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2010 Japan Mission Team
We are members of Lighthouse Christian Church in Bellevue, Washington.
Our mission is to share God's grace and truth so that people come to know, love and share Jesus Christ.
While in Japan we will be helping run the VBS programs at Tokorozawa Megumi Church and Nokendai Bible Fellowship
Ev, Tom, Randy, Tim, David, Kelly, Sharon
Al, Karen, Lucy
Katherine, Garrett, Austin

Monday, January 3, 2011

Many Thanks!

December 26, 2010

We want to thank Mei-Ling and others for planning and organizing this get-together for us. What a privilege and blessing it was to be able to meet JMT members past and present and have a chance to fellowship with you this Christmas holiday season. Thank you again for you generous support of our little group in Nokendai, Japan. We love you guys, and look forward to what the Lord has planned for us next year. Hope to see you soon!

Many blessings,
Kohichi & Shirley
Sunday, August 15, 2010

Shirley: Monday trains

Happy to report that the team is on its way back to Seattle today. We sent them off at the local train station around 10:30AM. They will catch the 11:59 NEX train at Yokohama that should get them to Narita airport by 1:30PM, plenty of time to retrieve their sent luggage (sent Sunday morning) and board their 4PM flight to Seattle.

Praying for travel mercies and a safe, non-turbulent flight all the way. Thanks again for sending them to help us. Thank you for remembering us and for praying for us. God willing, we hope to see you again soon in Seattle, or perhaps next year, here again in Japan!

Many blessings!
I forgot to blog about our 3PM service on Sunday at NBF. We had lots of missionary visitors this day. Larry and Alma Oline came to visit us again, John and Etsuko Martin (MUPS missionaries going home on furlough in 2 weeks) and Gerald May our current TEAM missionary who helps us twice a month at NBF as of April this year. Only 2 new VBS children came and a lot of our regular children were missing also since it is Obon season right now; families go home to see parents and grandparents before school starts next week. Even so, we had 16 kids in Sunday School!

Our service ran overtime by almost 45 minutes, but I think it was worth the delay. Ev, Randy and Tom shared their testimonies to the adults, Lucy gave hers to the kids, we sang 2 VBS songs with the kids, Kohichi gave a brief summary of the 4 laws, Gerald did a short talk that segued well into baptism. And although no one stepped up for baptism today, we had 2 children raise their hands as having accepted Jesus as Lord by saying the believer's prayer again just then. Then 2 mothers were asking LCC team members about baptism....lots of talking, lots of praying, lots of tears. We were so encouraged to see God's hand at work and boy was He busy today!

This is our swingset picture we like to take every year, but by the time we got around to it, a lot of folks had already left. Perhaps the season for the harvest at NBF is right now. Pray we will find a way to support them in their decision to be baptized this year if it comes to that. May God make a way for them.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Ev: Gratitude for the Faithfulness of Those who Came Before

To Elaine H., Vincy, Sharon, Tim, Kelly, David, Keith Tom, Patti, Mei-Ling, Sets, Wesley, Sam, Janis, Susan, Jeanette, Matt, Masae, Neil, Jasmine, Heather, Bob, Sheryl, Elaine N., Daniel, and Pastor Nancy, (if I have forgotten anyone, please forgive me) because of your faithfulness in coming and in serving in Japan, we were able to reap a harvest into God's Kingdom. You all planted the seeds and we were privileged to be there to harveswt that seed you planted. This may be the year where the ministry here may change to include a youth and women's ministry. There were 7 kids in Randy and Austin's group of 3rd to 5th graders who prayed the "believers' prayer" to accept Jesus as their Savior. Many had been coming all 4 years to VBS. In Karen's and my group of 6th grade girls, 3 prayed the "believers' prayer" to accept Jesus as Savior. Two had never come until this year and one was returning. We passed out cards on the last day of VBS and an additional 7 marked that they had accepted Jesus as Savior. Since we were unable to speak to these kids, we are not sure of their commitment but we trust God to make their response to him a deeper reality. We also had 4 women respond positively to having a womens' Bible study/fellowship group during the VBS time. Almost all the 6th graders said that they would return and bring a friend which would increase the older aged group. Many of the other kids also replied that they would return and bring a friend. Verse Eph. 3:20-21 came to mind, "Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power tht works withing us, to Him be the glory in the the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen." We could not have imagined what happened this year. Our God is amazingly faithful. Thank you again for all you who came before us, for the love you shared with these people, for your willingness to serve them. When they came into the Kingdom of God, you were all there with us!!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Lucy: I've fallen in love with my VBS class

