Dear Friends and Family,
We hope this letter finds you well. Spring has arrived in Tokyo and the cherry blossoms have come and gone. Yuki started middle school at the beginning of April and Yoshiki has moved up to second grade. Thank you for particularly remembering Yuki’s adjustment into middle school. We count it as God’s work of grace in her heart that so far her excitement for this new chapter of her life seems to be overcoming her nervousness towards its challenges, and that she has enjoyed many of the new experiences at the school!
Along with his daily IT and finance support for TEAM Japan, Chad has been going through a leadership book called “The Leader’s Palette: Seven Primary Colors” by Ralph E. Enlow with his supervisor. As Chad takes various leadership roles at the office, this book and discussion with his supervisor has benefited him greatly. It has also provided them more opportunities to talk over how to improve their daily ministry at the office. As they have only a few sessions/chapters left to go over, please pray that applications of this study may lead to their greater effectiveness in supporting our fellow missionaries throughout Japan.
In our last prayer letter we shared with you how the Lord led Noriko to officially join the ministry initiative / team (Tokyo Metro Ministry Initiative or TMMI) that leads our church plant, SonRise Church. TMMI’s objective is to establish innovative churches that bring Christ to the least-reached communities of Japan’s largest metropolis.
Currently the team is made up of three long-term families and one mid-term couple. Connections made through these missionaries’ unique giftings and ministries at the SonRise Cafe (see the website) have all contributed to leading many unsaved connections to SonRise Church over the years.
Noriko went on the TMMI retreat during the spring break and it was a good time of bonding with the team through sharing, prayer and discussing the future in an extended and deeper level. As working with a team is still a learning process for Noriko, please pray for the Lord’s counsel for how to work together effectively with the team in order to grow our church to be a reproducing church glorifying to our God.
As Noriko’s main ministry focus continues to be on SonRise Church and its growth through her ministry of prayer, more and more encouraging fruits have been seen lately. It has been encouraging when unbelievers in our church recognize God’s work in the lives of His people through their reports of answered prayers every Sunday at the service!
Our mentoring ministry has been going well. Our mentees arrived in January and overall their adjustment has been going well. Recent days Noriko has helped them with the kindergarten application for their youngest daughter. Along with these kinds of practical helps, we meet with our mentees regularly and remember their prayer needs in our prayers. Please continue to pray with us that our support and encouragement may contribute in some way to our mentees’ successful transition into the very ministry that God has in store for them in the future.
We are planning on a home assignment at the end of September for six months. Although it has only been two years since our last home assignment, because of U.S. regulations to keep Noriko’s permanent resident card, we need to return to the States this soon.
After much prayer we have decided to be located in Illinois during this home assignment. Chad’s mother had a stroke soon after our last home assignment. Since we have not had the ability to help support her during her recovery, we decided to stay close to her to lend whatever help we can. At this time please pray for the Lord’s provision of our housing and that our family’s presence may be a special blessing as well as good support for Chad’s mother during our time in the U.S.
This means that we will be further away from most of you and will need to do more traveling to connect with you. Please pray for God’s special wisdom and leading on how to make our visits with our supporters as meaningful as possible!
- Please pray for Chad’s continued book study on leadership with his supervisor; that it’s applications may lead to their greater effectiveness in supporting our fellow missionaries throughout Japan.
- As working with a team is still a learning process for Noriko, please pray for the Lord’s counsel for how to work together effectively with the TMMI team in order to grow our church to be a reproducing church glorifying to our God.
- Please continue to pray for our mentoring ministry that our support and encouragement may contribute in some way to our mentees’ successful transition into the very ministry that God has in store for them in the future.
- Please pray for our preparation for the upcoming home assignment from fall, for the Lord’s provision of our housing in Illinois, and for our support for Chad’s mother during our time in the U.S.
- Please pray for God’s special wisdom and leading on how to make our visit with our supporters as meaningful as possible despite our distance.