Thursday, December 23, 2010

December 2010 Newsletter

In This Edition:
  • The Humiliation of Christmas
  • Christmas in Japan
  • Answered Prayers
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Thursday, October 21, 2010

October 2010 Newsletter & Prayer List

In This Edition:
  • A Counter-Cultural Message
  • Interesting Opportunities in Japan
  • Prayer Requests
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Monday, September 6, 2010

August 2010 Newsletter & Prayer List

In This Edition:
  • Summer in Review
  • Prayer Requests
  • Global Missions Conference
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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

July 2010 Newsletter & Prayer List

In This Edition:
  • My Life as an Infant & Life Lessons
  • Prayer Requests
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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

June 2010 Newsletter & Prayer List

In This Edition:
  • Chasing After the Wind - Finding Purpose in Life
  • Prayer Requests


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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

May 2010 Newsletter & Prayer List

Included in this (2 page) Edition:
  • 10th Anniversary of Makuhari Megumi Church
  • "Open House" English Ministry Update
  • "Crossway" College Ministry Concert/Coffee House
  • Gospel Choir Concert
  • A Place to Call "Home"
  • Financial Update
  • Because You Asked (Answering Questions)


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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Answer to Prayers

Thank you to all who prayed for the 2nd monthly bi-lingual worship service! It means a lot of me that so many of you prayed! Here's a report of how it went tonight:

  • PCA Elder Bob Drews preached this evening on Psalm 65, with the sermon title: "True Satisfaction Comes from True Worship." He clearly preached the gospel, showing how Jesus Christ paid the penalty for our sins and offers heaven as a free gift. Worship songs in both English and Japanese supported the sermon and directed our hearts toward the living Creator God.
  • Attendance this evening was around 40 people, most of whom were either members of the Makuhari church or regular attenders. There was one first-time guest -- a woman from the neighborhood who saw our flyers, checked out the church's website (http://www.kmch.com), and decided to worship with us. Turns out that she is already a Christian but was unable to worship with her church this morning. There were also two brothers who are not Christians. "Yuki" is 25 and has been attending the Makuhari church for about a year. He told me last week that he would like to become a Christian soon, but he wants to be sure that his decision is not only in his head but also in his heart. He is very involved at the church, but still struggling with taking the big step of placing his trust fully in Jesus Christ. Yuki took his 16 year old brother with him this evening as well; last Sunday morning was his first time attending anything at the church. Please pray for these young men that God will work in their hearts and bring them both to a saving relationship with Him.

Please continue to pray that God will direct us at Makuhari Church as we seek to reach out to the lost. Pray that others will come next month, or perhaps even to the traditional morning worship services. And pray that we will be focused more on following God's leading than on numbers. We would certainly like to see more people attend, but we don't want to equate numbers with success, but instead we want to be faithful kingdom workers.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Prayer Request for Bi-Lingual Worship Service

Dear Friends and Family,

Would you please join me in prayer regarding a Bi-Lingual Worship Service this Sunday? The Makuhari Megumi Church to which I have been assigned as an English teacher is holding its second monthly Bi-Lingual Worship Service this Sunday, May 9. I've been told that about 25 people attended the first service last month, including several people who had never been to church before.

This service is targeting both Japanese people and foreigners (from many countries), as there are a good number of foreigners in this part of the city of Chiba, just outside of Tokyo.

To publicize the Bi-Lingual Worship Service, many people from the church distributed flyers into the mailboxes of many apartment buildings this past Sunday. Please pray that God will use these to draw curious, hurting, and hungry people to worship Him in this nation where so little praise is given to the Creator God.

Regarding the Worship Service:
  • Please pray that the music will touch people's hearts and open them to the preaching of the Word and the speaking of the Holy Spirit.
  • Pray that the preaching of the Word will be blessed and will break people of their sinful desire to "do it on their own" but instead to trust Jesus Christ for what He has done for their salvation.
THANK YOU!

P. S. - The service is on Sunday at 5:30 p.m., 14 hours ahead of US Central Time -- 3:30 a.m. Sunday your time. You may want to pray on Saturday evening before you go to bed!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

April 2010 Newsletter & Prayer List

My First Newsletter FROM Japan Includes:
  • First Days in Japan
  • Financial Update
  • Prayer List
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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Visa Update

Dear Friends & Family,
Praise God with me that all went well in Atlanta! I dropped off my visa application on Monday at the Japanese consulate and was told “it will be ready tomorrow morning” – and it was! From the consulate, I drove to Twin Lakes Conference Center just south of Jackson for the “Twin Lakes Fellowship” (pastors’ conference). It’s a good thing that I once audited a seminary class or I would feel completely out of place! (That's a joke;  I did feel completely out of place!)

