September 2012 - Update

Dear co-laborers in the gospel,

We hope you are well! God continues to pour out grace as we forge on with ministry partnership development before we are able to leave for Japan. Lately, this has taken the form of visiting with various churches and pastors.

Several weeks ago, John made a phone call to a church Missouri asking if they would be interested to hear about what God is doing in Ishinomaki. They said yes and invited us to share a presentation with their congregation! Excited and encouraged, we scheduled the presentation for mid-September and began to call around to other churches in that same area. This way, we thought, we could optimize our time & travel. So when the time came to travel down to Missouri, we had our presentation as well as two visits with pastors lined up. Perfect!

So last Thursday as we were wrapping up a work week and packing our bags, we received a call from the church where we’d originally scheduled the presentation…something unexpected had come up and they needed postpone! We were crushed. Lord, how could you let this happen—we thought you were guiding all of this!

Well, we decided, since we have these other two visits scheduled now, we’d better go ahead and drive down to Missouri and fulfill our commitments to have coffee with these pastors. So bright and early Friday morning we climbed into the car for a 7 ½ hour drive. We had our first meeting that afternoon with a missions pastor and had a nice chat. After that, we enjoyed a free day on Saturday to explore the St. Louis area and take a few pictures at the Cardinals baseball stadium.
Our next little coffee-break meeting was set for Sunday afternoon in Cuba, Missouri. Since we no longer needed to give a presentation that morning, we decided to attend services in Cuba and tour around the town until our scheduled meeting time.

We stepped into this recently planted, thriving E. Free Church and felt instantly welcomed as we stepped inside. A little girl even went out of her way to show us around the building and make sure we were comfortable as the worship service began. After some singing, the pastor started with a video clip that had some trouble getting started. So, on the spur of the moment, he had everyone take several minutes to greet someone you’ve never met before. Well, we stuck out like a sore thumb as visitors, so people were practically climbing over their seats to shake our hands. We were able to meet many of the people around us and visit with them for a while. After the service, the pastor and his wife found us and took us out for lunch before our meeting and enjoyed a great time of fellowship. You know, said the pastor at one point, we were just saying the other day that we need to get connected with some missionaries! We were floored! They were actually seeking out missionaries to support?! Wow. And so, we realized anew, God’s hand is on every detail.

He is so good! John & Jo

• One-Time Need support level: 56%
• Monthly support level: 28%