New Year 2011 with the Yamada Family
Thank you for your prayers!
We were able to drive to Nagoya during the last week of 2010 and visit with Satomi’s parents. Makimi went with us and Satomi’s brother and his family also joined came by during the week. Both Migiwa and Toshiko had some health issues this past year but both looked very good. We were very thankful that they have recovered so well and appreciate all your prayers for our family.
We drove back to Yokosuka on January 1st after having our tradtional Japanese New Year meal together and enjoying several days of reconnecting with our Japanese relatives.
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January 11, 2011
Yokosuka Church 4th Anniversary!
We are going to start our fifth year by re-focusing on hearing God’s voice. We have called the church to fast and pray from January 26 to 28th and will follow that with a special prophetic meeting the following weekend. I have invited two pastors in our group of churches here in Japan to come to Yokosuka and minister prophetically.
The church is growing both spiritually and in numbers. We often have 80+ or even 90+ in attendance on Sunday mornings. I feel a fresh responsibility to seek God for direction. He is the real Pastor and I am the “assistant pastor” working to build the way He wants to.
During the coming year I am hoping to see an expansion of our leadersip. Eventually I would like to be working alongside Japanese, Filipino and American pastors who share the burden and the vision for making world-changing disciples in Yokosuka and who can help turn us into a church planting factory which plants churches all around Tokyo and Japan.
I recently heard of a type of bamboo that doesn’t sprout for four years after planting. On the surface it appears that nothing is happening. But then, in the fifth year, in a matter of months, it suddenly grows 60 to 90 feet. I am praying that our roots are going down deep and sure now so that when God brings the miraculous growth we will be able to handle it!
We are about to go into our fifth year as a church and this is my prayer;
“Then will all your people be righteous and they will possess the land forever. They are the shoot I have planted, the work of my hands, for the display of my splendor. The least of you will become a thousand, the smallest a mighty nation. I am the LORD; in its time I will do this swiftly.” (Isaiah 60:21-22)
Please pray with us for this scripture to come to pass in Japan.
Kings don’t fight alone
One classic message I heard preached years ago by a Nigerian preacher was “Kings don’t fight alone.” In the Old Testament, alliances would be made and counsel would be sought before going to war. I am very privileged to be in this spiritual battle with a team of mighty partners who invest their prayers, their finances and their lives in our ministry of church planting in this unreached nation. That is you! We are really out here on the front lines and we deeply appreciate how you help in many ways. Thank you for partnering with us for so long and so faithfully.
It has been a long time since I have visited the U.S. and I am praying that the opportunity will come again soon. In the meantime though, I also have a great team of fellow pastors that I meet with almost every week in Yokohama for encouragement, accounatability and prayer. We are meeting in the same part of town where the foreign minsters gathered last month for the APEC summit to discuss policy. Please continue to pray that the spiritual seeds we are sowing will change Japan even more than economic or political policies ever could. I’ll keep you updated on our progress. It is going to be a great year.