Prior to arriving in Atlanta this past weekend, I had a good trip to Florida as well. I spent Thursday evening with college friends Anthony & Sally Jo Roorda in Tallahassee. We walked through an Easter “Walk-about” at an Alliance church. There were a number of vignettes of Jesus’ ministry, the Lord’s Supper, Gethsemane, the trial, crucifixion, and resurrection. It was an excellent way to renew in my own heart what Christ did for my sake and yours. On Friday, I visited my college roommate, Ron Vanderwey, and his wife Connie in the West Palm Beach area. As you may recall from my previous post, Connie has been battling cancer since November – a recurrence of the cancer she had four years ago. She looked great and is feeling pretty good as she is at home with a weekly visit from a hospice nurse. Please pray for them and their two pre-teen children.

I spent Sunday and Monday with my oldest brother’s family in Atlanta. His son, Nathan, moved there in November with his wife Stephanie, and nearly the entire family joined us there from the Pacific Northwest for Spring Break. It was great to see them before heading off to Japan next week. I also feel a little more Southern as I visited Stone Mountain for my first time!

Financial Update:
Although I have had a few additional pledges come in over the last week, I also lost some support that I thought had been committed. This brings me to $800/month from being fully funded. Please continue to pray that God will provide full funding. I am praying that this will happen by Tuesday when I depart for Japan, but am confident that God will provide in His own timing. Please consider how you might financially partner with me as well as I seek to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ among the Japanese people.


Six days until departure . . . !

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

March 31 Update

Dear Friends & Family,

Just a quick update, a few prayer requests, and an invitation:

Updates:

  • I have purchased airline tickets for Japan! I will be departing from Atlanta on Tuesday, April 13 and arriving in Japan on Wednesday, April 14.
  • Additional gifts and pledges have been coming in, bringing me to 88% of my two-year budget, or $600 per month shy of 100% funded!

Prayer Requests:

  • My college roommate’s wife is battling cancer. Please pray for them (Ron & Connie) and their two pre-teen children. Pray that God would bring healing to her body and grace to their family as they go through a very difficult time.
  • I will be driving to South Florida on Thursday to visit Ron & Connie, and then to Atlanta to apply for my visa at the Japanese consulate. Please pray for:

o Safety on the roads,

o God’s presence during my Florida visit,

o That the Japanese consulate will readily approve my visa.

o I will be staying several days in Atlanta with my nephew and his wife. My brother, sister-in-law, and their other three children will all be visiting as well, making for a full, but fun two-bedroom apartment. Pray for peace and love!

Invitation:

  • My friend Bryan Gueltig, who has been very gracious in opening his home to me these last several months while I’ve been raising support, is hosting a farewell party for me on Saturday, April 10. This is a bonfire, come-and-go-as-you-like event from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. If you’re in the Jackson area (or would like to be!) and would like to stop by, I would love to see you!

o Drinks and s’mores will be provided; please bring a snack to share, if you like.

o If you plan to attend, please RSVP to either my email or to gueltig4@gmail.com for planning purposes.

Thank you for your prayers, encouragement, and support!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Update: Funds Coming In, & Ticket Bought!

Dear Friends & Family,

First, praise God with me that additional funds have been pledged since the last posting just two days ago, bringing me within $875 per month of full funding! A number of people have contacted me to say they would like to contribute, but have not yet specified an amount. If you would like to join in the effort, please let me know!

Second, I purchased airline tickets for Japan this afternoon! I will be flying out on April 13, arriving in Japan on April 14!

Thank you for your continued prayers, encouragement, and support!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Departing Soon for Japan!

Dear Friends & Family,

Praise Report:
I have exciting news! You will receive my April Newsletter FROM JAPAN, the Lord willing! I have been given permission to depart for Japan on the second week of April!

Urgent Prayer Request:
However, I am only at 78% of my two-year budget. In order to allow me to depart for Japan, MTW slashed my budget to bare bones and then also has the assurance of my team in Japan that they will cover the remainder of my unmet financial needs, should I not be able to raise the full original amount.

