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Newsletter July 2019 • Japan Missions

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Hello family and friends!

In this newsletter we would like to share with you what the Lord continues to do through the two mission teams that have come in the last two months, as well as what is coming up!

Our  second team that came in July was composed by our relatives and one friend. With their coming, we were able to do outreach activities at our home, at the nursing home that opened up to us last month, share testimonies and encouragement with the church,  fellowship, etc. 

At a meeting with activities for small children with their mamas, Dillon (19) shared with a group of young moms about his relationship with Christ and with his mom, pointing them to Jesus and also making his mama proud. That showed them a beautiful picture of what a family relationship could look like when submitted to the Word of God.

One day, we divided into groups and delivered 2,000 flyers to mailboxes for an outreach concert that our church was hosting on  Friday. There were many other invitations done in different ways and to our surprise, the room was so full that we needed extra chairs in the back!

Other than all the hard work they did, we had a lot of time to spend together, laugh and have deep talks. Words can not express how important that was as we continue to figure things out as a family in the face of the many challenges of being in a world so different than what we have ever known as a family. We were even able to go out as a couple for two days without having to worry about kids! We didn’t even remember what that was like… LOL

Part of our vision during our time in Machida is to provide support and encouragement to the local church, while trying to refrain from just doing things ourselves. As we study and serve here, we continue to prepare our family mentally and emotionally for the next BIG move to Nagasaki, with a lot of prayer.

Since so much has happened lately, we’ll try to keep this short with only the main things and straight to the point:

• Miss Reiko (a leader in the church), has not only been surprised by God’s favor in seeing open doors at the schools but is now, continuing to follow up in relationships for future outreach activities. Just the other day, a teacher told her: “Church is a good place!” and then expressed her desire to see more activities in the future. 

• Soon after the first team left in June, Joshua had a door open to do volunteer work at one of the schools. So once a week, he is there with the kids of elementary school. It’s been a good training for him!

• At our last leaders’ meeting, we discussed about the coming and results of the mission teams visit. Among many things discussed, there was a sense of deep gratitude for the servant heart they came with, the energy and joy to serve even under challenging circumstances they faced. The leadership’s desire: We want people to come every year!  

• Wednesday evening’s discipleship studies, prayer and worship led by Pastor Ogawa continues through the summer without a break and is seeing  participation grow little by little. He’s also been doing Bible studies on Sunday mornings before the service.

• Kai (the young man who came back from Bible school) continues to serve and believe for more. He was greatly encouraged by the teams coming and we have had many long and meaningful conversations with him about ideas and creative ways to do church within the context we have. Pray for him —  God will still do great things through this young man!

• We had the privilege of ministering our first family seminar in Japan at a Brazilian church this past month!

Joshua graduated high school and has been working at a convenience store, serving at a church’s coffee shop twice a week, serving at an elementary school helping with English classes, and has held a small job doing posts on facebook for a travel agency. And now he is planning on going to a Discipleship/Mission school at YWAM (Youth With A Mission) in Taiwan soon! Join us to celebrate his graduation following the link below. 


As far as family goes, we do have challenges due to so many changes but we’ve also had many special moments that we are thankful for.  One of those things is that our four older kids went to an MK Retreat and they came back full of joy, having been in a context of other kids they can identify with.

Our kids are on summer vacation now ( part of July and August) and Israel will be coming back home for homeschool after summer is over. Johann and Olivia will continue sharing time between homeschool and public school while Dominique plans to keep up with the public school until she graduates next March, after which she will finish high school at home.

For us, in a country with basically no reference about church nor what to expect about it, it has been an immense privilege and a great responsibility to be the “first contact” for many people as ambassadors of Christ.

Since we arrived, we have sought to share the Gospel in various ways, pointing people to Christ. We have spoken about joy, peace, hope and love…but we see that there is great power when, whether with words or actions, people do not only hear the message but sense the LOVE of Christ though His people.

And that reminds us of  1 Corinthians 13.

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

God loves people very much. And that’s why He gave us a message to share with them. If He loves them so much — to the point of giving his only Son and sending us to tell people about it — why would we do it in any other way but with the kind of love that displays God’s heart?

How did God’s love reach you?

How has God’s love flown through you?

Demonstrating the kind of love that represents God is not a small thing, neither is it easy or simple. But those things that are impossible for man is possible for God!