Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. Luke 14:23
Gospel-Centered Church Planting to reach the unchurched 99% in Japan.

 

June/July 2020   Prayer Requests

    • Japan has phased out of lockdown for Covid-19, but people in general are very cautious. Many churches in Tokyo are still meeting via Zoom or youtube broadcasting, our church included. One of the great fears is that society will judge churches as too lax and dangerously careless. Please pray that churches can have wisdom in how to return to church and engage their communities for the gospel.
    • Pray for my (Jon’s) preaching! Since the pandemic I’ve preached to one of the congregations in Tochigi (2.5 hours north) via zoom, I have preached at the church onsite in the past, and likely next time will be onsite as well, though I don’t have a date scheduled yet. I also facilitated and gave the message at the new church plant’s most recent English Cafe, where we talked about the Trinity (one of the more straightforward English Cafe ministries I’ve been part of). Next month I’ll be preaching in Japanese at the new church plant as well. 
    • Maki is working on writing a Christian blog that lets Japanese women know (in their own tongue) that Christianity isn’t about looking good, but following God in faith even with the bumps in the road. She plans to include devotional thoughts, interviews with local churches and pastors and other helpful material that Christian ladies are not otherwise getting outside of Sunday morning. Please pray for her to find time and energy to make progress on it. 
    • As a praise report, all the kids are doing well in our new town! Aki finished his 4th grade work doing distance learning through the international school. He will start on-campus learning in the fall and is excited about that. Leon has finally returned to a regular Japanese school, and is developing friendships and learning Japanese well. Hugo had a battle with hives in mid June, but seems to have turned the corner on that and will return to pre-school. Because of the pandemic both Leon and Hugo will be in school most of the summer as catch up for missed days in the Spring. But they like their schools so it’s a win-win.

 

April 2020   Prayer Requests

    • Pray for direction and protection during the Corona virus pandemic! Tokyo started lockdown on April 7th, but Japanese schools were cancelled way back in late February, so we’ve been on this quasi-quarantine for a long time now!
    • Pray as we figure out how to best utilize online technology for missionary work. In the first weekend of April we had three Zoom meetings (my first three!) related to our ministries. I’m scheduled to preach in a neighboring prefecture in May, but Tokyo will still be on lockdown at that time, so that’s probably out the window. I don’t know if we’ll try to use technology for that or what. Anyway, thanks for your prayers!
    • Please pray for the Japanese to turn to Christ in the face of great adversity.

March 2020   Prayer Requests

  • Pray for direction and protection during the Corona virus pandemic! This is, of course, not limited to Japan. It’s probably not even as alarming in Japan as it is in the States or other parts of the world, but, as with other places, the Church is trying to figure out its part in loving our neighbors through containment measures, while still sharing the gospel with people where possible. Pray for discernment and a pouring out of God’s love.
  • Please pray for Aki (10) and Hugo (4) who are supposed to start new schools in April. We are still waiting for official word from the government on schools re-opening, but if all goes according to plan,  Aki will begin studying at the international Christian school, which he is familiar with and looking forward to, we just need to practice the commute a few more times. Hugo is on a waiting list for a Christian preschool (though most of the kids in the school wouldn’t be from Christian families, but from families who are positive to Christianity). If he is unable to attend there he will go to another school nearby. Please pray for God’s direction in that.
  • Praise the Lord for our cooperating church plants first convert! After connecting with the House of Grace in December a woman immediately started studying the Bible with our missionary friend, and we just received word that she put her faith in Jesus!

February 2020   Prayer Requests

  • Praise God for a smooth move and transition to our new home in Kodaira, Tokyo! With help we are settling in and Leon has started his new school and loves it.
  • Please pray for Aki (10) and Hugo (4) who start new schools in April. Aki will begin studying at the international Christian school, which he is familiar with and looking forward to, we just need to practice the commute a few more times. Hugo is on a waiting list for a Christian preschool (though most of the kids in the school wouldn’t be from Christian families, but from families who are positive to Christianity). If he is unable to attend there he will go to another school nearby. Please pray for God’s direction in that.
  • Please pray for the Megumi no Ie church plant nearby, I’ll be meeting with the missionary in charge of the project to if partnering there will be a good ministry fit.
  • Please pray for the Japanese Church, we are hoping to see more inter-church cooperation in the future as churches are forecasted to lose a lot of pastors to retirement.

