Archives For 2010

December 2010 Prayer Letter

December 14, 2010

Dear Friends and Family,

Merry Christmas to all of you! We hope this letter finds you well. It has been an exciting and busy two months since we heard from TEAM Japan about the change in support requirement. We have set a target date of January 25th for our departure, depending on how long Chad’s Visa approval takes. We are planning to spend the holidays with Chad’s family (Christmas with his mother in West Virginia and New Years with his brother in Illinois).

Support Update:

We are so thankful for how the Lord has been moving in people’s hearts to provide our support. As you can see from the pie chart below, our financial support has increased up to about 79% since our last letter! There are also several additional people who are prayerfully considering to take us on in the new year. We also have received some one-time gifts that will be used for transition cost as well as subsidizing some work expenses. We are trusting in God’s continued work to bring about the rest of our monthly support. We would like to take a moment to thank, from the bottom of our hearts, all the churches and individuals that have come alongside us through prayer, financial support and other ways of encouragement for the last two and a half years.

As we look back over these last two and a half years of deputation, we are absolutely in awe of God’s unshakable divine plan and promise under any difficult circumstance. What seemed like hindrances — Chad’s unemployment, family adjustment with our son’s birth, Chad’s mother’s illness, and our inadequacy — could not hinder God from fulfilling His promise of provision to bring us to the field. We came out of this whole process with our faith greatly strengthened in His sovereignty and all sufficiency.

Moving and Transition:

This will be the first time we have moved in ten years of marriage and it may be the biggest one that we will ever experience! Going through all our belongings and deciding what to do with them has been a challenge for our whole family. During this time of transition, please pray that God will continue to grow in us a heart of utter dependence upon Him for His direction, wisdom, provision, and strength in every step of the way. Meanwhile please also pray that we will be able to finish our life here in the states well regarding relationships and ministry work that the Lord has entrusted to us over the years.

Having to grasp the reality of leaving dear friends and family in the states is another difficult thing that we are dealing with. There are many people that we would love to meet with, but time is very short. In January we are planning to sell our car, so travel will be limited to the Dayton area. If you are in the area and would like to visit with us before our departure, please let us know.

As we also look to the unknown challenges of our future, the Lord has reminded us of the importance of our continued abiding relationship with Him. Please continue to remember us in your prayers that we may walk in obedience to what the Lord has taught us over the years in preparation for our service to Him.

Prayer Requests:

  1. Please pray that God will continue to grow in us a heart of utter dependence upon Him for His direction, provision, strength, and wisdom in every step of the way during this time of transition.
  2. Please pray for God’s continued work to bring about the rest of our monthly support.
  3. Please pray that we will be able to finish our life here in the states well regarding relationships and ministry work that He has entrusted to us over the years.
  4. Please pray that as we look to the unknown challenges of our future, we may walk in obedience to what the Lord has taught us over the years in preparation for our service to Him.

Sincerely,

Chad and Noriko Snow

Monthly Support chart

Update: On Friday(12/17/10) we received the word from TEAM Japan that Chad’s Visa was approved by the Japanese Government and that we could purchase airline tickets. We have ordered tickets for January 26th to leave from Dayton to Japan.

Exciting News

October 14, 2010
Dear Friends and Family,

We have some important and exciting news to share with you. On October 3, we received an email from the TEAM Japan office. In it they shared with us that the need for computer support has increased greatly this past year, and as a result they have proposed to us a reduction in our monthly budget by about 40 percent for the first two years of our service in Japan, in order to get us to the field sooner. After that two years we will have to return to the U.S. and continue to raise the remainder of our support. The majority of this reduction is in the living cost (living cost is separate from housing) and work funds. This will require us to make personal financial sacrifices in the field, yet we are trusting that God will enable us to live under these circumstances as He has been faithfully doing these past years since Chad’s unemployment.

As you know, we’ve been praying about our support raising. Many of you have joined us in those prayers. As we prayerfully evaluated what we have brought before the Lord, especially in the past few months, we believe that this new path is what He has shown us as an answer to those prayers, therefore He is leading us to move forward in it.

The new budget will bring our current support level to about 67 percent. We are targeting to be in Japan sometime in February, which will allow us to get settled before our daughter, Yuki, would start school in April. Upon arriving in Japan, Chad will immediately start his 12 week intensive language training in Karuizawa (the location of TEAM’s language training center). After that we will move to our permanent location in Tokyo near the TEAM Japan’s main office and begin to fulfill the ministry vision that God has given us: that TEAM missionaries and Japanese Christians will become more effective and efficient in establishing reproducing churches in Japan by the support and encouragement provided through our God-given abilities and gifts.

To make this goal of leaving by February, we still need to raise $1,787 per month to bring us to 100 percent. Would you please prayerfully consider seeking and asking God whether He will lead you to be a partner with us for the furtherance of the gospel in the country of Japan through a monthly financial support?

