JBC Disaster Relief Video

March 20, 2015

Last week was the fourth year since the 3-11 earthquake. Last July, we made a video for the Japan Baptist Convention. It is an overview of the relief work in Japan. Below is the English Version. Here is a link to the English and Japanese versions.  Thank you for your continued prayers and support for those in need.

Categories: Aid for Japan, Prayer Needs.

Aloha!

March 10, 2015

Greetings from Hawaii!

We hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  We left Japan and flew to Hawaii last week.  Our goals for this trip are to maintain Yu’s status as a permanent resident, to visit churches to share what God is doing in Japan, to see friends who came to Japan on mission trips, and to recruit prayer and financial partners.

God has already blessed us in many ways.  The mission house that our friend’s church has provided for us is perfect (there is a playground that our boys love!) for our family, we already saw several friends that came to Japan last year, we spoke at two churches yesterday and met people who are interested in going to Japan in the future, and several people told us they want to partner with us!  God is good!

If you are a new reader of this blog, welcome! We look forward to keeping in touch with you.

Here are some recent photos of our ministries in Japan!

Children's choir

Children’s choir

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kids' English class

Kids’ English class

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love these children!

Love these children!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With Pastor Fujii at Sakata Mission Church

With Pastor Fujii and his family at Sakata Mission Church

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

English Bible study

English Bible study

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly play group at our church

Weekly play group at our church

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your prayers and support mean so much to us!  Please let us know how we can pray for you!

Mahalo (thank you)!

Categories: Hope for Japan News.

Happy New Year!

January 1, 2015

Happy New Year from Japan!

We hope you had a wonderful Christmas! Our Christmas was filled with joy and we had a wonderful time with family and friends!

As we start our new year, we wanted to reflect on this past year and count all the blessings from God!

Year in Review

January:

We left for America on January 1st.  It was not easy to leave our friends in Japan and ask others to be in charge of ministries here.  However, God used this opportunity in many ways and our Christian friends have stepped up to help and serve!  Being in Texas was wonderful!  We were reunited with family and friends once again!  It was Logan’s first time to be in America so it was fun to introduce him to everyone.  Luke turned three on January 6th and lots of friends came to celebrate with us!  We went to Georgia to attend a conference that taught us how to raise support.  It was such an encouraging conference and we learned a lot!  We had a chance to see many friends which was a huge blessing!

With friends who used to live in Japan.

With friends who used to live in Japan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February:

We were so happy to be a part of our church’s Child Dedication Service.  It was an honoring and humbling experience to dedicate both of our boys to the Lord in front of our church family.  We are so thankful for our family and friends who help us raise our children.  We also went on a camping trip with our close friends.  We met these friends in Panorama which taught us and prepared us for future mission work.  Most of us were singles or young married couples but the group has grown so much since then!  We love these lifelong friends!

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Such a fun group!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March:

Main reason we stayed in America for three months was to raise support.  We traveled to many places to meet people and talk at churches.  Support raising was not an easy task but we learned so much through this process.  God taught us over and over that He is faithful.  We loved meeting with new and old friends and sharing what God is doing in Japan.  Thanks to generous and faithful supporters, we are able to live in Japan to share His love with those who do not know Him.  If you are already our supporter, THANK YOU from bottom of our heart.  If you are interested in supporting, please contact us or go to the “Partner with us” page on this website.   We are so thankful for God’s provision and the ways He has blessed us! It was hard to leave Texas but we were ready to come home!

Sharing about Japan with children at our home church.

Sharing about Japan with children at our home church.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April:

We were able to come back to Japan just in time for Luke to start kindergarten.  It was another answered prayer.  It took Luke a while to get used to the new schedule but he made friends and loved his school.  Mommy and Daddy got busy as soon as we got back to prepare for the weekly ministries.  It was so good to see our friends and students again!  We celebrated Easter at church and some of our friends came to church for the first time!

Sharing the resurrection story with children at church.

