid’s English Stocking Craft

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Family Photo

 

Categories: Family, Hope for Japan News.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

November 30, 2013

We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Even though people do not celebrate Thanksgiving in Japan, we had a great Thanksgiving dinner/celebration with our dear friends from America!  We also invited our Japanese friend and her daughter to join us and we all enjoyed our time together.

In our English class this week, we told our students about the history of Thanksgiving.  Then we all made a turkey hand and wrote what we are thankful for this year.  As all the kids shared what they wrote, this girl who comes from a non-Christian home said “God” with the sweetest voice.  Then another girl said “Jesus”.  Our hearts were so full!

There are so many things we are thankful for, but we want to thank you for your love, prayers, support, and encouragement!   We wouldn’t be here without you!  And we are grateful God has sent us here to share His love with the people of Japan!

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PS We are still in the process of updating our blog.  Thank you for your patience!

Categories: Family.

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Prayer Request

August 12, 2013

We are hosting the youth camp today and tomorrow.  Many of you have been praying for the youth ministry and God has heard and answered your prayers in many ways!   We have been wanting to host a camp at our church for a long time and God answered our prayers by sending a wonderful team of young adults from South Korea.  We visited their church in February and shared our prayers with them, and God has selected great and talented young men and women to work with our students and children here.

Please pray many lives will be touched and changed by God.  Many students are going through a difficult time and we want them to find strength and peace in Him.  Also, please pray for health of all the team members and our family.  Several team members are not feeling well and Luke has a fever.  We are praying God will heal them so that they can be a part of the camp.

Thank you so much for your prayers and support.  Thanks to your prayer and financial support, we are able to host this camp.  We believe God will do amazing things at this camp!

Categories: Prayer Needs.

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Spring Events Part 2

June 14, 2013

Here are more events from this spring!

Youth Retreat: Like last year, we had the privilege of leading the youth camp.  It’s one of our favorite events of the year.  We love hanging out with young people and it’s such an honor to love on them, to pray with them, and to encourage them as they walk with Him.  Some of the students that came are not believers but one of them told us that she would like to start praying about being baptized.  Her parents are not believers so there are many obstacles ahead of her, but we pray God will continue to work in her life and she will be able to be baptized in His perfect timing!

Worship service

Worship service

Playing games outside.

Playing games outside.

Luke had fun, too!  He got lots of attention the whole time!

Luke had fun, too! He got lots of attention the whole time!

So thankful for these students who love God!

So thankful for these students who love God!

Looking forward to seeing them again next year!

Looking forward to seeing them again next year!

LIFE: LIFE is our weekly ministry on Sunday night.  We lead the English Bible study and English worship service.  Believers from various churches and non-believers from across the city gather every Sunday night to read the Bible, to learn English, and to worship together.  One of the blessings is that we have a chance to serve with our missionary friends and Japanese believers.  It’s also exciting to see the non-believers trying their best to read the Bible in English and asking many meaningful questions!  We can’t wait to see what God has in store for this ministry!

Michael preaches once a month.

Michael preaches once a month.

Fellowship time after the service.

Fellowship time after the service.

Bowling and Lunch with Youth Group: We took some of our students to go bowling and lunch.   We love to hear their daily life stories and to love on them.  It’s neat to hear them talk about God and how He is guiding them.

Luke had the best time!

Luke had the best time!

Can you tell we were all so full after having a delicious meal?  These students can eat a lot!

These students can eat a lot!

Hope you enjoyed looking at these photos and reading about each event!  We are thankful for your prayers and support as we live and serve in Japan!  We thank God for each opportunity we have to share His message!  Please continue to pray for Japanese people!  It’s evident that God is working in this country!

This was the last photo of our family of three!  Who knew we would be welcoming our baby two days later?

This was the last photo of our family of three! Who knew we would be welcoming our baby two days later?

Categories: Hope for Japan News, Prayer Needs.

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Spring Events Part 1

June 13, 2013

We had so many exciting events this spring!  Spring was such a busy season but it was filled with great memories.  God truly blessed us.  This is just a quick summary of these events.

Trip to South Korea:  We went to South Korea to visit our friends who helped us while we were there in 2011 and also to attend our friends’ wedding.  It was so good to see every one of them!  Ever since we left South Korea in 2011, many of them prayed for us and gave us financial help as we worked on the disaster relief.  We wanted to thank them in person and we are thankful God gave us this opportunity to do so!  We just love our South Korean friends and their heart for God!

