Japan Newsletter - September 21, 2012

Dear Friends,
It is good to be writing you all again. Much has happened since last I wrote to you. Many blessings have come our way here, and many surprises that took us quite aback. But we continue to cling to the hope that all things work together for good to those who love God.

Our biggest shock came this week when my wife, Tomoko got into a accident. On Tuesday, she had been riding her bike to work when she came to the signal light just outside our house. The light was green to cross and so she did not hesitate at the light. At that moment a taxi turned a blind corner fast into the four way stop and hit Tomoko directly as she was crossing the street. After being hit she was thrown onto the hood of car and then rolled off onto the street. She was dazed and though she was clear headed enough to call me, afterward she sat there in the road shocked. But of this I am sure, God never left my Tomoko. As she was still sitting in the road, a firefighter on his way home from his shift had been there right as the accident happened. He brought her over to the sidewalk and out of oncoming traffic. He was able to administer first aid to her while she was waiting for the ambulance to arrive. Also, one of her coworkers was there as eye witness and was able to call an ambulance immediately. When I arrived on the seen, both people were taking care of her and the paramedics were only minutes away. As we enter the ambulance, Tomoko's body felt the first wave of pain from the accident. As I sat with her on the way to the hospital, I prayed to God that he would take away the pain. Immediately the pain subsided and did not return until we arrived at the hospital. Upon arrival she was taken to get x-rayed to assess the damage that had been done to her body. Upon hearing the results of the x ray, I gained a better understanding of how miraculously God had protected her through the crash. Though her body had recieved a tremendous impact from the crash, giving her wiplash and much pain in her body, not a single one of her bones had been broken, and there had been no impact to her head. It seemed impossible to me that this could be the case, and in truth it was. But our God is a God that deals in impossibilities. And by his hand, he saved her from death and from broken bones. God delivered my Tomoko back to me and I will praise his name and rejoice in his mercy. Tomoko is not out of the woods yet. It will be a while before she recovers completely and the pain from the accident is still a major issue that we would ask you to pray for. But our God is good, and if he saved her in the crash, he will be faithful to see her through the recovery. This crash has been eye opening to me. Every day with my wife has been a gift from God and I will remember to praise him for the gift He has given me in her.

My last semester of bible college has finally started. Fortunately, because of all the classes I have taken up to this point, my class schedule only consists of three classes that are required of me to graduate. As this is the case, my schedule has been free enough that I have been able to continue on in the ministries. that I was involved with over the summer.

I thank you so much for your prayer about the restarting of the shine kids program. When the program started in June, it started to what was originally to me a bit of a disappointment. Last time I wrote you, I had been having many chance meetings with former members of the Shine Kids Club and was confident that the club could start up where it had left off when it had closed down a year ago. But of all the families that I talked to, not a single one came to the first day. Instead, only one little girl and her mother came whom I had never met before. I thought that this had just been a fluke and expected everyone to come the next week, but they did not. Only the little girl and her mother. I was shocked and for a while so disappointed. I went before God asking why this was the case. Why hadn't they come? But he reminded me of this through my wife, that we are to be faithful to what God gives us. We must ask the question of what has God given to me to do, and once we have answered that question, we must be faithful to that. We get so distracted by our own plans, the grand ideas we have of how we are to minister to God that when God gives us what we are to do, we reject it, looking for something else. God spoke to me that he had given me that one little girl. And I needed to be faithful in ministering to that one little girl and her mother by blessing them and serving them in teaching her English. So for three weeks in a row, the little girl came and I put all I had into teaching her. Then, God blessed the ministry and added to it by bringing some of her friends the next week, and other kids the next. Now I am teaching 8 kids this fall semester and feel convicted by God that I am to be faithful in serving the 8 like he led me to serve the one.  Please pray for this ministry as we bless the kids and families of Machida.

There are many other ministries that are being blessed here. Recently I was asked to help lead the Sunday night bible study at the college and have been teaching every other Sunday there. Also there is Kids Brown English outreach in Setagaya which needs prayer for new students. Also I have been put in charge of the translation ministry and am starting a prayer group at the church which I would ask you to pray for.

Thank you all so much for you prayers and encouragement. Tomoko sends her warmest greetings to you all and is excited to be meeting you all this winter. We are still praying about the dates of our visit and will tell you all when they are fixed. We are aiming for the 22nd of December, though.

May the Lord continue to leave you in awe of who He is and how faithful He is to you.

Because he lives,
Alex and Tomoko