Thank you to those who have prayed and supported us (if you support us, you should have received a letter in the mail a couple of weeks ago). Your ongoing support really does mean so much to us. Because of you, the Gospel is reaching new people every single day. We can’t do it without you. We’ve got some big, exciting news about what God is going to do this Fall and beyond!
We've had an amazing two years in China in 2016 & 2017. Altogether, more than 100 people attended one of our English Corners. By forming a relationship with us, they were exposed to the Gospel in a personal and dynamic way. Many of them are college students who are now back in their home towns to be lights in the darkness. Because of your support, many committed their lives to Jesus for the first time.
From the beginning, we said our mission was to take the Gospel to the "whole world." In Mark 1:38, Jesus said, “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth.” It’s great that one country or one city knows about Jesus, but what about everyone else? During our ordination service, someone prophesied: “You will go to many nations.” This always rang true in our spirits.
Since ministering at a church in Japan in December, God began laying this country on our hearts in a powerful way. We committed it to prayer and trusted God would reveal Himself in time. It was just a short time later that my mom had to be hospitalized in China. There were many days when we didn’t think she would make it through the night. We eventually had to evacuate her to the States on a medical jet. By God’s grace, my mom is doing much better and is continuing to grow stronger every day. Through these circumstances and other words of confirmation, we felt that change was coming.
We continued to pray and seek God, and it was clear He was leading us to Japan. In June & July, I went on a vision trip to Japan to confirm what God was saying (April and the girls stayed with my parents to help out). So many divine appointments and open doors took place while I was there. Japan is a country with a good economy and beautiful landscapes, but on the inside they are empty. Less than half of 1% of Japanese are Christians. The most unreached nations in the world right now are actually “developed countries” or countries that don’t need humanitarian help. On the outside they look okay, but on the inside they are totally lost. There are millions of people in Japan who have never experienced the love of Jesus.
Over the next couple of months, we will be transitioning from China to Japan. A benefit of working in Japan is that you are “allowed” to be a missionary. In China, we were required to leave the country every 3 months. The government in China has recently instituted new laws that make it even more difficult to operate there. We can make short trips to Japan without a visa during the next few months, but we can't live there until we get the official visa. We anticipate this will happen in the next couple of months.
Just like the Chinese people, we LOVE the Japanese. We know that God has a future and a hope for them! We will initially be working in Osaka, Japan. This is the heart of Japan and really where Japanese civilization started. Many of the surrounding towns have no church at all. While we are studying the language, we will be serving with Next Towns, an organization started by Destiny Church in Japan. Next Towns has planted churches across Japan and many of them are in need of help. While working with the churches, we will be using English Corners to attract young people ― just like in China, everyone wants to learn English! We’ll be telling them about Jesus and getting them plugged in to the body of Christ. We are excited about the church moving forward in Japan!
Most countries have several people groups, but Japan has just one. All 127 million eat the same, think the same and live life the same. Because of this, Japan is one of the largest unreached people groups in the world. Pray that the Holy Spirit will sweep across this land!
Pray for our family as we transition to Japan over the next couple of months. We are so thankful for those of you standing behind us and supporting us. Your ongoing monthly support allows more people to experience Jesus for the first time. Believe with us as we take the Gospel to the “next towns.” Believe with us as we continue the mission of #TellingAsia about Jesus!