A Yearful of Blessing

Recently, we compiled a summary of our ministry work for our organization’s annual report. As I went through my calendar entries and photographs from the past year, I was amazed at how easily things unfolded for us. It was as though the plans were already in place, and the only requirement for us was to participate in them. Imagine that.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~ Jeremiah 29:11

I also re-read our annual report summary from last year. One year ago, we were still finding our feet, praying about and for ministry opportunities and getting plugged in with the local Christian community. Today, we’ve found confidence in being able to live in Tokyo as residents, established several new ministries within the context of our new home church and have a diverse network of contacts within the community whom we can serve and be served by.

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Best of all, the work we have been doing has led us down the path of helping to plant a new worship service at a nearby school in the coming year as well as hosting what will likely be a very large scale English Summer Camp this coming August with a new church partner from California. Both of these things align with our overall vision of serving the community around our church and reaching the many children and young families around us.

We have truly been blessed by consistent financial partners this past year and have had full support pretty much continuously since we arrived in Japan 16 months ago. But we are prudent enough to realize that we may not always enjoy this level of support and we will need a reasonable savings in our ministry account to ensure we make it through the more challenging times.

If you are so led, would you consider a one time gift or new financial partnership with us in our ministry here in Tokyo? Instructions for supporting us can be found on this webpage.

By the way, though our annual report will be published by JEMS, our sending organization, and emailed to our church partners, if you are interested in personally receiving a copy of our report, please leave me a note in the comments and if we have your email address, I will send it to you.

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As always, we are grateful for your prayers, your encouragement, your financial support, and your love for us in Christ Jesus. We love you!

Reflecting On EC and CMC

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I’d like to say I’ve had five days to process my time at Equippers Conference and CMC West Coast last week, but the fact of the matter is I came home right into my new job with WCF (my official start date was Jan 1st) and I haven’t sat still long enough to completely process the whole time.

What I do know is that it was an extremely busy time. At EC, I was responsible for photography and leading a small group, neither of which I did particularly well because of all the activities on my plate. I also spent a full day at CMC West Coast which honestly could not be done justice in a single day with all the fantastic workshops and plenary sessions going on there. On top of that, I had plenty of people to catch up with during the in-between times; missionaries, potential missionaries, ministry consultants and other leaders of missions organizations.

As I write it all down, I can now completely understand why it has taken me so long to process it all. The Lord gave me a drink from the firehose last week. But it is difficult to gripe about too much blessing.

I suppose because of the busyness of the week, I failed to completely engage with either conference well. But I found that God is faithful about meeting us where we are. He knew I was going to have a busy week and He provided spiritual food in less conventional ways.

First off was my amazing small group at EC. As I am basically an introvert, I am generally a reluctant participant in small groups, let alone a leader of one. But God gathered such an diverse collection of men in my group who were open and honest with each other about their lives and truly engaged during our sessions. You don’t usually expect a lot of transparency during a short conference small group but we had a quality time of sharing and praying together, and really, just having fun.

Second were the many divine appointments that happened during the week. I met countless people during mealtimes, on breaks and even skipping sessions (yes, I did that a couple times) who provided me with encouragement, wisdom, and opportunities to share about missions. The reason we go to conferences is not just the messages; if it were so, we’d simply buy the CD after the fact and listen to it in our car. The reason we go to conferences is to meet other believers who are travelling the same road as we are, seeking the path God has for their lives.

Lastly, the Lord continued to confirm my calling to serve with WCF in many ways. There was so much encouragement for my decision coming from old friends and people I had just met. I heard messages that reinforced my view of the role of Asians and Asian-Americans in global evangelization. It was as if God was telling me “See how I have prepared you for such a time as this.”

Overall, I think it was a great time of preparation for the role I have now stepped into. But now, it’s good to be back and starting to focus on the issues at hand.

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