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Aroma News January 2019

The latest from Rocky and Marla as they spread the Aroma of Christ in Japan!
December was a whirlwind of Christmas concerts AND Christmas BFF (Bible Family Fellowship) events!  The good news of the birth of Jesus is always easy to share in December as Japan celebrates Christmas without connection to the true reason for the season.  Stores are decorated with trees and ribbon, Santa is everywhere, and speakers in public places play all the traditional Christmas hymns!  We love taking advantage of this opening to share the reason for our JOY at Christmas.

ASK (After School Klub) ended the Fall semester with a Christmas party for all of our students and their families!  BFF finished the month of advent by placing the baby Jesus in the manger which had been appearing piece by piece each week of advent (see the picture above: manger, hay, swaddling cloth, and finally baby Jesus).  On Christmas Eve we celebrated together with a wonderful Christmas meal, and a candle light time of worship and reflection on the coming of our Savior.  BFF is enjoying attendance numbers well into the 30s and sometimes over 40 the past couple of months!  Keep praying for all who are touched by the Gospel and the true fellowship of believers they experience when they come to BFF!

2019 is off to a great start!

As we begin 2019, we are excited about all that will be happening in our ministry this year.  We will be taking a short, quick trip to Seattle and a couple of other locations in the West from Feb 10 - 28.  Our main reason for going is to lead worship at a conference in Seattle called Reaching the Japanese for Christ.  This will be our second time to attend and lead worship for RJC.  We are really looking forward to this trip!  Please pray for safe travel and the many ministry opportunities we will have.  Pray for the BFF church body in our absence.  We know that those who will be leading while we are away are more than capable of feeding these sheep!

ASK (After School Klub) is finishing up the 2018-2019 year in March and will start a new year in April.  We plan to change the location of ASK from the borrowed fellowship hall of a local church to our very own Aroma House!  We are looking forward to another great year of exploring the Bible while also learning English with our elementary kids!  This is our Christmas Party picture from December!

Tuesday night Bible study continues to be a great time of fellowship and teaching for about 10 people.  We now have Chinese exchange students attending, therefore a missionary couple from Malaysia are coming each week to help teach and disciple these Chinese speakers in their own language!  Pray for this little group as they each draw closer and closer to knowing their Savior.

The church plant, BFF (Bible Family Fellowship) is steadily growing and becoming crowded!  From the beginning we have been brainstorming and praying about how the Lord would have us "expand our territory" when the need arises.  We still strongly feel that a larger building where more people can gather is not the direction he would take us.  We are speaking with core members about having "satellite" BFF worship and fellowship in their homes on a rotating schedule each week.  We will still have BFF at Aroma House, and the satellite meetings will join us by FaceTime for the message time.  Each individual home will have the same pot luck meal, singing and sharing time simultaneously before tuning in for the message live from Aroma House.  If we do it this way, each core family would only miss fellowship with everyone else once a month, instead of some of the group having to split off permanently if we divide for growth.  As we continue to talk with others about doing it this way, please pray for us!  Pray that members will understand the responsibility of not only "hosting" but of shepherding and caring for those who might gather in their home.  That they will feel the calling to step into that role of ministry!!!

Through the year we will continue to speak and lead worship in two Christian schools in town, and do concerts wherever we are invited to go (one tour in the tsunami stricken region of Tohoku is taking shape in April and other local concerts are popping up on the calendar).  Rocky is also back in the studio!  Currently he is producing 3 bilingual worship songs for us to share with the RJC conference (and the world) and will also be helping another artist produce a mini-album in the coming months.

Hana and Kai continue to grow and change.  Hana is becoming a very gifted pianist and swimmer!  Kai LOVES tennis and all things Star Wars (and some piano too).  We are half way through the homeschool year in Aroma Academy where Hana is a freshman in High School, and Kai is in 4th grade!  We celebrated Kai's 10th birthday this month.  Please remember our children in your prayers too.  This bilingual, bicultural, PK, MK, traveling, always changing and never ordinary life may look fun on the outside but it comes with its own set of challenges.  As they grow into (are already in) the years where insecurity can often become an area of struggle would you pray that they will both see their beautiful worth in God's eyes, grow to love and adore their Savior, and walk with Him in complete trust and surrender!  Pray that He capture their hearts fully!

Please let us hear from you and how we can pray for you also!  You are such a vital part of this ministry, thank you for supporting us in prayer so faithfully!  If you are in the Portland, Seattle, Phoenix, or LA area, touch base with us about our trip in February!  We might be able to connect!

Blessings from Japan,

The Ayatsukas (Rocky, Marla, Hana, and Kai)
For we are the Aroma of Christ to those who are perishing
and to those who are being saved!  2 Corinthians 2:15
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