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2023.05.29 10:07

[일본소식] 2023년 5월

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Even the flowers ...

 

"Consider how the wildflowers grow: They don't labor or spin thread. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these" - Luke 12:27


Cherry blossom flower watching is an annual tradition here in Japan. It's one of our favorite times in the Japanese calendar, though our experience of it has been unusual since we've only known this celebratory time during the pandemic. Typically, the area parks are packed for two weeks while onlookers enjoy picnics, games, and conversation, all while admiring the fragile white and pink blossoms.

This year was our first time seeing the full experience with our local park bursting at the seams with food trucks, crowds, and... VOLUME. We could even hear music and people buzz from our high up balcony several blocks away (unheard of these last years in Japan!).

Hanami also has a spiritual meaning for the Japanese people. The fleeting nature of the cherry blossoms is seen as a metaphor for the impermanence of life, reminding people to appreciate the beauty of the present moment and to cherish the time they have with their loved ones. Some years there is an overlap between Easter and hanami making for a powerful cultural means of expressing the gospel and Jesus' resurrection. 

We pray that times like these will be an avenue for the Spirit to open the eyes of those who do not know Him yet. As people consider the nature and brevity of life, our prayer is that they might come to see that we are not simply temporary beings who fade away. Rather, we are eternal beings with profound purpose and there is a Savior who has forever redeemed His children.


With love and deep thankfulness,
Mark and Rachel, Naomi, Mateo and Micah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet the 2023 graduates

Christ Bible Seminary is one of our main avenues for equipping Christians in Japan for gospel ministry. 

This year we celebrate the graduation of three students! Kakeru (L) will continue to work in college ministry, Miyoko (C) will work in crisis pregnancy ministry, and Sunghye (R) will work with children struggling to fit in or attend local schools. 

Join us in praying for the places God is calling them to and for the work of God in their lives!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other items for prayer

1. Praise God for recent feedback from strangers across Japan who are USING the materials and books our team has worked on and are finding them so helpful! 

2. Praise God for helping us navigate the end of year and new school year starts. It has been incredibly hectic and disorienting with all kinds of unusual ramp-ups and scheduling for 3 kids and an adult starting language school, but praise God, we are (finally) settling into more of a routine. The kids are each making friends and for the most part are enjoying their schools and teachers. 

3. Pray for pastors in Japan who are burnt out, especially after 3 straight years of the pandemic. We have heard of several pastors suffering deep depression and needing to step away from ministry. Pray for hearts to be encouraged, rested and renewed in the good news of Jesus.   

4. Pray for us as we lean into language learning more deeply.  Pray for opportunities, relationships, diligence and creativity for growing our language practice and ability. It's easy to want to get involved in many ministry opportunities in front of us, but focusing on language will truly help our effectiveness and sustainability for the long-term. 

5. Pray for wisdom as we have a few big family decisions impacting this season as we think about local church ministry, more immersive language opportunities, and steps to take to help our kids' education (English and Japanese).


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