Can you tell Luke was excited to see them again?

At our friends’ wedding.  Can you tell Luke was excited to see them again?

These friends came to Japan to help us in 2011. They are coming back this summer!

These friends came to Japan to help us in 2011. They are coming back this summer!

We visited Dr. Billy Kim at FEBC (Korean Christian Broadcasting Company).  Dr. Kim donated so much money for the disaster relief work in Japan and we can't thank him enough!

We visited Dr. Billy Kim at FEBC (Korean Christian Broadcasting Company) and shared what God is doing in Japan.  Dr. Kim donated for the disaster relief work in Japan and we can’t thank him enough!

We visited our friend's church and were reunited with the young adults who had prayed for us faithfully.

We spoke at our friend’s church and were reunited with the young adults who prayed for us faithfully.

We had dinner wiith Yu's former assistant at DBU and her mom.

We had dinner with Yu’s former assistant at DBU and her mom.

Luke’s Playgroup at Church: We go to the playgroup that meets at our church every Tuesday morning.  Most of the moms and kids that come are from non-Christian homes and it’s a great way to invite them to the church and to share the gospel.  It’s one of Luke’s favorite times of the week.  Yu has enjoyed getting to know other moms and many of them have come to our house for play dates.

Story time!

Story time!

End of the school year party (the school year ends in March in Japan)

End of the school year party (the school year ends in March in Japan)

Visiting Sakata: Sakata is where our mission church is located and we go there several times a year to help them with their English class, children’s ministry, and worship service.   We had a great time with Pastor Fujii, his family, and all the church members.

Helping their Sunday School class.

Helping their Sunday School class.

They always encourage us when we visit.

They always encourage us when we visit.

Kids English Club: We lead the Kids English Club every Wednesday.  We have about 20 children every week and most of them come from non-Christian homes that live in the community around our church.  We teach English, sing Christian songs, and have a short worship service.  Many of them have told us that their favorite time is the Bible story time.  One of the cool things is that many of their moms stay during our class and worship, and they get to hear the gospel as well.  Many of the children and their moms have showed their interest in knowing more about Him.  We can’t wait to see where He leads us next!

Playing "Simon Says"

Playing “Simon Says”

Love these kids!

Love these kids!

Ministers Retreat: Every spring, all the ministers and their families from the Baptist churches Tohoku (northern Japan) area get together for a retreat.  This year, we went to Iwate prefecture for this retreat and it was so much fun!  Not only it was fun, it was great to hear what God is doing at each church.  Even thought some churches are going through a hard time, all the pastors seemed to be encouraged as we prayed for each other.   Of course, Luke enjoyed playing with the other pastors’ children.

Opening Worship Service

Opening Worship Service

Luke and another pastor's son giving a shoulder massage to the pastor's wife.  Everyone got to enjoy a special massage therapy!

Luke and another pastor’s son giving a shoulder massage to the pastor’s wife. Everyone got to enjoy a special massage therapy!

Please pray for these pastors and their families!

Please pray for these pastors and their families!

Thanks for reading, but we are not done yet!  Please stay tuned for more photos and exciting stories…

Categories: Hope for Japan News, Prayer Needs.

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Logan is Here!

June 11, 2013

“I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD.” 1 Samuel 1:27-28

We are SO happy to announce that our son, Logan Kou (it means “light” in Japanese), is here!  He arrived 5 weeks early but God protected both mommy and baby.  A big thank you to those who prayed for us!  Luke has been such an awesome big brother.  He loves to kiss and hold Logan and it melts our hearts to see him love on his little brother.

Logan was in the NICU for a short period of time and we realized life is a true miracle and blessing from God.  We saw many babies that were fighting to survive and also the doctors and parents that were doing everything they could to help them.  We should never take our lives for granted.  As we thanked God for our baby boy, we prayed for those babies and parents who were going through such a difficult time.  God taught us so many important lessons through this experience.

Recently, the verses for our Sunday School lesson were from Jeremiah 1.  It says:

The word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew  you,before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”“Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you.  Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.   Jeremiah 1: 4-8

We are so thankful that our almighty God knew Logan before he was formed in the womb and He is with him and will rescue him wherever he goes.  We pray Logan will come to know Him and go wherever He commands him.  We love you, Logan, and we are so blessed to have you as our son!