Sincerely,

Chad and Noriko Snow

Monthly Support chart

September 2010 Prayer Letter

September 13, 2010
Dear Friends and Family,

We hope this letter finds you well. Our daughter, Yuki, started kindergarten on August 26th. She is attending JFK elementary school in Kettering, Ohio. Yoshiki, our son, just turned seven months and received a healthy report from the doctor last month. Chad’s mother is recovering slowly from her liver transplant surgery and is currently living with his brother in Illinois. We had the opportunity to spend a week with her and our nieces while Chad’s brother and wife were on vacation.

Support Update:

We took two big deputation trips this summer to Michigan and Illinois. In these trips God gave us an opportunity to present our ministry at two churches and one small group. Throughout the last two years of deputation we have prayed that God will lead us to the very churches and individuals that He has chosen to be partners with us and to touch eternally through our sharing. It has been such a joy and blessing to meet all the people that the Lord has led us to as an answer to those prayers. We ask you to continue to persevere with us in your prayers by faith that God will mightily work through them by bringing eternal fruit from the churches and individuals that we just visited this summer along with all the others that we have had a privilege to share about our ministry over the last two and half years of deputation, and that out of them He will raise many servants of His who will join in the ministry.

We are very thankful for the increase that the Lord has brought about in our monthly financial support this past three months. However, our monthly support has not been sufficient enough to meet our goal to leave for Japan by the end of this year. As we also mentioned in our March prayer letter, we have been living off of our savings since Chad’s unemployment in March 2009. Given these circumstances, we have started to pray asking God whether He would direct Chad to look for work to help sustain our lives during our continued work of deputation. We consider this a very big decision to make since finding a job could take some of his time away from support raising. We would appreciate your prayer that the Lord will make His direction clear to us.

Even though the support raising has been such a rewarding process in growing our faith, it can get discouraging at times. At the beginning of our deputation two and half years ago, our TEAM appointee adviser encouraged us to study God’s word and write out our philosophy of support raising. Based upon our study we summed up our philosophy in these words: “We believe that the ministry of giving is the grace of God, therefore we will fully trust in His work through us in the lives of people to bring about our support.” Recently we had an opportunity to review it, which bought a tremendous encouragement to our hearts. Please pray that we will continue to set before us our philosophy, letting His word direct and establish every step of our future support-raising work.

Japan:

Have you seen the news about Japan lately? The Japanese currency, Yen, has surged to its 15 year high, causing the government to make some serious decisions about the future of the Japanese economy. Along with that, in August China surpassed Japan as the second largest economy in the world. Hearing about this economic crisis and other trials has grown in us a greater burden for the salvation of the Japanese people and desire to get to the field as soon as possible. Please intercede with us on behalf of Japan that during this trying, yet critical time, as God’s servants and instruments of His work of salvation in this country, missionaries and Japanese churches will rise in unity, catch His vision and join in it, and that many lost Japanese people will come to God for salvation.

Prayer Requests:

  1. Please pray that God will mightily work in bringing eternal fruit from the churches and individuals with whom we have had a privilege to share about our ministry over the last two and half years of deputation, and that out of them He will raise many servants of His that will join in the ministry.
  2. Please pray that the Lord will make His direction clear to us on whether Chad should look for work.
  3. Please pray that we will continue to set before us our philosophy of support raising, letting God’s word direct and establish every step of our future support-raising work.
  4. Please pray for the country of Japan that during this trying yet critical time, as God’s servants and instruments of His work of salvation in this country, missionaries and Japanese churches will rise in unity, catch His vision and join in it, and that many lost Japanese people will come to God for salvation.

Sincerely,

Chad and Noriko Snow

Monthly Support chart

June 2010 Prayer Letter

June 16, 2010
Dear Friends and Family,

We hope this letter finds you well. Our son, Yoshiki, just turned four months and is growing very big! The Lord has been very gracious to us throughout these months with the big family transition!

Update on Chad’s Mother:

We would like to thank you for all your prayers for Chad’s mother who went through a liver transplant surgery recently. She came home on May 22nd after a 79 day hospital stay. She is currently living with Chad’s brother in Illinois. Although she still has a long way to go to recover, we are praising God for how He has sustained her and Chad’s family so far for the last several months. We would appreciate your continued prayer for the Lord’s clear direction for her future care and support.

Support Raising Update:

In the previous prayer letter we mentioned two mission conferences that we were planning to attend. Both of them were an absolute blessing to our lives. At the conference held at Chad’s brother’s church in Morton, Ill., the main speaker was Joel Kaufman, a TEAM Japan missionary. Through his message and our personal interaction with his family and other missionaries, we came away with great encouragement and renewed faith in God toward our future work of deputation as well as a growing desire and urgency to get to Japan to join in His great work there. Would you join us in your prayer that God will fulfill our heart’s desire to get to the field by the end of this year?

At the end of April we attended another mission conference in New York, at Dryden Baptist Church. At this weekend-long conference, Chad was given, for the first time, an opportunity to give a short sermon. We were also able to share about Japan and its culture as well as to present the ministry to which God has called us. We received many encouraging comments from the congregation of this church about how our service impacted their lives.

Please pray for the upcoming speaking engagements in Illinois and Michigan in July that God will bring about eternal fruits in the lives of those who will hear about our ministry.

