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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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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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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Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!

December 31, 2012

We hope you had a wonderful Christmas!  Michael had an opportunity to preach at our church on the 23rd.  It was a blessing for him to share the joy and hope of Christmas with everyone there.  God blessed our Christmas Eve service with many people who came to church for the first time.  We pray His messaged touched their heart.

Luke was thrilled to see all the gifts from Santa, family, and friends. We are so thankful for all the friends from all over the world who sent us Christmas cards, gifts, and email/text/Facebook messages!  Thank you for making our Christmas extra special!

On Christmas day, we invited some of our non-Christian friends to our house.  We were able to share the true meaning of Christmas as we looked at the nativity set.  Several of them told us that they had never heard the story.  The truth is that there are so many Japanese people who have never heard what Christmas means.  That is the reason God sent us here and we are so thankful He did.  Thank you for partnering with us as we share the hope we have in Him!

God has blessed us so much this year and we can’t wait to see what He has in store for us this coming year.  We pray you have a blessed new year!  May God continue to bless you and your family richly.

Reading the Christmas story at the Kids English Class Christmas Party.

Santa came!

Merry Christmas from our church family in Japan!

Have a happy new year!

Categories: Hope for Japan News.

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Day 7- Fall Festival

November 26, 2012

Last year, we hosted the Fall Festival at our church for the first time.  The team from Thailand helped us and everyone had a great time.  Ever since then, the kids have asked if we would have another Fall Festival this year.  So we were thrilled when we found out that the FBCA team would be coming in October- perfect time to host the Fall Festival!

They brought SO many prizes (thanks to all the Sunday School classes and individuals who donated these items!) for the kids.  Also, Remey did a great job getting ready for all the fun games and activities.

We started the festival with a prayer and welcome speech by our pastor, and then our students sang English songs!

Russell and Remey did a great job leading the songs.

Then Michael shared a story about Jesus as Lance curved a pumpkin.  He talked about how Jesus removes the bad things from our heart when we ask Him to come into our heart and He puts a light in our heart.  And we shine that light so that others can know about Him.  We pray all the children will remember this story.

Kids were focused the entire time and looked so happy when they saw a light in the pumpkin!

We hope you can see all the excitement from the following photos!

Ring toss!

Face painting!

Ladderball!

Golf!

Bean bag toss!

Cindy with two girls!

Many parents came with their kids.

Photo booth!

Of course, Luke had a blast!!!

Thank you, FBCA team, for making this such an exciting event!  The kids in our English class are still talking about it!

If you are thinking about coming to Japan next year, October might be a good time to have LOTS of fun!

 

Categories: Hope for Japan News.

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Day 6- Visiting Oshika Peninsula

November 26, 2012

Ever since we visited Oshika Peninsula for the first time in May of 2011, it has become a special place.  It’s the area where so many people lost their lives, family members, houses, and everything they owned (You can watch the youtube video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YT6TP1uck_4).  As we met people who were living in the temporary shelter at that time and built relationships over the past year and half, God placed these people in our heart and we have been visiting them regularly.

So we were so glad that we could take the FBCA team to this special place to meet the people we love.

At first, we visited our dear friend, Miyuki.  Her husband owns a fishing company and they lost most of their ships.  But they have continued their fishing business and trying to rebuild their home. She has been open to listen to the Gospel and she has put the poster with the scriptures that we had given her on their entrance wall.  She cried as we prayed with her and we pray God will continue to work in her heart.

With Miyuki.

Then we went to Oshika Preschool.  It was our first time to visit them in the new building.  Their school was destroyed by the tsunami so they were meeting in the community center for a year and half.  When we visited them, they were having a special festival.

It was great to see these happy kids!

We made the puppets with them!

After visiting the preschool, we went to our friend, Emi’s house.  She recently built a new house.  You may remember reading about her before, but she is the one who lost her husband and her father-in-law in the tsunami.  And this year, she has lost three of her family members including her father.  Needless to say, she has been going through a difficult time.  But she always welcomes us with a big smile and keeps thanking us for coming.  This time, she invited all of us to her new beautiful house and served delicious fruit and sweets.  It was great to hear about her plans to make her house a bed and breakfast place where people can come and stay.  We look forward to staying with her someday.  We prayed with her before we left and we could tell she was crying.  We know she is still hurting.  Please keep her and her little daughter in your prayers.

