Monday, July 28, 2014

Imminent Return to Japan

God is blessing me and providing the financial support required for my return to ministry in Japan! It is exciting to see how He is providing new ministry partners -- both individuals and churches.

With a monthly budget of $7,475, of which $7,334 has been given or pledged, I need just $141 more in monthly pledges! Some of you may be thinking that my salary is rather high for a missionary. I can assure you it is not, as most of this money is for expenses that never see my wallet. Japan is an expensive place to live; rent and utilities for a small apartment will take a large chunk out of this budget. Language school takes another bite. Train fares, insurance, and ministry expenses take the final large portions of this budget. Although I may have preferred for God to send me to a cheaper nation, God is sovereign over my call and has called His people to go into ALL the world with the gospel, not just to the economically feasible nations.

Upon my return to Japan, I will spend the first year in full-time language school. To do this, I need to depart by the end of August. For this to happen, I need another three people to partner with me in the gospel by pledging an average of $50 per month. WILL YOU STEP UP AND BE ONE OF THESE GOSPEL PARTNERS? To do so, just send me an email saying how much you would like to pledge per month. While monthly partners are the most helpful, you can also partner with me through a one-time contribution. These gifts are distributed over 48 months, bringing down the amount needed from monthly partners. You, too, can send me an email for more information regarding how to make a contribution.

THANK YOU to everyone who is currently giving, has given, or has pledged to give. You are a vital part of the spreading of the gospel around the world.

Five-Week USA Trip

Following two weeks in Iowa with family, I left for a five-week trip on July 16. My travels
have taken me through Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York. Currently in New York City, I will continue through Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Virginia, and the Carolinas. I am sharing the vision for Genesis International College at churches each Sunday, as well as with many old friends during the weekdays. At the conclusion of the trip, on August 20-22, I will be attending meetings at the MTW offices in Atlanta. I will then return my borrowed car to very gracious friends in South Carolina, and then fly to Chicago for several days of meetings with GIC president Joseph Kim. If the needed support has been pledged by then, I hope to fly out of Chicago for Osaka, Japan on August 28.

Time with Family in Iowa

Leaving Mississippi on June 30, I spent two weeks with family in Iowa. In addition to my parents and one brother's family who live in Iowa, my brother from Washington state and my sister and her family from Alberta, Canada were able to join us for a great small-town Iowa Fourth of July as well as just reconnecting as a family. This was the first time in nine years that "the original six" family members were all together.

Praise & Prayer
  • Praise God for a wonderful time with my family in Iowa this last two weeks.
  • Praise God for the opportunity to share the vision of GIC with several audiences the last few weeks, including:
    • Iowa Presbytery
    • West Friesland PCA & Faith PCA; Ackley, IA
    • Inwood Christian Reformed Church; Inwood, IA
    • South Grandville Christian Reformed Church; Grandville, MI
    • Church of the Redeemer (PCA); Cortland, NY
  • Praise God for additional ministry partners, both church and individuals, including:
    • Faith PCA of Ackley, IA
    • Grace PCA of Sioux Falls, SD
    • Bay Street PCA of Hattiesburg, MS
  • Pray for the remainder of my five-week northeast USA trip, for safety and a great time with many old friends.
  • Pray that the remaining 2% of my support will come in soon so that I can purchase a ticket to Osaka. Pray whether God might be leading you to partner with me in the gospel in this way.
Calendar
  • August 3:
    Columbia Presbyterian Church (OPC)
    Baltimore, MD
    10 a.m. worship service
  • August 10:
    Uptown Community Church (PCA)
    New York City, NY
    10:30 a.m. worship service
  • August 17:
    Lexington Presbyterian Church (PCA)
    Lexington, SC
    Worship at Lexington PCA but no presentation; home meeting and GIC presentation on Monday evening.
  • August 20-22:
    Meetings at MTW headquarters in Atlanta.
  • August 25-27:
    Meetings in Chicago, IL and processing of visa at Japanese consulate.
  • August 28:
    Departure goal, flying out from Chicago.
Culture Corner

A hallmark of Japanese summers is the "matsuri" festivals. Nearly any weekend, one can find a nearby matsuri. Although originally associated with the Shinto religion, these festivals are largely secular and an excuse for people to dress in traditional summer "yukata," eat traditional Japanese "fair food," drink beer, and most importantly, to enjoy "hanabi," or watching fireworks.