Many of you probably know him by his writings and Desiring God ministry. John Piper is probably the most widely known pastor in our Converge Worldwide association of churches. He has served on our mission board. He is a Biblical scholar, a mission’s statesman, and a pastor of an exemplary missional church. After the tsunami his church Bethlehem Baptist church sent several teams to work with us in Ishinomaki among disaster victims.
John Piper will be coming to Japan in October for 3 days of speaking events (with many other speakers). We have been waiting for this to happen. Of the 2.6 billion unreached people on our planet the Japanese are the second largest group with 127 million. Missions exists in Japan because worship does not. Pray for Japan, pray for more harvest workers here, pray for these meetings October 11-13.
Did you blink? Then you probably missed us. We were in the US this summer for a working vacation visiting supporters, friends, family, and doing some personal business. We had a great time visiting both Elk Grove Baptist Church and Temple Baptist Church in Rockford, IL. You can hear or download both of US SHARING THE MESSAGE “Click Send”. We also dropped in to Meadows Baptist Church, our home church and saw some personal supporters.
Well if you missed us, OUR NEW MINISTRY VIDEO was just published on YouTube. Designed to be shown in small groups and worship services, this four minute video made in HD shows us in our ministry settings sharing our kaleidoscope of ministries. Please view or download from our YouTube channel.
Here is a video on Japan which has a great passion for the people of Japan to understand the blessings of the gospel. You hear over and over the value of the Japanese as a people. Also for the compassion for the social ills Japan is speaking. This really resonates with my own heart. Thank you friends at YWAM.
Yes, John went to Budapest Hungary. Last month John was part of a group of 60 key leaders from 15 regional church planting networks throughout the world. At the Global Church Planting Network Global Consultation Takeshi Takazawa, director of the Japan Church Growth Institute, and John were glad to join two leaders from Taiwan, two from Mongolia, and one from South Korea. Thank you for your prayers as together we formed the North East Asia Church Planting Network and set some concrete goals for the next 3 months leading to national initiatives for church planting. Mongolia had no Christians 20 years ago and now they have set the goal to have 10% of their country Christian by the year 2020! There is a lot we can learn from each other and many practical lessons from many countries where God is multiplying his church. Much of this can be an inspiration and also practical help to Japan. Continue to pray for this North East Asia Network and for the development of national initiatives in Japan.
For a video of John’s visit please see http://youtu.be/QocTd09xWUY . For the Global Church Planting Network (GCPN) see www.GCPN.info.
This summer we visited 3 churches and gave live brief (3:40) updates. This video includes the PowerPoint slides as well as the audio. Great for your small groups or worship meeting.(Recorded at Faith Church, Grayslake IL). http://youtu.be/0tQv0AHnF5o
At the Ishinomaki church one woman came up me after the sermon and said, “Sensei, I suffer from depression.” I was a bit shocked by her directness but said in at least six unique ways that “Jesus loves you.” She began to smile and tears ran down her cheek. There is much power in the Name of Jesus and in His Gospel!
DISASTER AREA IN JANUARY – Joel Erickson from Bethany Moline church joined John for a trip to Tohoku Jan 4-13. Thanks for praying. Tohoku was cold but the weather was good, very little snow. We had no trouble getting around in “snow country.” 1) We completed the last section of Abe’s house started by Team Ohio in November. 2) We developed a deeper relationship with the Shojis. They are the same family I shared about at the Converge Worldwide Biennial meeting (http://www.gospelrest.com/a-story-of-one-family/). Mrs. is reading Christian author, Miura Ayako’s, novel Shiokari Pass I gave them for Christmas (last Christmas was a Bible). We rejoiced with them in the progress made on their property since the tsunami.
CONNECTING WITH JESUS
1. Elaine will be the main speaker at a women’s luncheon at the Tokyo Horizon Chapel on Saturday February 9th. Pray that both pre-Christians and Christians would be reminded of the great love of the Father.
2. We have a Valentine’s Dinner with the Agape Group on 2/10. Pray that God would speak to their hearts.
3. Elaine’s Birthday is Tuesday February 19th. She will turn 60. Help her celebrate!
4. Elaine continues to minister weekly with women through her classes and mentoring. Pray for each woman. The Bible studies are phenomenal as each person goes home changed each time.
BUILDING FOR IMPACT
1. The Church Planting Institute (CPI) is endorsing seminar March 4-5 in Sendai on Rural Church Planting. There are 929 towns and villages in Japan without any church. There are also 41 other areas unreached and 11 cities still without churches. Please pray that more churches will be started in towns and villages of Japan! John will be facilitating some training sessions.
2. Thank you for praying for several key meetings with JEMA and CPI leadership for the CPI National Conference this November. We are moving forward to DO MISSION. Pray more as we work more!
3. Japan Disaster Response teams are still needed through December. Pray as John develops our response to planting churches where we have worked. PTL! Partner Dean Bengtson moves into the neighborhood February 7th. This will develop the permanent presence we have worked for.
Thanks for praying for John’s greeting to the Tokyo young people becoming adults on 1/15. John shared with them the need of hope in Japan and challenged them to be a People of Hope because we have a God of Hope (Romans 15:13). Continue to pray that Elaine and I do exactly that each day.
From Nov 5-7 is our Church Planting Institute BootCamp. Numbers exploded as we went from 45 last time to 90 this time. Now we are ready to export the BootCamp in various parts of Japan. Already many are encouraged. While I was there a videographer shot a brief greeting to you. Please pass it one and maybe show it at your church.