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Categories: Family.

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Disaster Relief Update

April 19, 2013

Our hearts are heavy as we heard such sad news about Boston and West, Texas.  Many of our Japanese friends have called/written us to let us know they are praying for the people who were affected by those events.  We will continue to pray!

Here is a quick update on our disaster relief work.

It has been two years since northern Japan was damaged by the earthquake, tsunami, and radiation leak.  We made several trips to the disaster area last month to spend time with people in the temporary housing.

We had a great time cooking with these ladies!

We had a great time cooking with these ladies!

We sang many songs together and it was great to see their smile!

We sang many songs together and it was great to see their smile!

We serve with these believers from different churches once a month.  It has been great to partner with them!

We serve with these believers from different churches once a month. It has been great to partner with them!

Delivering flowers.

Delivering flowers.

We worked with a group of young people from Kanagawa prefecture.  It is always a joy to meet young people who want to serve others.

We worked with a group of young people from Kanagawa prefecture. It is always a joy to meet young people who want to serve others.

We are going back to the disaster area tomorrow.  Please pray for our time with our friends in the temporary housing.   Thank you so much for remembering people in the disaster area!  We appreciate your prayers!

 

 

Categories: Aid for Japan.

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Happy Easter!

March 31, 2013

Happy Easter from Japan!  He is risen!

We just came home from the Easter service and fellowship lunch. The church was full and we had to keep bringing more chairs.  It was great to have so many guests.  Our hearts are full because we have been praying for this Easter service for a long time.  Ever since our pastor asked Michael to preach on Easter Sunday, we have been praying that God would bless this service and the people who come.  He answered our prayers in an amazing way!

Many of the guests stayed for lunch and we were able to meet and talk to them.  They encouraged us so much!  Just hearing they felt loved and the message really spoke to them meant the world to us.  It’s not always easy to minister in Japan and we get discouraged sometimes.  We know it’s not our ministry but His and the only thing we can do is to keep planting the seeds.  Today felt like one of those days that God is assuring He is pleased with our journey and He has great plans for Japanese people.

We rejoice the resurrection of Jesus and pray you have a blessed Easter!

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Categories: Hope for Japan News.

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Disaster Relief Update

February 6, 2013

As the new year begins we continue visiting the disaster areas.  God has blessed us with some wonderful friends who live in the temporary housing.  They are like our family.  We enjoy spending time with them!  There is one temporary housing in Ishinomaki where we have been visiting for a while.  It’s the place where we have taken many volunteer teams with us.  We were able to build close relationships with many of the residents and they always welcome us warmly.  Recently, our pastor asked us if the church could start helping them regularly.  After visiting them with the pastor and his wife and having a meeting with the leaders of this housing unit, we both agreed it would be great if the church members could start visiting them.  The leaders of this temporary housing have been so good to us and we just love them so much!

We took several members in January and we all had a wonderful time.  We all met in the gathering room and enjoyed our time together.  The residents were very open and shared their stories (which is a blessing because it usually takes so long to earn their trust).  We all had fun talking, having tea, and singing!  Two old ladies showed us the Japanese traditional dance.  One of them was a lady with Parkinson’s and she usually sits in the corner and listens as others talk.  We were all surprised to see her stand up and dance!  And she was smiling and having a great time!  That made all of us smile!

Singing time!

Singing time!

Luke helped us to put the oranges in the bags.

Luke helped us to put the oranges in the bags.

Michael shoveled the snow with other men.

Michael shoveled the snow (and ice) with other men.

We also visited one of the preschools to deliver some gifts for the students and teachers.

Aren't they precious?

Aren’t they precious?

Of course, Luke had so much fun!

Of course, Luke had so much fun!

This is another temporary housing that all the Baptist churches in our city have been helping every month.  It has been great serving with other believers.

Delivering fresh vegetables.

Delivering fresh vegetables.

Pretty flower pot that was given to each family with a hand written card.

Pretty flower pots that were given to each family with a hand written card.

Making candy leis together.

Making candy leis together.

Group photo after the fellowship.

Group photo after the fellowship.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support for those in the disaster areas.  It has been such a cold winter and many of them have told us they are so cold in their temporary housing units.  Please pray they will stay healthy during this winter.  Also, please pray their needs are met.  The fact that you still remember them means a lot to us.

Categories: Aid for Japan, Hope for Japan News.

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