Sharing the resurrection story with children at church.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May:

Logan turned ONE!  He brings so much joy to our lives every day!  We celebrated his special day with our friends.  We also hosted a mission team from Hawaii.  We loved serving with them.  These Hawaiians are so good at loving on people and making everyone feel loved!  They helped us with the Hawaiian Festival which was an outreach to the community around our church.  We also went to the disaster area with them.  Since most of the team members had been there before, it was such a great time of reunion!  It was good to see everyone’s smile!

Fellowship at the temporary housing.

Fellowship at the temporary housing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June:

In June, we said “see you again” to the Qualls family who went  back to America for a year.  They helped with our weekly English Bible study and worship service.  Most people who come to this ministry are non-believers so it provides many opportunities to share our faith with them.  Micheal teaches the Bible study every week and preaches once a month.  There are several men who are non-believers and Michael has spent one-on-one time with them throughout the year.  We are thankful for those who come and look forward to meeting more new people this coming year.  At the end of June, we hosted a young lady and her mom from Texas.   This young lady stayed for a little over two months to help with the ministries in Sendai and Sakata.  We are grateful for the ways she served and helped!

Group that meets every Sunday night.

Group that meets every Sunday night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July:

July was such a busy month filled with lots of fun!  Our friend from Canada stayed with us for about two weeks and we loved spending time with her!   After she left, we hosted a mission team from our home church in Arlington, Texas.  Three ladies that came had been to Japan before and we were so thrilled that they came back!   Their heart for Japanese people really encouraged us. We hosted a VBS at our church and also at our mission church in Sakata.  So many kids and their moms came every day and they loved it!  At the end of July, we hosted another team from Hawaii and served together in the disaster area.

With children in Sakata.

FBCA team with children in Sakata.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August:

We helped with two children’s camps in August.  One in Sakata and another one was in Sendai.  We love meeting children and loving on them.  As you can imagine, they all come from different backgrounds.  Most of the kids that came to these camps came from non-Christian homes.   It was such a blessing to have an opportunity to tell them how much God loves them and cares for them.  We hosted two more teams from Texas and Hawaii (can you tell we love Hawaiians and Texans?) and had special time serving with them.  We were sad that Luke’s summer break ended but he was ready to have fun at school!

Summer camp in Sakata.

Summer camp in Sakata.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September:

Our church welcomed a new pastor.  We prayed for a new pastor for a while and God blessed us with a wonderful pastor.  His wife is pretty special too.  We have been learning so much from him and it is great to have a pastor who is mission minded!  Many of you already know that one of the ministries we have at our church is a playgroup for moms and kids under three.  It’s one of Yu’s favorite times of the week.   Yu has become good friends of other moms and spent lots of time with them.  She found out many moms are struggling with marriage and parenting.  We asked the pastor to share a Bible scripture and talk about it during our snack time.  We have heard so many positive comments from moms about how much they needed to hear it!

Our playgroup (the man holding Logan is our new pastor).

Our playgroup (the man holding Logan is our new pastor).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October:

There were lots of events at Luke’s school in October.  Luke had so much fun at his field day and field trip.  At the end of October, we hosted the annual Fall Festival.  We had help from mission teams in the past but we had to do it on our own this year.  Thanks to lots of chocolates from Hawaii and help from our church members, we were able to host a fun festival for kids in our community.  We shared the gospel with everyone who came.  One boy told us he wants to have the Light of life (John 8:12).   We pray they will always remember Jesus is the light of the world.

 

Aren't they cute?

Aren’t they cute?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November:

It was a wonderful Thanksgiving month!  We spent one week in Tokyo visiting friends from Yu’s high school and college and vacationing with dear friends from Australia.  We loved every single minute of our family time!  Our church hosted several special events and invited people from the community.  We were encouraged to see so many new people coming to church!  Our sending church in Texas had missions month and we had a Skype meeting with friends in our Sunday School class.  Their love and prayers meant so much to us.   We ended this wonderful month by having a Thanksgiving dinner with friends here in Sendai.  It was nice to have all the traditional food but more than anything, we thanked God for all the blessings He has given us throughout the year.

Love these friends.

