Dear Praying Friends,
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. Philippians 4:11,12
When we first came to Japan over thirty years ago, the Lord gave us many great helps through the veteran missionary who graciously trained us. One of the many good lessons we took to heart was the attitude expressed in these verses. We were trained to not use our prayer letters as a wish list of monetary and material needs or wants. Rather, a prayer letter was to let those God had placed us on their heart and the ministry here in Teshio, Japan to pray for the souls of the dear Japanese we meet on a daily basis. Our needs and wants we gave to the Lord God in prayer. Leaving it to His gracious hand to touch the hearts of His servants to give. Many times the faithful mission support from churches and a few individuals met those needs. Sometimes special, unsolicited gifts would come in our support report. Occasionally, the Lord would prompt a pastor or Christian to communicate directly with us requesting a need they could meet. Over the years, this has been a good policy both for us and those who walk with the Lord. We learn to continually depend on the Lord for our needs and to be content with what He decides we need. For those who give, they become more sensitive to the leading of the Lord while they are walking with God and asking Him to lay a burden on them to supply the unspoken needs of God’s servants both in their church and on the foreign field. Ask God what He would have you to do for Him.
July brought Ken’s expected endoscopic surgery to remove 3 kidney stones within the bladder and the ensuing one week hospital stay. Once again we prepared a week’s worth of daily verse cards for Ken to hand out to doctors, interns, nurses, and roommates. In the limited sight we have of schedules and plans, we would have chosen to have this all happen in August during school summer vacation. God, in His infinite wisdom, knew that there was one special young lady doctor intern that would not only speak English quite well but also DESIRE to be taught more about the Bible. Miss “Yui” was actually assigned to Ken’s case as a part of her studies and would give a report to other doctors after he was released. Daily, Ken had the opportunity to not only answer her questions related to her work study but also talk about salvation, Jesus Christ, the Bible and so much more. We are both now in contact with her via social apps and excited that, although not saved during the week Ken was there, he was used as a part of God’s plan to draw her closer to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
We did get some answers to a couple things about Ken’s constant kidney stone difficulties. 1) He has an unusual shaped right kidney that does not allow an instrument to easily work its way into the bottom area to break up the 3 remaining stones there and they cannot get out. 2) There have been no problems with stones forming in the top part of the mis-shaped kidney. 3) His body does seem to naturally produce the stones but we are trying to adjust that via a change in diet, his continued use of more water and exercise. The doctor still trusts to do a more aggressive surgery to get rid of the last of the kidney stones after he loses a certain amount of weight. Dr. Matsumoto seemed quite relieved that there seemed to be a reason for this being a repeated performance. While in Georgia in the USA, before heading north and then back home, Ken got into the habit of walking every morning. Vicki has joined him since our return and almost every week, 6 days out of 7, this goal is accomplished. We start out together and then Ken takes a longer course due to his needs and his height! We are thankful for a few months before winter comes to be able to get this exercise together.
July also brings a yearly activity that we Hokkaido missionaries look forward to with great pleasure—the summer BBQ, fellowship and activity time held two hours inland from us in Nayoro City hosted by the Smith family. The Lord gave us wonderful weather and a rare breeze that day which made for pleasant conversation and play while together. Again the timing of the day (the only Japanese holiday in July) brought about an opportunity with a young Japanese mother and her two small children who just enjoyed being with us for most of the day and the Smiths were hoping for follow-up with her. TBBC believers have had various health issues within the family and deaths of relatives that have kept them away from services this month. God has been their stay and hope and they continue to trust Him for the needs of each one.
Serving Christ Together,
Ken & Vicki Mansell
Just A Prayer At Night – Your evening is our daytime!