December 2019   Prayer Requests

  • Praise God for a profitable year in preaching! This year I was privileged to preach at Den-En Grace Chapel 7 times, as well as at three other churches that needed help on a Sunday.
  • Please pray for our upcoming move. Since Aki will begin attending school an hour and a half north of here next year we will be moving around February 2020. This will also include a transition to another project on the church multiplication team, we are praying for God’s leading and have a few projects in mind.
  • Please pray for the Church in Japan. Less than .3% of the population attend evangelical churches, and a number of people have left churches with some hope of staying close to God. Pray that the church would figure out a way to reach these people to come back to fellowship in the church.
  • Please pray for the various Christmas programs in Japanese churches, that a number of seekers would continue attending church and investigating what Christianity, and who Jesus, is.

November 2019   Prayer Requests

  • Pray for Jon’s continued preaching ministry. I’ve been preaching at the mother church monthly, and have mixed in two other churches as well, a third church is possible this month, and an advent sermon is scheduled for December 1st.
  • Please pray for our new English Cafe ministry at Den-En Grace Chapel. This is not an actual cafe ministry, it is where we meet once a month and invite neighbors and contacts to practice English, while we drink coffee and tea and eat baked goodies, then we share a very simple testimony type of message in English. We ran a pilot in October, and have two more meetings on the Calendar.
  • Please pray for the Megumi no ie (House of Grace, not to be confused with our downstairs meeting room which is called ‘Grace House’), which is our fellow church multiplication team co-workers’ new church plant about an hour north of us, the building dedication was this past Sunday, and monthly meetings will be starting soon!
  • Please pray for the two new church plant sites in Kawasaki/Yokohama, as we prepare for launches; MuKo has a building/parsonage in construction and will be ready in January, and in Azamino we have a young missionary couple building contacts for a not-too-distant church plant launch.

October 2019   Prayer Requests

  • With team members back from Summer home assignments, we’re ready to ramp up preparations for our two church plants, as well as outreach at the mother church. On the docket is an English Cafe ministry designed to introduce people to church who want to practice their English, and another round of hiking for church people and their friends!
  • Pray for Jon’s continued preaching ministry. I’ve been preaching at the mother church monthly, and have mixed in two other churches as well.
  • Please pray for church young peoples’ groups that I (Jon) am involved in. We have a college group, though we only have 1 or 2 college students at the moment, we’re hoping to have a place to invite seekers or returnees. Our other group is from College age to about 55 years old. This is a great group to allow younger Christians to get advice from less younger Christians on how to navigate Christian life in Japan, as well as just encouragement and growing in Christ together.
  • Please pray for the two new church plant sites as we prepare for launches; MuKo has a building/parsonage in construction and will be ready in January, and in Azamino we have a young missionary couple building contacts for a not-too-distant church plant launch.
  • Please pray for our family as we seek to balance homeschooling and ministry. Our goal is to homeschool the older two boys for 1-2 semesters, but we need to figure out what to do with schooling after that, as neither of our older two boys are comfortable returning to the local school (one of them dealt with constant bullying). Pray that God would settle us in a good living situation where we can continue the ministry he puts before us.

September 2019   Prayer Requests

  • After a hot summer school has started again for the boys. Aki and Leon have switched to home school for the rest of the year, as we realized Aki was dealing with being bullied at school and it was taking a toll on him. We’re praying through future options, but for now, it’s home school. Please pray with us that God would provide the right school situations for Aki and Leon. Hugo is enjoying his preschool.
  • Please pray for church young peoples’ groups that I (Jon) am involved in. We’ve ran one younger college and careers meetings, and two older college and careers meetings this summer, and are planning an all-church nature hike in a few weeks. With some attrition in church attendance the past few years, we’re hoping to provide an easy way for people to re-connect. Pray for rebuilt relationships with past church attenders.
  • Team members return from the States today and later this month, and with our whole team on the field we hope to ramp up ministry operations both in the mother church and at least one of the church plants in our project.
  • Please pray for me as I preach! I’ll be giving my 8th message since arriving in Japan later this month, and while I really enjoy it, the Japanese message prep is a challenge.

July 2019   Prayer Requests

  • Apologies for the long absence, praise the Lord, we made it to Japan! The kids are in school, ministry responsibilities have begun, and we are living in the apartment above the new ministry room.
  • Praise the Lord for his provision! After facing significant financial needs in the past six months, we’ve seen God provide, and our support numbers are better than they’ve ever been, thanks for your prayers and partnership!
  • Since arriving in Japan our family has been dealing with near constant health issues. Please pray for colds, fevers, and an array of other symptoms that stop us from going to school, church and other things. Due to family colds and flus Maki missed church five Sundays in a row in June and July, and another 2-3 in March, along with a few others. I (Jon) even missed two in a row twice as well.
  • Please pray for us as we think through some ministry ideas for the summer/fall seasons. With our second church location opening around the end of the year, we’re thinking through some programs to help the first location (mother church) with a revitalization effort. Programs that work well will most likely be used next year at the two church plant locations a few train stations away.
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