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Aroma Ministries  --  July 2017

Church Plant Update...

BFF (Bible Family Fellowship) is continuing to flourish as Jesus keeps working in the lives of this little group.  We finished a wonderful SOP worship event for families and as our kids led worship and prepared for it through Bible study and devotions, it has really had an impact on them.  One Mom shared with me about how her daughter had been doubting the existence of God, but now she is totally changed.  One other participant has decided to declare her faith in Jesus publicly and be baptized!!!  Now the husband of one member is regularly attending and even bought a bass guitar because he wants to join in worship!  We are so excited about what God is doing in the lives of these precious friends!


F O L L O W on F A C E B O O K
F O L L O W on T W I T T E R
F O L L O W on I N S T A G R A M

Changes and Challenges and SUMMER

What a joy it is to be faced with the challenge of a growing and changing church plant!!!  We are faced with making decision in the near future that will affect the path of this church plant, and we appreciate your prayers for wisdom.  With the changes that are necessary after our missionary couple returned to the US, we feel that the Lord is bringing us into the next phase of this ministry.  We are planning to stop rotating the fellowship from house to house each week and instead meet only at the "Aroma House" from now on.  This is the building that was bought by you, our faithful supporters, for ministry almost two years ago.  It was the Camp's home, and the location for meetings and ministry activities, and the once or twice a month location for worship in the beginning.  It will now become our weekly worship location, making it easier to advertise our worship service each week and to invite strangers to be a part of the fellowship.  However, we will lose the "home" atmosphere that functioning as a house church, going from house to house each week, brought with it.  We were reluctant to do this because many people had shared with us that it was easier to invite friends and family to worship if they felt they were going to a friend's home, rather than to a "church".  Japanese people assume they can not go to a Christian worship service if they are not a Christian, and so we are trying to break down these barriers.  Aroma House will not be called a "church" it will continue to be known as simply Aroma House.  The fellowship of believers and seekers who make up BFF will continued to be called the church and we will continue to preach to our members that THEY are the church, not the building!


The SOP worship even that we were closely involved in was powerful!!!!!!!!!  Here is a link to videos of our event on Saturday here in Kitakyushu (two other events were held in Kumamoto and Nagasaki as well that weekend).

Every year Rocky and I join Seinan Jo Gakuin (the school I originally worked for in Japan) for the Jr. High and High School Summer Bible Camp.  Rocky and I lead worship and teach at several Bible sessions.  We also incidentally get to play in the pool and on the beach with the students and we get to learn their names and hang out with them after only meeting them in chapel once a month from the stage all year.  Please pray for an impact filled Bible Camp this year as we have been able to deepen our relationship with the girls through the new twice a month Bible study on their campus as well!  Pray that they will continue to sense the Lord's deep desire to have a personal relationship with each of them, and that they will respond!

We are now busy preparing for the arrival of the Crosby Team, from First Baptist Crosby Texas.  They will arrive on Sunday evening.  Monday we will decorate the Summer School (VBS) venue, and Tuesday let the craziness begin!  Please pray for the team as they prepare, us as we prepare to receive them, and for all the children and families who will be involved in the week of ministry.  Summer School is from Tuesday to Friday, dinner dates for deeper fellowship happen each evening, Friday afternoon we head to the mountains for Family Camp through Sunday, and the team leaves on Monday (my least favorite part).  This is always an intense week of ministry and the Lord works in many ways.  Please cover this week in prayer, for safety, for health and strength and stamina, for many moments of heart impact ministry, and for names to be written in the Book of Life this week!!!

Pray for STRENGTH and STAMINA, that we will be as strong as Rocky is here...


You may have heard of the devastating torrential rain that struck our prefecture this month.  There were more than 30 people killed in the floods (20 people are still missing), and hundreds of families lost their homes and businesses.  Please remember to pray for these people and the Kyushu Christian disaster relief center that has already begun the work of helping those severely affected by the rain.  BFF is currently taking up an offering to help the disaster relief center, and after summer ministry is over we hope to go ourselves and support the relief work.  Please remember Kyushu in your prayers!


The change in our team this year means that our planned trip back to the states has to be postponed for the time being.  We had announced that we would be returning to the states to reconnect with you, our wonderful friends and supporters, in August and September.  This will not be the case after all but please pray with us that the Lord might make it possible for us to return to the US for a short time sometime in 2018.


If you are interested in providing BFF with small prizes for the kids to receive for finishing their devotions weekly and the sermon notes each week at worship, please drop me an email.  We need small things like stickers, stamps, pencils, erasers, small toys, etc. to put in a prize box for the kids to pick from each week.  Thank you!

We so appreciate you and your prayers for our ministry!  Please don't hesitate to hit reply and let us know how YOU are doing!  Also, please let us know how we can pray for you!!!

Many blessings from HOT and MUGGY Japan,
Rocky and Marla
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