Love these friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December:

December came and went!  Where did the time go?   Although it was a busy month, we enjoyed all the festivities!  In Japan, people celebrate Christmas but many people do not know (or care about) the meaning of Christmas.  So we spent lots of our time sharing why we celebrate Christmas.  The kids that come to our weekly English class/worship told us that they would be sharing the true meaning of Christmas with their friends at school!   We also went to the temporary housing to deliver flowers and hand made Christmas cards.  This Christmas was also meaningful as Luke was really interested in Christmas and Santa and we were able to spend every night talking about Baby Jesus (and Santa, too!) and how He came to the world.  One of the greatest gift was one girl in our English class making a decision to be baptized.  She was praying about it for a while and told us after the Christmas worship service that she wants to be baptized!  What an answer to our prayers!  Thank you so much for praying with us for more Japanese people to be saved!

Merry Christmas from children in our English class!

Merry Christmas from children in our English class!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The girl on the right is the one who will be baptized.

The girl on the right is the one who will be baptized.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you so much for your prayers and support!

Thank you so much for your prayers and support!

Categories: Family, Hope for Japan News.

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 28, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

We wanted to tell you how thankful we are for you!  Thank you so much for your love, prayers, support, and encouragement!  We give thanks to God for all His blessings.

We pray you have a blessed Thanksgiving!

 

_MG_2303 _MG_2319 _MG_2346

Categories: Family.

A Leader Goes Home

November 26, 2014

Noguchi This summer we were sad to know that Pastor Noguchi passed away.  He was a seasoned leader. Even though he was supposed to be retired we received continuous reports of his steady outreach to the churches in his community.  In case you did not know, he was a teen during WWII and was drafted into the army to train as a torpedo sub kamikaze.  The war actually ended two weeks before his scheduled mission.  He later became a believer and pastor.  He will be greatly missed.  He was full of wisdom and encouragement.  Please remember to pray for his family.  We are not able to attend the funeral in west Japan but our hearts were with all those who did.  The picture of us with Pastor Noguchi and his wife, (They married September 2013!)  was the last time we saw him.  Michael gave him a hug and told them both we loved them.  We said goodbye knowing that was the last time we would see each other this side of eternity.  That was in June. However, we continued to hear many reports of his boldness to preach and share the gospel until he passed away.  Such a man is hard to find.  We pray the Lord will lift up more just like him.  His life story is available on Amazon, Sacrificed: Given to an Empire; Found by God.

Categories: Hope for Japan News.

BGCT Comes to Sendai

August 22, 2014

This Friday we will be hosting a team from the BGCT (Baptist General Convention of Texas).  BGCT has already sent two teams in the past two years and this is their third team.  The leader has been on every trip and is a former missionary to Japan.  They will help with our kids and youth program Friday night.  Then on Saturday, we will load up and go to the tsunami hit area for a time of games, crafts, and fellowship with some people in the temporary houses.  And then on Sunday, they will come to our church in the morning and help with our adult ministry in the evening.  Please pray for a good turn out and for friendships to form.  This team consists of former team members and former missionaries, so we are excited to see how the Lord will use this team.  Monday the team will go to Ishnomaki again and stay there for the remainder of the trip helping with another church. Please pray that their time in Ishinomamki is a blessing to them and to everyone they encounter.  We look forward to seeing them very soon!  We appreciate your prayers.

Categories: Aid for Japan, Hope for Japan News.

Team from First Baptist Church Arlington

August 11, 2014

We were blessed to host a team from our sending church, First Baptist Church Arlington.  They came to help with our VBS at Taitomi Church and Sakata Mission Church.  It was their second time to come to Japan and we were excited that they wanted to come back.  Mary, Martha, and Kristen were so much fun to have around on both trips.  They are teachers by profession and it shows because they have connected with the kids so well.  The team also went with us to Sakata to encourage the pastor’s family and also to minister to children in the community.  It was the first time that they met Susanne who was already hard at work helping the Fujii family.  One of the most touching moments was when we arrived in Sakata.  When class started the kids sang the welcome song that Kirsten taught them two years ago.  It was awesome to hear them singing in English to the team.  It was great to see so many friendships rekindled throughout the two weeks this team served with us in Japan.  As we drove to the train station to send the team off I asked them what was one thing they would remember most about this trip.  Kristen was so impressed with the patience of the Christians here who minister in a very difficult religious setting.  Mary and Martha both agreed what a blessing it was to see the kids again and to share God’s love with them.  Please pray that the Spirit will continue to work on the hearts of everyone they met.  This was truly an encouraging group of ladies.  Thank you as always Mary, Martha, and Kristen, for being here. We look forward to serving with you again.  And thank you to FBCA and to their families for allowing them to be serve.