Why must I arrive by the second week of April? Because a new session of English classes begins in April and the Tokyo team is in dire need for me to teach six of these classes. Please take a moment and read the following note from Sally Dangler, the Team Coordinator in Japan, regarding this work:

Dear Friends of Brent,

Every Saturday morning in Oyumino, Japan there is a small group of businessmen who gather to study English. One of the men is a cardiac surgeon, another is a nuclear engineer, others are in the corporate world but when they gather, work is set aside and they enjoy the challenge of improving their English and finding out a little bit more of what is in the Bible. While they all participate in the English class, several of them “come to life” when the Bible discussion starts. They want to know more about the God who is Himself perfect and yet offers forgiveness to those who fail. In this country where there is zero tolerance for mistakes and little hope of forgiveness, this is refreshing news. From classes like this we have seen many people take steps toward deeper understanding and eventually trusting Jesus as Lord and Savior.

There are two classes just like this in Makuhari, Japan that need a teacher. The mission team here thinks that Brent, with his friendly demeanor, caring personality and bold trust in the God of the Bible will do a great job at leading these classes. We also look forward to his extensive help with the accounting work as well as outreach through choirs and college ministry.

Please help him to get here. He needs your prayer and he needs financial support. If you are able to make even a small monthly pledge please let Brent and Mission to the World know soon. We are planning on Brent joining us by the second week of April and are praying that God will raise up the remainder of the support he needs.

Thank you for your involvement in God’s kingdom work and for your consideration of this need.

Sally Dangler
Team Coordinator
Tokyo/Chiba Church Planting Team

Would you please pray:

  • That God will raise up the remaining $1,147 in monthly support needed for me to be at full funding?
  • Ask God whether He might be calling you to join me as a financial partner? Perhaps you’ve given a one-time gift; would you consider becoming a monthly partner? Even small gifts add up quickly.
  • For my final weeks in the States. There is much to accomplish, including: Driving to Atlanta to get my visa to enter Japan (pray that there are no problems with this). Packing for two years in Japan, and all that entails. Selling my car.

I will be keeping you up to date more regularly in these next several weeks as more details are worked out and as prayer needs arise. THANK YOU for your friendship, prayers, and support. I will not be going to Japan alone, but as each of you has influenced my life I will be taking you with me in these various ways.

For Christ and His Glory,
Brent Kooi

Thursday, March 11, 2010

March 11 Update

Dear Friends,

Shortly after posting the March Newsletter yesterday, I spoke with one of my teammates in Japan. She stated that they are considering it "high priority" to have me in Japan by the second week of April! This is exciting, and a little scary at the same time! Why the second week of April? Because a new term of "Open House" English classes begins the first week of April. The team is planning to cover my six classes for the first week, but really needs me to be there by the second week.

I also learned that I will be teaching at the Presbyterian Church in Makuhari. This is part of the city of Chiba, but is a unique location as it is on land created by filling in a small portion of Tokyo Bay. For that reason it is also called "The New City." It's also right up against the city of Tokyo. Google it, if you like; you may find some interesting things, including a photo similar to the one used as the header to this blog -- I took the photo at a park in Makuhari in 2007!

PRAYER NEED:
PLEASE PRAY with me that God will provide the remaining 23% of the support I need to depart in one month! Specifically, I still need approximately $1200 per month. TWELVE individuals giving $100 per month would send me to Japan! But smaller amounts also quickly add up with the gifts of other supporters. Perhaps you are able to contribute $10 per month, or $25 . . . . Please prayerfully consider whether God might be leading you to partner with me in sharing the gospel in the largest unreached people group in the entire world.

THANK YOU for your prayers, encouragement, and support!

For Christ and His Glory,
Brent Kooi

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

March 2010 Newsletter & Prayer List

Included in this edition:
  • Golden Opportunity to Reach Japan (Christ Bible Institute's New Opportunity)
  • Prayer: (Answers & Requests)
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Friday, February 19, 2010

February 2010 Newsletter & Prayer List

Included in this edition:
  • "The Very Rocks Will Cry Out" (Gospel Music in Japan)
  • Spring Desserts
  • Prayer -- Answered, and Requests (including upcoming dates)
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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

January 2010 Newsletter & Prayer List

Included in this edition:
  • Desperate for the Grace of God
  • Travel Update -- Texas & Washington
  • Financial Update -- God of Calling, God of Provision
  • Prayer List
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