With Emi.

We stopped at Mrs. Hiratsuka’s (from the temporary housing we had visited the day before) brother’s temporary housing to deliver fruit and vegetables.  This time, we visited each door (20 units) and handed them in person.  People were so appreciative.  The FBCA team members mastered how to say “hello”, “here they are”, “thank you”, and “see you” in Japanese!

With Mrs. Hiratsuka’s brother.

On our way home, we went to Matsushima that is one of the most famous places in Japan.  The team got to see one of the national treasures.

Can’t you tell they were super excited?

It was a very memorable day.  We pray and hope we will be able to take more friends to Oshika Peninsula in the future!

Categories: Aid for Japan, Hope for Japan News.

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Day 5- Visiting Friends in the Temporary Housing

November 26, 2012

Day five was a FULL day! We all woke up early to go to downtown Sendai.  The team distributed flyers for the ministry held at Sendai Baptist Church.  This was one of the most challenging tasks!  Even though most Japanese people are kind, they do not take a flyer from a stranger!  But the team worked hard and the pastor of this church was thankful for their help!

 

Handing out the flyers.

We drove to Ishinomaki city on the coastline.  This city was damaged by the tsunami on March 11th and many people lost everything they had.  We have been visiting several temporary housings and building relationships with the residents, and we are so glad that the team had a chance to meet them!

Buying fresh vegetables and fruits for 70 families!

Signing individual cards to let the residents know that we will continue to think of them and pray for them.

Mr. and Mrs. Hiratsuka serve as the leaders of this temporary housing. They are so sweet and we always enjoy spending time with them!

The team did a great job preparing for this visit.  They sang Amazing Grace, did a Thanksgiving craft, played BINGO, and more than anything, they shared their love with them.  They also brought LOTS of gifts for the residents.  Our dear friends from Arlington had donated many items as well and it was great to see the residents’ smile!

Everyone loved BINGO!

Singing “Amazing Grace”.

Playing card games with men while ladies enjoyed getting a manicure!

We ended our day by having dinner with Mr. and Mrs. Hiratsuka and their daughter.

 

Categories: Aid for Japan, Hope for Japan News.

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Day 3- Visiting Kindergarten and Teaching English Classes

November 10, 2012

This was a busy day filled with many exciting events!  We took the team to Sakata Mission Church and Pastor Fujii and his wife welcomed us warmly.  Pastor Fujii came to Sakata after serving at one of the biggest churches in Tokyo 6 years ago.  Ever since then, he and his family have been serving God faithfully even though this journey was not always easy.

They were so thankful for this special gift from FBCA.

Pastor Fujii took us to the kindergarten where his son goes.  It’s actually the only Christian kindergarten in this city.  The team did a great job teaching English, doing crafts, and loving on all the children!

 

Group photo!

The principal shared the kindergarten’s needs and prayer requests with us and we prayed with her.

Please pray these precious children will know how much God loves them!

In the afternoon, the team taught the English class at the mission church.

Kids learning the names of the animals.

The kids heard the story of Noah and God’s promise.

We ended our day with dinner and fellowship with the church members. The young guy we had met at the restaurant joined us.

 

 

 

Categories: Hope for Japan News.

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Day 2- Distributing Flyers and Driving to Sakata

November 10, 2012

On the second day, we had an orientation in the morning.  We could tell that the team had done a great job learning about Japan and preparing for the trip.  Michael shared a little more about Japanese culture, history, and what we have been doing.  We also had a prayer time together.  After that, we went to the new housing community around our church and distributed the flyer that had information on church and the upcoming fall festival (and several families came to the festival thanks to those flyers).

You know who had fun while everyone worked hard?

In the afternoon, we drove 3 hours to the west coast of Japan.  Sakata city has our mission church and we have been visiting there regularly.  We are so glad that the team got to go there to meet all the wonderful people!

 

Categories: Hope for Japan News.

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Day 1- 20th Anniversary at Taitomi Church

November 10, 2012

The team’s first day happened to be the 20th anniversary celebration of Taitomi Baptist Church. It’s the church where we are serving now.  It was so special that the team was a part of this celebration. Cindy, our pastor’s wife from FBCA, shared a greeting during the worship service and many members told us how much it meant to them.