They prepared for many fun activities.

They prepared for many fun activities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kids had so much fun!

Kids had so much fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They were so proud!

They were so proud!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They learned many Bible songs.

They learned many Bible songs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These kids loved the special gift from Texas!

These kids loved the special gift from Texas!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visiting the Christian kindergarten in Sakata.

Visiting the Christian kindergarten in Sakata.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loved spending time with the Fujii family and the church members.

Loved spending time with the Fujii family and the church members.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Hope for Japan News.

A Very Special Friend

August 6, 2014

We hosted a very special friend in July.  We have known Carolyn for many years.  She came all the way from Canada to attend our wedding in Texas.  Yu first met her at church in 1997 and Carolyn was also a school teacher at Yu’s high school.  Yu’s family really enjoyed spending time with Carolyn while she was in Sendai for three years.  For two weeks we got to celebrate many old friendships as people came to see Carolyn.  We were blessed as a family because the boys had someone that never stopped loving on them.  Carolyn also helped with our Kids English Class and Adult English Bible Study.  She shared her testimony which encouraged us so much.  I must say there wasn’t a single time that Carolyn was not smiling or thanking God for the chance to rekindle old friendships.  She now lives in Canada but her time here proved one thing if only one thing and that is that the fellowship one has with fellow believers is tremendously important.  And to see how much a life has changed because of the friendship you started many years prior is priceless.  Thank you, Carolyn, for coming back to Japan and spending time with us.  And especially thank you for allowing us to the opportunity to witness just how much you cared for the people here and allowed the light of Christ to shine wherever you go.

We got to go on a vacation with her!

We got to go on a vacation with her!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was great to see our friends from English worship service.

It was great to see our friends from English worship service.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carolyn sharing her testimony.

Carolyn sharing her testimony.

Categories: Family.

Olivet Team

July 29, 2014

July brought a lot of great moments to our ministry.  This time we want to share about the Hawaii team that came to help with our ministry in Ishinomaki and the Oshika Peninsula.  We were so pleased to have Roger Honda, who came two years ago, come back with this team. We also had Pastor Morita from Olivet Baptist Church and Pastor Watanabe, his wife, and son from their Japanese Ministry come as well.  Every one of the members brought their smiles.  The ladies did an excellent job of singing and hula dancing.  As always, we were amazed to see just how prepared they were with every detail.  We visited a preschool where many of the children lost homes and loved ones.  It was so joyous to see the kids laughing and smiling as the team loved on them and shared Christ’s love.  Thank you again to each one of the members and to Olivet Baptist Church for sending such a great group of Christ centered believers.

Singing a song called "God bless you"

Singing a song called “God bless you”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beautiful hula dance

Beautiful hula dance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Craft Time

Craft Time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Group Photo

Group Photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wonderful fellowship at our church

Wonderful fellowship at our church

 

Categories: Aid for Japan, Hope for Japan News.

A Helper Sent

July 22, 2014

While we were in Texas, we had the privilege to meet a young lady with a tremendous heart for the Lord.  Susanne Shaw answered the help wanted post for the Sakata Mission Church.  As some of you know, we have worked with the Pastor and his family for some time now.  One of the biggest needs they have is someone to help with their English program.  This program helps many kids in the community.  Many of which come from single parent homes.  Susanne was a big help with our Kids English Class the two weeks she was in Sendai.  During that time, her mom joined her on the way to Japan.  It was great to be able to show Susanne and her mom the places she would be working this summer and to meet the good folks in Sakata and Sendai.  We will be checking on her progress over the next few weeks.  We know she has been a huge help already and we continue to pray that God will use her mightily.

Dinner with Fujii Family

Dinner with Fujii Family

Categories: Hope for Japan News.

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