Wednesday, July 13, 2016

(From June 5, 2016)

Our's is the Victory

May was a difficult month for my family, bringing me to Canada two times. After months of inflammation and pain in one breast, my sister, Denise, was diagnosed with "inflammatory breast cancer" in April. The cancer spread quickly, and by early May, I flew to Edmonton, Alberta to spend precious time with my sister and her family. Denise had undergone one round of chemotherapy about aweek earlier, and was hospitalized soon after due to her body's reaction to the toxins. By the time I arrived, it had been determined that treatment would be more harmful than beneficial, and Denise was placed on "palliative" care to make her comfortable.

Although tears were shed, it was an encouraging week to see the love of the church community for my sister and her family. And I was especially encouraged by the peace that Denise demonstrated. Philippians 4:6-7 says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Although in physical pain, and not wanting to leave her family, Denise exuded that peace that only God can give.

I spent one week in Edmonton, joined the last day by my oldest brother and his wife. My last couple of hours with Denise were difficult, as morphine controlled her pain, but made communication a struggle. Not knowing whether I would see her again here on earth made saying "good-bye" difficult; but I left her with the words "See you soon, either here on earth or in heaven."

Two days after returning to Osaka, Denise passed away. I was able to return to Canada to be with my family for her funeral. One particular photo from the memorial service showed her walking arm in arm with our Dad on her wedding day. As we lost our Dad just thirteen months earlier, it was a beautiful reminder that they are together again in the presence of God Himself.

We celebrate that Denise is no longer in pain, but has a new body, youthful and full of energy with which to praise God for all eternity.

"'Oh death, where is your victory?
Oh death, where is your sting?'
The sting of death is sin, and
the power of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God,
Who gives us the victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ."

1 Corinthians 15:55-57

I want to thank so many of you for your prayers for Denise and my family. Please continue to lift up her family, including her husband, Jans (pronounced "Yahnts"). They have ten children, five of whom are still at home, ages 8-20. Four of these children were adopted, including three siblings from Canada, and one teenager from the Ukraine. It is difficult to understand how God can take someone who seems so badly needed here on earth. But God promises to care for His children and to use all things for our good remain true, even when life is so difficult. Thanks be to God.



Recruiting Stateside

I'll be spending three weeks in the States later this month. Ten days will be in Iowa with my Mom, and then ten days in Alabama (attending the PCA General Assembly) and Mississippi to recruit faculty, staff, and church planters for the Genesis team. Please be in prayer for this effort. We cannot open a college without faculty. It's difficult to recruit faculty without a permanent president. And we need church planters to plant churches!

I have a meeting on Saturday, June 18 with a potential GIC president. Please keep this in your prayers!

Additionally, I will be looking for volunteers to serve on our "Friends of Genesis International" foundation. These individuals will advocate for Genesis and help raise funds for the opening and operation of the college. Some may serve in an advisory capacity, while others actively travel and meet with potential donors. While this is a volunteer, unpaid position, expenses will be covered for GIC related work.

Please reply to this email if you are interested in serving in any of these ways, or if you know someone who may be interested. And please keep this need in your prayers.


Calendar

June 8
Flight home to
Sioux Falls, SD

June 12
Speaking at First PCA
Hospers, IA
9:30 a.m. Worship
10:50 a.m. Sunday School

June 18
Flight to Mobile, AL
Meeting with a potential GIC President

June 19
Speaking at First PCA
Biloxi, MS
9:30 a.m. Sunday School
10:55 a.m. Worship

June 21-24
PCA General Assembly
Mobile, AL

June 26
Update at Highlands PCA
Ridgeland, MS
10:50 a.m. Worship

June 27
Recruiting at RTS Jackson
Free lunch for students

June 28
Return to Osaka



Prayer Points

Praise God for His grace in the life of my sister, Denise Pops, and for His saving grace on her life. Pray for her husband and children as they adjust to life without her, and depend upon God for His comfort and sustaining grace. Your prayers for my mother are also appreciated, having lost both her husband, last year, and now her daughter.

Pray that God to bring a new president to Genesis, as well as faculty, church planters, and Genesis Foundation volunteers.

Pray for our GIC missionaries who are raising support. Specifically:

Frank Harrell: Hopes to arrive in Osaka in August.

Jesse & Candie Rose: Hope to arrive in August.

Tim Bentson: Hopes to arrive in September.

Daniel & Carla Gibson: Hope to arrive 2017.

Jeff Edwards:  Hopes to arrive 2017.


Pray for our monthly Genesis Cafe events, and our August English seminar, that God will bring us students who will be open to the gospel.



Culture Corner



Japan has a total of 6,852 islands. It's total area is slightly bigger than the state of Montana (red).

73% of the land is mountainous, comparable in size to the state of Colorado (brown).

The population of 127 million (40% of the US) is comparable to the US's eastern seaboard, Appalachia, and eastern Great Lakes states (blue).

If all the cities were moved next to each other, they would take up about the same space as Vermont & New Hampshire (yellow).

The arable farm land is comparable to Rhode Island, Massachusetts, & Connecticut (green).


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