As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; I Peter 1:14,15As we enter the New Year, the contrast between old and new is on our minds. Here in Japan the present emperor will abdicate his throne so a new era will begin. This will be the third era (emperor) during our time here as missionaries. As believers our lives and allegiances change only once. When we accepted God’s plan of salvation from our sin, by putting our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, we were passed from darkness into His glorious Kingdom of Light and Life. That era is eternal! How unseemly therefore for there to be found in such wondrously transformed beings to return to the former lusts of the old nature in our ignorance of the freedom in the holiness of Christ. Rather we are to let the Holy Spirit teach and guide us through the Bible truth what holy living should be in our daily lives. We pray the goals of this New Year will be one that glorifies the Lord in our lives.
With December not only comes the joy of our Savior’s birth, but the special opportunity to share not only His birth, but also why He came as a man! Each year in December, there are several things we do extra. We make up a poster about our main evangelistic Christmas program wanting to see people of all ages come to this program. This poster is put into two convenient stores, a grocery store, (we only have one regular grocery in town), and a Home goods store.
We also make up smaller versions of the posters and pass them out to people as we are out and about including Ken giving them to the teachers at all the schools where he team teaches. Other opportunities are at the English classes we have in our home. Our last class of the year before winter vacation is a party with homemade treats to take home, a Christmas tract, games and a Christmas story. This year Vicki did a card picture story of the candy cane in both these classes and the main Christmas program. We were able to also get five of Ken’s contacts from teaching at the schools and the adult English class together for a make-your-own pizza party where we were also able to share in Christmas themed conversation and games. We never ask for large numbers of people to come to our program, although we certainly would be pleased to see that happen. We just ask God to draw whom He will to hear the Word of God.
We included music in song: both vocal, piano, and Vicki was able to record a piano piece into the keyboard and then play along with it on her taishogoto. A video was shown with the theme that Jesus is for all people, and Ken spoke on the red and white colors of the candy cane in relationship to Christ. Two of our ladies were able to be with us and their testimony just by attendance and in talking to people during the tea time is a blessing.
Attendees were varied with the Jr. High English teacher Ken teaches with, one of our English students’ with her mom, a nurse from the hospital and her two daughters, two Vietnamese young men with their Japanese sponsors: a senior aged man and wife and two sisters who are English students. Except for the English class sisters, these were all first timers. The Teshio mayor, Mr. Asada, would have attended if he could. He is now in the local hospital with leukemia and not doing very well. We would appreciate prayers for him and for the opportunities Ken has to visit him. He has had one good visit but the 2nd time when he went, the nurse said that the influenza season had started and they weren’t allowing visitors right now to protect the patient(s). Ken left reading material for him and we know God can still work in his heart towards salvation. We pray to that end before he faces eternity.
We pray that your time with family this month has been precious. We were able to talk to each of our children and families in one way or another and we cherish those moments greatly. Hold your loved ones close and pray for those away from their loved ones in various ways. In case you need it, we have attached a photo taken of us in September by a professional photographer (see the September newsletter). Please use as you see fit!
1. Mrs. Sonoda, Mrs. Kawabata and salvation for their husbands
2. New Year to bring new folks to personally study the Bible
3. Mayor Asada: more witnessing opportunities, salvation and comfort through this time
4. For new leadership that will take place beginning in April both in Teshio and as the emperor of Japan advocates and his son takes the position. That our opportunities to share the Gospel will continue and abound!
Serving Christ Together, Ken & Vicki
Just A Prayer At Night – Your evening is our daytime!