We are back on the road, big time. In August we made a road trip east to Berean church in Mansfield, OH and First Baptist in Cincinnati. We also saw old Japan colleagues Bob and Nancy Sorley in Columbus OH and visited Elaine’s sister in Kentucky.
We took a quick road trip over Labor Day weekend to far northern Minnesota for the Ellen (Ellisons) Schuster wedding. She is kind of an adopted niece as her parents Tom and Mary Lou Ellisons were close Japan mission coworkers. We also got to see Jane Fischer of the Japan Initiative and Gil and Norene Zinke and others from Japan. The highlight was seeing Harris Youngquist, Mary Lou’s father, who was our DaiSenpai (our Senior missionary) when we came to Japan. Harris is now 97 and loving Jesus and Japan! John also shared about our Asian ministry at First Baptist of Cook, MN.
This Fall looks like no travel to Japan but probably some more road trips throughout the US. We would love to visit some of you our ministry partners. We would welcome an invite to visit your church this fall or in 2022. Just drop us a note.
FOCUS ON JAPAN – Olympics, COVID, and Churches
The Olympics went over very smoothly in spite of the intense summer heat and the ongoing Covid issues. We knew if anyone could do it, it was the Japanese. Japan did a great job on both events. The Olympics was also great for Japan as their biggest medal haul ever, and the most ever golds. Japan has a lot to be proud of.
Christian friends did their best under the Covid restrictions. The 30 days of the Olympics and Paralympics have just completed. Christians had planned to have outreaches in multiple cities that would have reached over 500,000 people. Due to the Covid emergency in Japan those plans were scrapped. Thank God for the movement to raise up 1 million hours of prayer for Japan. Ask God to encourage Christians in Japan to use the momentum for these outreaches to impact their communities for Christ. Also pray that the churches will continue to be encouraged as they struggle to meet in person as Zoom tiredness is widespread.
COVID has brought increased challenges to Japan with the worst situation right now. The Delta variant and Olympic environment was a bad mix. Though compared to other countries Covid has been relatively under control until just before the Olympics. Now 33 of 47 prefectures in Japan are under some emergency orders and those orders may be extended as the cases and hospitalizations increase. Vaccinations are not keeping up with the rest of the world though they hope to have 60% vaccinated by the end of September. Covid has brought much change, fear, and uncertainty into the nation. Pray that Christians will be salt and light and touch people during this challenging period.
PRAY for completion of the “Cover Project” a smartphone app that will map out all the churches in Japan including house churches. Plans are to have the prototype up and running this fall. This app can be used for prayer walking, strategizing new church plants, and church referrals.