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Thank you for praying for us as we continue to prepare for ministry in Japan! The past few months have been exceptionally busy and productive on the training front. At this point, I'm happy to report that ALL of our required training is complete, and the only thing standing between us and the field (humanly speaking) is the remaining 50% of our support. More on that in our final request, but I have some other things to ask you to lift up as well...
First, we want to thank God for the ways he's been answering our prayers. The most recent example occurred last week at the "Living in Grace" (LIG) conference we attended. We asked you to pray for the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts and marriage, and He did. Dr. Kooistra's talks were like cool water to our weary souls. Gina and I were both able to openly share personal struggles we were having during sessions with our small group and mentors. During the week, the Spirit showed me how I've been relying on my own strength to raise these funds and prepare for the mission field instead of resting my weight in what Christ has done (and is doing) in, for, and through me. That (of course) has led to periods of deep fear and a sense of hopelessness. As my friend Steve likes to say, "I seem to remember having forgotten this before!" I'm so thankful for the gift of repentance and rest...and both grateful and amazed by God's loving patience with me! So, thank you for praying, friends! Please keep it up knowing that God hears you and is pleased to answer your prayers!
This week, I'm in Izmir, Turkey (modern day Ephesus) at MTW's LEAD conference. Leaders from all over world have converged here to strategize about how to work more closely with national leaders in our respective countries. There seems to be a real sense expectation that God is doing big things in many of our regions - Japan included. Would you pray for us as we meet this week? This would also be a natural time to ask you to join us in praying that God would raise up Japanese elders and pastors to work alongside of our teams in Nagoya, Chiba, and Tokyo. Pray that God would use this week to solidify relationships among American missionaries and our national partners - and for wisdom as we look to the future.
Finally, please pray for God to raise up new financial partners this fall. Over the past three months, Gina and I have devoted a lot our energy to training. That's been necessary, but it's also meant that we haven't seen a lot of recent progress on the fundraising front. This Saturday, I'll be making a presentation to the South Coast Presbytery in California (flying there directly from this conference in Turkey). Would you ask God to bless that time - and to give us energy to hit the ground running in NC upon my return? We love you all and thank God for your partnership with us through your prayers!
Jeremy, Gina, Joshua
Josiah, and Garrett