Please also pray that He will raise more opportunities for us to present our ministry during those trips.

What the Lord is Doing in Our Lives:

Fasting was a big part of what God used in our lives during our three-year journey to find His will in our ministry. Early in the journey we started fasting one day a week to seek the Lord’s direction for His calling. Not only did this fasting grow our hunger to know His will, but it continued to remind us of the journey to which He had us on. We broke that fast at the end of that three year journey when He revealed His will to us of our ministry in Japan through TEAM.

In recent months Chad has been sensing that God is leading him back to fasting. One of the things that we have been praying for since the beginning of our support raising was that through this work God would grow in us a heart of utter dependence upon Him. Chad believes that fasting, as it did in our previous journey, will remind us to humble ourselves before Him in total dependency, and that it will also grow our hunger to see God’s glory revealed through the completion of this challenging work. In May, Chad returned to fasting one day a week in response to God’s leading.

Recently Noriko started an inductive study of Exodus. As God prepared to deliver the sons of Israel from the power of the Egyptians, He repeatedly told them that through this deliverance they will come to “know that He is the LORD.” Please pray that through this study God will also bring Noriko to this very knowledge of Himself in a greater way, and that this study will serve as “instruction and encouragement” for our lives (Romans15:4), benefiting our future service in Japan for years to come.

Prayer Requests:
  1. Please pray for the Lord’s clear direction for our future care and support toward Chad’s mother.
  2. Please pray for the upcoming speaking engagements in Illinois and Michigan in July that He will bring about eternal fruits in the lives of those who will hear about our ministry.
  3. Please pray that God will raise more opportunities for us to present our ministry.
  4. Please pray that God will fulfill our heart’s desire to get to the field by the end of this year.
  5. Please pray that God will continue to grow in us a heart of utter dependence upon Him for the completion of our support raising work, and that He will use our daily study of God’s word to prepare us for our future service in Japan.

Sincerely,

Chad and Noriko Snow

Monthly Support chart

March 2010 Prayer Letter

March 11, 2010

Dear Friends and Family,

We hope this letter finds you well and that you will enjoy hearing what the Lord has been doing in the Snow family since our previous letter.

Birth of Yoshiki:

We would like to announce the birth of our second child, Yoshiki Snow, on February 7, 2010. He weighted 7 lbs and was 19 inches long. His name in Japanese means “righteous tree” which was inspired by:

Isaiah 61:3b “They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.”

Yoshiki (pronounced like yo-she-key) has been an absolute blessing to our lives and at the same time we have had to make a quite adjustment in our lives in many ways. Please pray for God’s daily strength and wisdom for us to go through this challenging transition as a family.

TEAM Japan Website:

Recently Chad had the privilege to be a part of a team of Japanese missionaries working on redesigning the TEAM Japan’s website. The website has been completed and went live on December 23, and has already been used greatly to attract new candidates for the field. Please take the time to check out the site at www.teamjapan.org.

Support Raising Update:

Support raising has been going slowly for us right now, with the birth of our second child and with Chad’s mother battling with liver cancer since October of last year. These two things have taken a lot of our time and energy over the last couple of months. Please pray that during this challenging season of our lives God will grow our utter dependence upon Him for His daily direction and His all sufficiency in our future work of deputation, and that despite of these limitations He will continue to move powerfully in the lives of churches and individuals to join us in our ministry.

Meanwhile we are attending a mission conference at Chad’s brother’s church in Morton, Illinois, at the end of March. The main speaker of the conference is Joel Kaufman, a TEAM Japan missionary. We are very excited to spend some time getting to know his family and being inspired by the message that God has laid upon the hearts of these seasoned missionaries.

At the end of April we will be traveling to Dryden, New York, for another mission conference at Dryden Baptist Church. Please pray that our service there will have an eternal impact in the lives of people.

Many people have recently asked us how we are living with Chad’s unemployment. We have found that many people assume that we are living off of our current support. Unfortunately we are unable to draw from it for living expenses until we leave for Japan. For this reason we are currently living off of our savings. We have been totally amazed by God’s faithful provision since Chad’s unemployment till now, yet at the same time because of this financial situation we are fervently praying that we will get to the field as soon as possible. Our current support comes from two churches and 26 individual families. To reach our goal of 100 percent support, we would need about 60-70 more individual families and two to three more churches. Would you consider seeking and asking God whether He would lead you to be a part of the process of getting us to the field?

Prayer Requests:

  1. Chad’s mother has been battling liver cancer since October of last year and just had a liver transplant on March 4. Please pray for her recovery and for the Lord’s wisdom on how we can best support her and family at this time.
  2. Please pray for our continued adjustment as a family upon the birth of our second child.
  3. Please pray that during this challenging season of our lives God will grow our utter dependence upon Him for His daily direction and His all sufficiency in our future work of deputation, and that despite the limitations He will continue to move powerfully in the lives of churches and individuals to join us in our ministry.

Sincerely,

Chad and Noriko Snow

Monthly Support chart
Transition Expense chart