October EJots: Junker update for October, 2011
Dear Friends and Family,
Following the last typhoon, the weather in Japan has gotten much colder! May our passion and love for the Lord be all the warmer, regardless of the weather!
1. Jon in ST. LOUIS from 9/28-10/04… A supporting church that has been partnering with us over the past several years will be hosting 5 boys and 1 girl from Azumino Family Chapel for 2 weeks. Jon will take them over and stay with them for the first week, and Satsuki san will bring them back. Please pray the kids would really grow spiritually during this short home-stay experience, and pray the American church would also be encouraged and blessed through it.
2. ERIC and RACHEL engaged!! Two young friends who've been helping with the churches here while teaching English at Japanese schools, are now officially engaged. We actually prayed for their relationship before they even met each other!
3. ABUNDANT LIFE CHURCH (ALC)… We continue to sense the Holy Spirit working in building unity and a loving community with Christ at the center. Some September events that really encouraged that were: a worship seminar, family church camp (with Azumino Family Chapel), another karaoke outing, and a knitting time (see #5). The church members are participating more joyfully in church and events. Two pre-believing husbands have also recently been very open to church and God's word– more evidence of the change God is working!
4. FUTURE of ALC… We plan to go to the States for a 1-year home assignment from August of next year. The church is in the process of deciding if they want to continue in the same direction, or not. Please pray for wisdom, sensitivity to God's leading, and clear direction. Calling Jon's brother is one remote possibility. Asking a lay-leader in the area to help out full-time is another possibility. Please also pray for clear direction for us. We could work with the same church or another struggling church in the area, or start a church in a new area when we come back. Also please pray for the Kids' Bible Time and Ladies' Bible Time. Tammy has been leading these ministries, and so far there has been no interest among the church members to help out, let alone carry these on after we leave.
5. NEXT YEAR…We need someone to stay in our home for the year we are on home assignment. Please pray for God's provision of the right family (one family is prayerfully considering) and all the provision for that family to come.
6. TOUHOKU (Northeastern Japan)… Jon had a very good, physically tiring few days volunteering. His knees and shoulders felt much pain, but he enjoyed being able to make a difference in one family's life and encourage a small church in Iwate. Our church ladies are knitting warm scarves to take to TOUHOKU as a Christmas present. The area is very cold in the winter, and many are still in shelters and temporary housing, which is not very well insulated. Clothing stores are still not open in that area. We plan to send tracts or Christian magazines along with the scarves. Please pray these gifts would be a real encouragement and that many who are spiritually hungry would sense God's love and be led to Jesus.
7. FAMILY… We continually need prayers for the spiritual growth and education of our kids. We sense great spiritual and physical battles that keep us humble and praying. Just a few weeks ago, both boys were very hurt by what kids in school said to them, and both wanted to quit. Talks with the teachers and other students were very helpful, and they are doing better, but please do pray for Jon Luc and Peter! Also pray for our parenting and homeschool!
BIBLE JOT: God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.
Glory to God in the church!
Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus!
Glory down all the generations!
Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes! (Ephesians 3:21-22 The Message Bible)
Thank you for working together with us through support and prayers!