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.

Hawaii Team 2014

May 27, 2014

For the Japanese video go here.

This year we had another great team from Hawaii come to Sendai.  As always, they were an encouragement to everyone they met.  They loved on our boys and we were truly blessed by all the team members.  We hosted another Hawaiian Festival at our church and several new faces came to win prizes, sing songs, make leis, eat spam musubi, fellowship, and more importantly, to hear about God’s love.  The faces of the people in Ishinomaki were lifted as many rekindled friendships from two years ago.  Everyone was deeply moved by the team’s testimony.  Thank you again to First Baptist Church of Pearl City and Waialae Baptist Church for sending these messengers of God’s love.

Categories: Hope for Japan News.

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Hosting a mission team from Hawaii!

May 1, 2014

We are hosting a mission team from Hawaii this week and next week.  They are from Waialae Baptist Church and FBC Pearl City.  Eight people are coming and seven of them were here two years ago.  We are excited to have them back again!  They will be serving at local churches and in the disaster area.  The following is the prayer calendar that the team has made for this trip.  We appreciate your prayers as they minister to so many people!  We also want to ask you to pray for extra strength for us and our boys!

May 1: Pray for safe travel to Sendai, second ministry area.

May 2: Pray for missionaries Michael and Yu Towery at Taitomi Church. Pray for the mothers and children as the team interacts with them. Most of them do not come from Christian backgrounds.

May 3 Pray for the Hawaiian Festival community outreach to families around Taitomi Church. Pray for good weather, a great turnout and the opportunity for the team to share the Gospel.

May 4 Pray for the Sunday Worship time at Taitomi Church. Pray for the work that missionaries Tony and Marsha Woods are involved with in Ishinomaki and for the English Bible Study and worship at Sendai Baptist Church. Pray for Lynne as she shares her testimony.

May 5 Pray for those involved with the Nozomi Project. Pray for people still living in temporary housing in Oshika. Pray for Miyuki and her daughter.

May 6: Pray for the people in the temporary housing in Ishinomaki. Pray for the team’s sensitivity to the people as they listen to the residents’ stories and as they minister through music, games, and crafts.

May 7: Pray for the Tokyo Baptist Church ministry in rest home in Ishinomaki with Tony and Marsha Woods. Pray for safe travel back to Sendai.

May 8 Pray for missionaries Tony and Marsha Woods and Michael and Yu Towery and their ongoing work in Japan.

May 9 Pray for the team’s safe return home and the ongoing work in Japan.

Thank you in advance for your prayers!  Looking forward to sharing the photos and stories!

Categories: Aid for Japan, Hope for Japan News, Prayer Needs.

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Happy Easter!

April 21, 2014

The angel said to the women, “Don’t be afraid. I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here! He has risen, just as he said he would! Come and see the place where he was lying. Go quickly! Tell his disciples, ‘He has risen from the dead. He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” Matthew 28:5-7

Happy Easter from Japan! He is risen!

We hope you had a blessed Easter.  Our Easter was filled with joy and gratitude.

Recently, many Japanese stores are selling Easter related items such as egg shaped cookies and stuffed bunnies, and there are signs saying “Happy Easter”.   However, if you ask those who are selling them if they know the meaning of Easter, many of they would say no.

In our English classes, we let the kids dye eggs and shared why we celebrate Easter.

With our friend, Sarah, who will be helping us with this class!

With our friend, Sarah, who will be helping us with this class!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They had so much fun!

They had so much fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We read the children’s Bible to share what Jesus did for us.  Several kids asked us questions after the class and some moms told us they had never heard the story.  Praise God for the opportunity we had to share!

On Sunday, we led the children’s Sunday School class and used the resurrection eggs to share the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection.  We were encouraged to know many kids could tell us what each item meant.  We could see curiosity in Luke’s eyes as it was his first time to see the resurrection eggs.  As his parents, we have such an important responsibility to teach him about Jesus and we look forward to sharing more in the future.  The kids also had the Easter egg hunt.  We brought lots of plastic eggs and Easter candy from America and they made these sweet kids so happy!  After Sunday School, we had a special worship service where Michael preached.  We are thankful God is using us to deliver His message!  Thank you for praying for us and supporting us!

Listening to the story of the resurrection eggs.

Listening to the story of the resurrection eggs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you see her excitement?

Can you see her excitement?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Praying for each of them!

The baby on the left came to our church for the first time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Easter from Japan!

Happy Easter from Japan!

Categories: Hope for Japan News.

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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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