January 31, 2012

Dear friends,
I pray that you have seen many blessings of the Lord this January. I am currently writing you from the newest stop on my journey here in Japan, Calvary Chapel Bible College Fuchu. The winter break has come to an end and today is my first day of the new “Spring” semester here at bible college, though at the current temperature here in Fuchu, it doesn’t feel exactly like a spring semester to me ^_^. This month has been full of blessings, both obvious and some that I did not clearly perceive as blessings at first.
One of the blessings I was able to meet with Tomoko’s family for the first time during new years. Tomoko is one of four siblings and I was able spend time with two of them as well as her Mom, Dad, and Aunt. The time we spent together was good, with much laughter and warm welcomes and I am greatly looking forward to the building of relationships with her family members from here on. Please continue to pray for us and for God’s guidance in how best to share our lives with them and be a blessing to them.
Another blessing was being given opportunity to lead and preach at Horizon. Pastor Rich from the international fellowship took his family to singapore for a little more than a week and during that time I was asked by him to both lead the Wednesday night bible study and also to give the message the following Sunday. The Wednesday night bible study was really exciting ^_^. Usually the Wednesday night bible study was for english speakers, a mix of foreigners and english speaking Japanese people. But on the Wednesday I was to lead the study, everyone one that came was Japanese and most were those that required translation. However God always has a purpose for all things and empowers us to meet the tasks that he sets before us. And this was no exception as the Spirit moved and empowered me to lead the group entirely in Japanese though all my notes were in English. The spirit moved in many ways that night and it was not limited to me. After our time in the word, others were lead by the spirit to share there testimonies and in the end, we all left in awe of the work of God in our hearts and lives. May all glory be His. Also the message on Sunday was a blessed time as well. I was lead to share from the book of Leviticus of all places. Though it may seem a strange place to study from, but God used the my study of the book of leviticus last semester in big ways to work on my heart. Though it is a thick book, it is so relevant to us in that it was God’s instruction to the people of israel on how to be His people, clean, holy, and set apart for Him. And more than this, it is the instruction book for the priesthood, which God has made us all through the cross of Jesus Christ. I was scheduled to teach again from this book the following Sunday, however, that is when things took a bad turn.
The Wednesday following the service. I began to come down with a fever with very few other symptoms. It increased steadily for four days until it was about 104 degrees and I couldn’t eat anything anymore. Ended up going to the hospital several times after, finding it was a some kind of stomach virus they couldn’t identify, and was put on antibiotics until the fever went away. But following the fever, sever stomach pains continued and did not stop until about five days ago. I am fine now. Though it kept me down and out for a while, God always has his purposes. He used the trial to refocus me on the work he had for me to do and to what he has called me to. It also brought Tomoko and I closer together than we have ever been before. In all trial, “testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:3-4). I deffinately feel a lot more mature than I was before ^_^.
So we got through it all and the semester has begun. And already, God has been giving Tomoko and I much opportunity to serve. The school here is located close to a christian daycare center and already I have been able to go over and serve there, play with the kids, etc. I look forward to many more opportunities to serve there in the two semesters to come here in Fuchu. Please pray for God to use this daycare center for his glory in this city.
Also, as I am currently the only student at CCBC Fuchu (the rest of the student are to come up from Okinawa half way through the semester), I have been given opportunity to serve at Horizon for my service hours at the school. I will be heading over to Machida every Saturday, serving at the Saturday night service there, staying over at my friend Hide’s house, and then serving the whole day in Machida at both the Japanese and English services. Also, opportunities are opening up for both Tomoko and I to start up the Shine Kids program again on Saturday afternoons and we hope to start in about three weeks ^_^! Please pray for Tomoko and I as we serve together. Things might get a little crazy with our schedule sometimes and there is no way that we can accomplish all that is before us under our own strength. However, God is the one who is opening up these opportunities and we know He is able to equip us with what we need to accomplish what He has for us.
Last bit of good news is that the date is set for our marriage ^_^! We are going to be holding the wedding in Machida on July 7th of this year. I wish I could invite you all to come, but it is a bit far. However, don’t worry. Our plan is to Honeymoon in Sonora (of all places! haha ^_~), so you will all get a chance to meet her. I will post the dates we will be in America as soon as I know them.
Because He lives,