Dear Praying Friends,
In our last prayer letter we asked for Divine appointments and we saw several that only God could have arranged:witnessing opportunities in hotels we stayed in; being able to witness to a blind young man at one of our supporting churches; and after our presentations having a young man approach us and tell us that he and his wife were already studying Japanese and wanted to be missionaries to Japan but were not sure what step to take next! We are now in contact with them concerning the 2 year internship training for working here in Japan! There are two other couples who desire to come to Hokkaido in the future and we were able to contact them and encourage them on this trip.
The prospects for a missionary internship this summer were late in coming but the Lord opened the doors for a student from Ambassador Baptist College. Although it works best for this training to be done in groups of two or three we couldn’t find a partner for Miss Amanda Blain. We trust this is what God has planned. She will be with us through June & July. Please pray for preparation on both sides and that the Lord will use this opportunity according to His will. This type of outreach always provides special opportunities with those with whom we work.
Three of the five unsaved we had been working with in Bible study last year are now living in different areas so our outreach to them is going to be more difficult. We are praying for continued opportunities through email and Skype but also that there will be other biblical Christians to pick up the chain of communication while their hearts are tender. Dr. Nao Nishino is now 5 hours away from us at a hospital in Sapporo. We do not know if she will get to come to our area as she did before. Dentist Motomi Minemura is in Vietnam. We have given her contact information for someone there and are keeping in contact with her. Dr. Mitsu is now at a local hospital in Enbetsu where we have English classes once a week. We are hoping to keep his study going while there. Satan may want these diversions to break the pattern of seed being sown but God is the Victor and we claim the promises of His Word to reach them still with the truth of the Gospel.
The Lord protected the building and the people we work with while we were gone as prayed for. Thank you for those prayers. One special praise is that the elderly mother of Mr. Hashimoto (his wife has made public confession of Jesus Christ as her Savior) has moved out of the home (after some 30 plus years) and taken her family Buddhist alter with her!! We pray for more openness in his heart now through this change of living situations. Mrs. Tokumaru had not been able to meet with us on Sundays for quite some time. She confirmed in a conversation with her Sunday evening by chat, that her husband will not allow her to come any more on Sundays. We are very disappointed for her sake that he has come to such a decision. She lives about 30 minutes away but we still want to try and keep in touch with her via other means. Mrs. Sonoda faithfully opened the doors on Sunday and studied by herself here with web messages by a fellow missionary. She asks special prayer for the last two Sundays of May as death anniversary Buddhist ceremonies will be taking place in her home for her husband’s relatives. The Lord continues to protect her mind and actions during these times but the spiritual strain and pressures are very difficult.
Although we didn’t talk about our time with family on the east coast, it truly was a blessing in so many ways. We will post pictures and some updates on our blog if you would like to know more about them.
We are adjusting to climate, schedule and Japanese speaking again fairly well. One of the advantages to these very short furloughs is that the body and mind are not put to such extreme adjustment if we took one year furloughs every once in awhile. Several asked this trip why we take our short furloughs in March and April instead of in the summer or at Christmas time to be with family, too. The Japanese school year runs from the middle of April to the middle of March of the next year. At the beginning and end of the school year Ken is not required to be in the schools and then there is a short vaction time in between. This then allows for a convenient length and time for the 6-8 week visits we like to make. Christmas time is a busy time for any church and we also have one of our main evangelistic outreaches during that time. Although winter vacation is right after that, it is also one of the times as well as summer vacation (month of August) when the ticket prices for flying are extremely higher. As the Lord allows we want to continue the schedule we have kept as it has worked out well for the most part. Now we look forward to what God will do in the months ahead—thank you for being a part of that work through your prayers and support!
1. renewal of outreaches
2. believers to remain strong; baptism of believers; unsaved spouses and families
3. preparation for summer internship
4. new doors to be opened to the Gospel
Serving Christ Together,
Ken & Vicki Mansell
Just A Prayer At Night – your evening is our daytime