Cindy sharing greetings from FBCA.

After the worship service, we all enjoyed delicious potluck lunch!

In the afternoon, we took the team to downtown Sendai to have Japanese tea and to see the Dance Festival.

Being very “Japanese” and enjoying Japanese tea and sweets.

In the evening, they all helped with our English class/fellowship at Sendai Baptist Church.

Singing “Mighty to Save” with Japanese friends!

Overall, it was a great first day!

Categories: Hope for Japan News.

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FBCA Team

November 10, 2012

It has been a while since we updated our blog.  So many exciting things have happened while we were gone from the blog world!  The highlight was hosting a mission team from our sending church, FBCA!  We got sick after they left (thankfully, we are all getting better!) and it took a while for us to organize 500+ photos!  Hope you enjoy reading about their time here and looking at the photos!  Thank you, FBCA, for sending such an awesome team!

Categories: Hope for Japan News.

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Newsletter Jul-Aug 2012

October 9, 2012

Hello from Sakata, Japan! We are visiting our mission church on the west coast.  We are with the mission team from our sending church, First Baptist Church of Arlington.  All the team members are great and it has been a blessing to serve with them! Please pray for all of us as we share His love with many people this week.

Thank you for your love and prayers!

Newsletter Jul-Aug 2012

Categories: Family, Hope for Japan News.

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Missionary Friends!

October 5, 2012

If you have ever lived away from your family and friends, you know how hard it can be.  Even though we are called to be here and love the people, it gets tough sometimes.  It really helps to talk to someone who’s in the same boat.

Recently, we invited our missionary friends, the Qualls family (from Texas!), to our house for dinner.   We had a great time with them.  We were encouraged by them as we shared our joys and struggles of ministering in Japan.  The Qualls have been serving in Sendai for a while and we met them when they came to a special event held at our church. They are with another organization and go to a different church, but we asked them to be a part of the new ministry called “LIFE” which offers a free English class and ends with a worship service and fellowship in English every Sunday night.  It has been a blessing to serve with them.   They are also helping with disaster relief work in Sendai and it is always helpful to share our strategies and get ideas.  We have learned a lot from them!

Of course, Luke loves playing with their four kids!  We really want Luke to learn English and playing with English speaking kids is the best way for him to learn!

We thank God for the Qualls and the ways they have blessed us!  We look forward to serving with them and encouraging each other as we minister to Japanese people.

Group photo after dinner.

Kevin leading worship at LIFE.

Luke’s big sister! He keeps following her wherever she goes!

Categories: Hope for Japan News.

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Newsletter May-Jun 2012

August 12, 2012

The past three months we have seen a lot of action.  We are so thankful for the great people who have helped us.  The prayers, emails, Skype calls, care packages, and support have helped keep us grounded and going.  Thank you!

Below are the links to our May-June Newsletter and for the Disaster Relief Activities Report issued by the Japanese Baptist Convention.  We included it not because our pictures are in it but because of the information it offers over the past year’s relief efforts.  Please feel free to share the newsletter and report with others as needed.  We would love to hear from you!

Newsletter May-Jun 2012

Disaster Relief Activities Report


Categories: Hope for Japan News.

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Tohoku Baptist Retreat

August 3, 2012

Last Friday we woke at 3:30am to begin the five hour trip to Aomori.  It was time for the JBC Tohoku Baptist Retreat.  About thirty of us from churches throughout Sendai rode a bus to the retreat.  When we arrived at the hotel on the beautiful north shore of Japan, we were welcomed by the believers of the north side of Tohoku area.  There were more than 130 attendees. We attended several worship services during the retreat.  This year we helped with the children’s program.  We took the children to the local aquarium, played games, made crafts, and the children helped lead worship services.

We also took the opportunity to give gift bags to the children including those from Fukushima.  The BGCT team left gift bags for us to hand out to children.  Pastor Suzuki was overjoyed to receive the duffel bag full of gifts for the children in his church.  We pray that the generosity of Texans will bring a smile to the faces of children who receive a gift bag.  They still deal will stress and anxiety daily as Fukushima continues to deal with contamination.