My prayer is that God protects them and draws them ever closer to Him.
… I feel as though the past few days my body and my heart have gone through shock. I knew I was getting attached to the kids and all but I wasn’t expecting it to be this bad… Sure the trip back was safe and smooth… but as my dad was pointing out… Satan probably has no problem with us leaving there… Every step I took towards the airport… every train… my heart sank a little bit… I couldn’t sleep much on the plane because I kept thinking about the kids and wondering how they were doing and how VBS was going… We arrived safely at Seatac… and on the drive from the airport back to my house… as the reality of finally being home sank in… my heart began to hurt. My sleep schedule is pretty messed up right now… because whenever I try to close my eyes and sleep I see their smiling faces. Since returning I began watching a Japanese drama in which one of the questions the main character poses to himself is… what is love? As the kids’ smiles flash through my mind and my heart continues to hurt… I can’t help but feeling like this time I really fell in love with Japan… especially the kids… and yet as I began writing this blog I was humbly reminded by a little tug in my heart… that despite how deep or how much I as a human can feel a love for others, God’s is always so much greater. I’m really not sure what the point of this is besides how I’m feeling right now… I guess a little prayer for me would be great… just that I would stop sitting around feeling so down and continue seeking God’s will… because whether I’m here or in Japan… God still has much for us to do.

On a side… slash... slightly less down note. My stomach is once again going through culture shock coming back… if there is any part of me (physically) that is truly Japanese…. It’s gotta be my stomach. Ughhh….

p.s. i feel like my last few or couple posts or whatever have been really... down ish.. sorry! ><...

Lucy: God exceeding my expectations

It’s past midnight and I’m the only one still up, but I had a dessert with coffee jelly and soft serve ice cream on top, so I’m kind of wired by the caffeine. So I’m taking this time to blog about this amazing day! I can’t believe today (or I guess technically yesterday) was the last day of VBS, and I’m going to miss the kids in my group so much! The day before, I thought we had decided not to invite my group to say the “believer’s prayer” because of their young age, but this morning Shirley said to go ahead and invite them to pray anyway. Reasoning: why limit the Holy Spirit? And if they are too young to understand, at least they would have heard the prayer and this would allow them to better understand in future years. So at the end of the memory verse learning time, I sat down with them and invited them to pray silently the believer’s prayer along with me. At the end of the prayer, I thought their eyes were still closed and I asked them to raise their hands if they accepted Christ. When I looked up, their eyes were wide open and they all had their hands up! I had a whole bunch of thoughts all at once when I saw that: 1) they are so adorable and I want to take them all home with me! 2) Okay, I’m new at this and I should have reminded them to keep their eyes closed 3) they are probably too young to understand what I was saying 4) maybe something was lost in translation 5) But God is still so good! I was expecting no hands to be raised, and instead I got the opposite! Even if they didn’t understand what was going on, I felt so encouraged anyway. And maybe, just maybe, some of them did accept Jesus today. Later, Shirley had the kids fill out response cards, and one of the questions was: did they accept Jesus as their Savior. Some of the kids in my group checked the yes response!

I do want to ask you to pray for these kids and for all of those in the other age groups who accepted Jesus this week. At least for the ones in my group, they are so young I wonder how much or if they understand what it means to become a follower of Jesus, but I am reassured that God knows their hearts and that He loves each and every one of them so much more than I do. One of them who checked “yes” is on my heart in particular: when going over Philippians 4:6 yesterday, this child shared about being worried for a parent’s health (and I knew that this parent had a serious illness). Some of you know that one of my parents had serious health issues last year, and it was really hard for me even though I’m in my 30’s. To think that a young child has to bear this kind of worry breaks my heart. I am praying that he now knows (or at least will know) Jesus and His comfort.

Also, I am struck by how we are here for just a couple of weeks, which means that we are reaping the fruit of those who sowed before us, and that when we leave, the Tamuras will have the task of following up with the kids and growing them in their faith. Please pray for the Tamuras in this; there are so many thorns here in Japan that can strangle young faith, and we must have the power of the Holy Spirit to provide the protection they need here. They’ve become so dear to me in just one short week, and I’ll be praying very hard for them all.

BTW, as soon as I get access to one of the cameras that took our group photo, I’ll post it. These kids are really, really cute.





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