Ministry news from Rocky and Marla, as 2020 turns out to be an interesting year.
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April 2020

Church Plant Update:

As most other churches around the world, BFF has gone online!  We now worship every week through Zoom.  If you would like to join us, please send a message asking for the link each week.  Most all interaction is in Japanese but in the comments section, Marla types out a translation in English so you can keep up with what is going on.  Last week we had guests from Ukraine, America, and distant cities within Japan.  We worship at 7pm Japan time, so join us if you are interested in meeting our precious group.  Beginning this week we will have Breakout sessions after worship so people can stick around for a little bit of extra fellowship time.

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Turning to technology...

God's timing is always perfect.  We think it is no coincidence that Rocky and Marla started a new YouTube channel just as this pandemic was beginning.  And now it is so useful for much more than just our Kiniarude Show (which by the way has three episodes out now, check it out at Rocky and Marla Show on YouTube, be sure to turn on English captions if you need them).  Rocky and Yoshiya have worked hard for the last two weeks to put up daily devotionals for BFF Kids and really any kids around Japan who want to enjoy them.  With kids not being able to attend school it is a great way to give them something to start out their day.  If you are interested in those, please check them out.  You can also find two of Rocky's acoustic guitar sessions up, so far!  More of that to come in the future I hope!!!  You can follow Rocky and Marla Show on Instagram and Twitter too.  And join a LINE official account (@736lbkgm) if you are interested in keeping up with notifications about the shows.

Just this week we have also begun to discuss how we can continue to do ASK ministry online if this time of "stay at home" emphasis continues.  Please pray for our team of ladies who help Marla run ASK each week, begin to learn how to teach English and do our crafts and activities through Zoom.  We are planning to do a test run next week, then if our students desire to keep going in this way we will start planning what to do.  We may package and send by mail all the supplies and parts they need for crafts and activities, and we will hopefully get into the swing of things in the coming weeks.

Pray with us that as we and many other Japanese churches start putting a LOT more content online, it will be used to reach more and more people!!!  We are excited about what this might mean for the future and are praying that Japanese churches will continue to integrate this technology into their ministry even after Covid 19 if over.


School and homeschool...

Japan canceled 3 weeks of the end of the previous school year.  The new school year is always set to begin the second week of April.  This year however, most schools are still closed.  Hana was able to attend the opening ceremony for her new high school and one week of classes (shortened days) that first week to be sure all students were connected online through their school ipads.  Her school is in the neighboring prefecture of Yamaguchi which has yet to see many cases of Covid 19.  In order to keep her from contracting the virus on trains and buses that week we drove to school everyday and came home by car.  It was good to get that beginning connection with her school, but now it is back home and studying online.  We are thankful that her school already required ipads for all students making it possible for them to transition to distance learning.  Most other schools can not do this and are simply requiring kids to do piles of worksheets at home while they wait until kids can come back to the classroom.  Pray for Hana and all the students at her school.  They must sit in front of their iPads online through a regular class schedule.  They will be counted absent if they are not signed into class in real time, unless they have a network connection issue or other acceptable excuse.  It is not much fun to sit in front of that screen all day, but hopefully this will mean they can still have a normal summer vacation, and it will not disrupt their education as much as it has other schools.

In addition to Hana being a student there, Marla is now a Bible teacher at this private Christian school.  It has been an adjustment to learn how to hold class through the networks and apps the school is using, to keep up with all the faculty communication in Japanese, and also to be required to commute to the school for official teacher duties.  All teachers must be at the school and broadcast their classes from the classroom so far.  However, it is already evident how much the Lord is using this challenging time.  Because students are listening to morning worship each day on their iPads at home, parents are also hearing the messages.  When Marla spoke in chapel this week she got personal private messages from several moms who were very encouraged by the message God spoke to their hearts!  These are mostly non Christian families.  What an amazing way that God is using this time!  Many who are stuck at home are able to hear the Gospel through their child's daily morning chapel service and weekly Bible class!!!  Praise God!

Supporters, please read...

Once again, we want you to know, if you are financially supporting Aroma Ministries, as always we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  However, at this time with the shut down of many businesses and schools, the economic downturn in many places around the world, and the hardships that this virus is causing, we want you to know that we completely understand if you need to pause your giving at this time.  Please do not hesitate to let us know that it has become necessary for you to do so and how we can be praying for you.


As always we would love to hear from you.  Please let us know how you and your family are during this pandemic, and how we can be praying for you!

With all our Love,
The Aroma Team
Copyright © 2020 Aroma Ministries, All rights reserved.

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