Busy Christmas schedule...
By the end of October Japan is already decorating and preparing for Christmas, and we often find ourselves busy with preparations for an intense schedule of concerts and Christmas parties. Since Japan is not a Christian nation and yet they decorate with trees and lights and observe the commercial side of Christmas, we find it a perfect opportunity to share about the real reason for Christmas. We had MANY Christmas parties and concerts and were able to thoroughly share about our Creator God who wrapped himself in human flesh and was born into the world to save us from our sins! Please pray that all of the seeds that were planted during this wonderful season of spreading the Light of Christ, will be watered and grow in the weeks and months to come.
Through several concert events and Hana's involvement with a Gospel Choir group, we have begun to build new relationships with several seekers. Please pray that they will continue to/begin to attend either Bible Family Fellowship worship each week or our Tuesday Night Bible study which is growing and becoming quite the group of seekers (around 6-8 people in attendance each week).
(pictured above) Hana's Choir performing outdoors at Christmas!
A very SHORT break...
In the midst of the busy end of the year, Kai had the flu and it was a challenge to juggle his care with the ministry schedule. Even though we caught it right as his fever was rising, he was fairly sick for the last week leading up to Christmas and we praise God that the other 3 members of our family were spared from it. It was an exhausting week, and now that Christmas is over we have just a few days of down time before the New Year holiday. In Japan, New Year is the family gathering holiday and it goes on for several days. We will be staying in Kitakyushu this year and so will have the opportunity to spend time with Rocky's immediate and extended family. All of Rocky's extended family are not believers, so pray that we will get an opportunity to point to Jesus whenever we can as we spend time with them. In the midst of that, we are making time to have lunch/dinner with pastors and friends we don't often get to spend time with! We appreciate the opportunity to just "be" and love on people.
After the New Year holidays ends we will be welcoming CMA worship dance ministries to Kitakyushu for about 10 days! We usually host them in the summer so we hope they'll enjoy dancing in cooler temps and reaching out to the Japanese among hot pot meals and around warm stoves, instead of sweating it out in the hot summer sun! The team of 5 this year will dance in chapel services, attend Bible studies, help us in After School Klub, and hold another day long kids dance workshop with evening performance. Please pray over this week of outreach and the team, that we will enjoy health and tons of opportunities to share Christ!
Coming to America...
We will be making a quick trip to the US in the spring and we hope to see you!!! I am still in the midst of making out our schedule but right now our plans are as follows...
March 11-15 Arrive in Houston, connect with supporters in Crosby area and near Houston
March 16-18 Bryan/College Station (Sunday, March 18 at FBC Bryan)
March 19-22 Temple/Belton
March 23-25 San Angelo (College Hills Baptist Church)
March 26-28 Short personal retreat
March 29- April 9 West Texas (schedule pending with several churches in that area)
April 9-12 Dallas/Ft. Worth and surrounding areas
April 14-19 Casa Grande, AZ (Pinal County Cowboy Church, Gila Valley Baptist Associational Meeting, etc.)
April 20-22 Sacramento, CA (Arai Family, First Japanese Baptist Church)
April 23 - return to Japan
If along the way on this schedule you find we will be near you, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE reach out to us. We don't want to miss seeing anyone, if at all possible! Please let me know ASAP if you would like to try to schedule us for a meal or a dinner party with mission minded people, or just some time to connect over coffee! We want to see as many people as possible since the support raising trips are fewer and farther between as we are now church planting and it is harder to be away for long.
Other Prayer Requests...
Pray for our health and stamina as 2018 looks like it will be as busy, if not busier than any before!!! Pray with us that God will provide more co-workers for the ministry, we are specifically praying for Japanese co-workers. Our Tuesday Night Bible study is a good consistent group of a couple of believers and mostly seekers and could easily become a second church plant, but Rocky and I are at full capacity and have so many project we want to do (music recording, Bible study development, video teaching, etc.) Pray for Hana and Kai as they continue to grow in their walk with the Lord and develop into the people God created them to be. Pray for the church in Japan and for revival in this nation!!!
Please do send us a note and let us know how you are and how we can be praying for you!
With all our Love,
The Aroma Team