As always, we were so glad to see familiar faces and make new friends.  Everyone enjoyed the time of fellowship.  The churches of Tohoku are blessed to have so many wonderful members.  It may be a year before we see many of them again but we know they are working hard to serve.  We thank God for the way we were encouraged by others through this retreat.

Prayer time.

The gospel choir from Texas came to sing.

Can you see his love for dolphins???

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!

The kids singing praise songs.

Luke enjoyed playing the guitar.

Game time! They had a blast!

As always, Luke was loved on the whole time!

Breakfast with kids from Fukushima and Sakata.

Yu led worship on the second day.

Craft time!

Luke made lots of new friends.

Group photo in front of the hotel.

Categories: Hope for Japan News.

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The Higas Visit Sendai

August 3, 2012

Last week we were pleased to meet DeShannon and Rocky Higa.  They are a couple who live in Honolulu, Hawaii.  They are friends with several of the Hawaii team members who helped last April.  When we visited the churches in Honolulu in June, DeShannon and Rocky expressed their desire and God’s call to help us in Japan.  We were of course ecstatic of their desire to help.  They helped us with our Wednesday night kids English class.  They blessed the children through their music.  DeShannon played the piano while Rocky sang.  They are wonderful musicians and we all enjoyed their music.  They also taught the kids a great praise song!  Afterward they handed out gift bags for the children.  They told us that many friends, family, and church members helped put everything together.  Their niece wrote a sweet letter to all the kids.

We are so taken away when people contact us offering to help.  They were a huge blessing to the children and we loved hearing their testimonies.  They were such a joy to be around and little did we know, DeShannon, is quite the accomplished Jazz musician.  They are truly humble and God filled.

DeShannon and Rocky, thank you so much for your willingness to serve.  We look forward to serving with you both again very soon.  We also pray that more people will hear God’s call to serve with us as the months and years progress.  God Bless and the children send their thanks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Hope for Japan News.

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Thank You FBCA Team

July 31, 2012

We have had a lot of teams come and go over the past year.  We are abundantly thankful for our home church in Texas sending such a wonderful group of ladies.  Not only did they minister to the kids but they ministered to us as well.  Luke often takes a moment to get to know people before warming up to them but he truly took the the team right away.  He was sad to see the team leave and so were we.

We are blessed to have served with Martha, Lindsey, and Kristen.  We pray you take what you learned and experience here and share it with others back home.  We will miss you but we pray we get to see you all very soon!  Thank you so much FBCA for sending them to us.

Categories: Aid for Japan, Hope for Japan News.

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Teaching in Sakata

July 31, 2012

The FBCA team did a lot to help with our ministry.  One place that we took them was Sakata.  Sakata is the port town we evacuated to after the March 11 earthquake.  There is a mission church that was started by the churches of Northern Japan.  The pastor, his wife, and their children have lived there for six long years.  I say long because they are ministering in a city that has a very strong Buddhist history.  Pastor Fujii and his family have been working hard to reach out the their community.

One of the ways they minister is through their kids program.  They open up the church in the afternoons for kids to do homework and learn English.  Many of the children that attend are from single parent homes.  The majority of them live with their mom and have little to no contact with their dad.  As you can imagine this is very hard on the children.

We have felt the need to help the Fujiis with their ministry especially because they are so isolated.  We love this sweet family so much!  The team from FBCA was a huge help.  We got to help with the English programs and spend a lot of time playing games with the children.  One of the highlights the team had was visiting the only Christian kindergarten in Sakata.  The principal and staff were so gracious and a pleasure to be around.

We continue to pray for the Fujiis and their ministry.  Thank you so much FBCA for sending a team to bless the children of Sakata.

On our way to Sakata, we stopped at one of the beaches on the west coast. The girls got to put their feet in the Sea of Japan!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first class they taught.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teaching at the Christian kindergarten.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The kids were so sweet. Please pray for this kindergarten! They need more students!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrating Lindsey’s birthday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The third class they taught.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We all helped the pastor with the church flyers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please pray for Pastor Fujii and his family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On our way back to Sendai, we stopped at this place where some Japanese old movies had been made.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Hope for Japan News.

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