Our monthly newsletter is being created a few days late this month, but I’m not sorry for the circumstances behind it. On the contrary, I am grateful for them, for they are two of our dear friends and supporters who came to visit us as part of their trip to Japan.
I have known Haj and Eiko for 30 years, from the time I first started attending church. Eiko is an amazing encourager. She encouraged me as a young writer in my high school years and continues to encourage our family as we serve here in Japan. Haj is a wonderful teacher who has the ability to make anyone, and I mean anyone, laugh. His sense of humor crosses all cultural boundaries and we have had the privilege of serving with him on several short term teams here in Japan.
We spent a few short days catching up with Haj and Eiko over this past Golden Week weekend. They attended our church and were able to have some good conversations with our pastors and learn about the vision of our church. Pastor Seiji was excited to interview Eiko about her job as part of the dissertation he is working on.
Haj and Eiko serve us back at our home church in a role we call “advocates”. These are special people in our ministry who have passion for the work we are doing and help to spread that information throughout the other members of the congregation. We funnel special prayer requests and other important information through our advocates.
The advocate role is a special one for us because we know that our advocates are making sure we are being supported in prayer and remembered by the churches who support us. In a sense, they are our anchor to the resources of the praying church in America. We are so grateful for each of our advocates like Haj and Eiko.
But a visit from our advocates is special indeed because it enables them to see first-hand the work we are doing and meet some of the people we are serving and serving with. We believe this helps build a stronger connection with our supporting churches and a more tangible understanding of what God is doing through our ministry.
For those serving as advocates of our ministry like Haj and Eiko, we thank you for the special blessing you give to us. And we invite you to visit us and spend some time alongside our ministry, meeting our local partners, and sharing in a part of our lives here in Japan.