-- REALTY CHECK --
“Dark” isn’t the first word that comes to mind when most
people think about Japan, but Japan is Spiritually desolate.
Most Japanese people have never heard the Gospel in any form.
Less than 0.5% of Japanese people profess faith in Christ,
making them the world’s 2nd largest unreached people group.
There are many cities in Japan with no church at all.
Nagoya has only one Christian church for every 22,000 residents!
2011 - The Year in Review
It seems like the past year has flown by for our family as we’ve embarked on this new adventure following Christ toward Nagoya. Looking back, the past 12 months have been some of the scariest and most exciting times we’ve ever experienced.
Just a year ago, we were finishing our last month with our beloved Grace Fellowship family. I remember having so many conflicting emotions – grief, anticipation, fear, excitement, doubt, and faith. We were as sure as we could be that the Spirit was leading us to Japan, but at the time we didn’t even know where our salary would come from during 2011. We knew that raising the amount needed for ministry in Japan would be a full-time job in itself, but we didn’t know how long it’d take for enough partners to come on board to draw a livable salary – especially in this economy. In the end, we trusted our Father to take care of us and followed Him into the unknown. Those of you who’ve been following our progress know the rest of the story. God has been so faithful and generous with us this year. Granted, there have been some tight months – but we haven’t missed a single meal. Most months, we’ve had far more than we’ve needed to get by.
Of course, much of God’s provision has come directly through those of you reading this letter. Let me say again, on behalf of our whole family, how grateful we are for all of you. You’re the main conduit through which God has shown his love to us this year, and we praise Him for raising up partners like you – we don’t take that lightly! Working together (you and us) – and in cooperation with the powerful Holy Spirit - we expect to make an eternal difference among the 2nd largest unreached population in the world! Praise God from Whom all Blessings Flow!
Our Financial Progress (and Need) for 2012
Last December, we were excited about seeing pledges for a whopping 14% of our ongoing needs for life in Japan. Today, we’ve just broken the 50% mark. Last year, only a handful of churches and individuals had heard about our calling to Nagoya – today, hundreds of Christians have heard our story and have been exposed to the great, Spiritual darkness among the Japanese. One of the things we’ve been trying to remember is that our calling to Japan isn’t something for the future. It’s present tense. Already, we’re loving the Japanese as we advocate for them and ask fellow Believers to be generous with them by sending missionaries. Before we can leave, MTW requires us to have monthly (or annual) pledges in place to cover 100% of our expected needs on the field. Although we’re anxious to move, we see the wisdom in that policy and are glad for it. Making a pledge doesn’t require signing in blood for eternity - but indicates a person’s intention to partner with us in a predictable, ongoing way. Please pray for an outpouring of new partners to pledge regular support for our first term during the first quarter of 2012!
Dec 04: Preaching at Spring Garden Community Church in Greensboro, NC.
Several families from the Nagoya team must return to the U.S. for home-assignment during 2012. Pray for responsibilities to transition smoothly and for new teammates to be able to come help (we volunteer)!
Plans for church planting among the areas hardest hit by the tsunami are progressing strongly.
Pray that we’d send next year’s Christmas Greetings from Nagoya!
At least 100 churches (including NC, CA, WA, UT, OR, and even HI) have been exposed to our calling over the past 2 months! Pray that God would raise up partners from among those.
Would you sincerely ask God if he’s leading you, your church, or your family to partner with us monthly?
Dec 6-8: Personal prayer retreat (Jeremy)
Dec 11: Preaching at Spring Garden Community Church in Greensboro, NC.
Dec 11: “Our Calling to Japan” presentation. Melton Home near Lexington, NC.
Dec 18: Preaching at Ashe Pres. Church in Jefferson, NC.
Dec 25: Merry Christmas!
We’re happy to travel almost anywhere and speak before groups of any size who are interested in knowing more about church planting in Japan. Contact us for more info or to schedule a talk!
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