January 2013 - Update

"Family Time"
Dear Support Team,

How are you? We have both battled colds and the flu in the past few weeks, but we are glad to find ourselves healthy again and ready to carry on in ministry partnership-development. As you know, sickness can be an uncomfortable and sometimes discouraging setback, but we’d like to share with you one of the ways God has picked us up with encouragement us this month.

About one month ago, John was making phone calls regarding Japan and left a message at a particular church along the way. About two weeks later, we were going about our evening routine when John got a call from an unfamiliar number—for us, this usually is a good thing. Listening from the other end, I could tell the call was from a church—but after a few minutes, the tone of John’s voice changed from formal politeness to a joyful familiarity. He talked for quite some time, so by the time the call ended I was waiting curiously to hear the details.

As it turned out, the church staff member who returned the call ‘happened’ to be John’s old youth pastor, Tom, from his jr. high school years! When Tom had volunteered to return John’s phone call, he had no idea he was calling a former student (since “John Lee” is a fairly common-sounding name). Over 12 years ago, Tom set an example of godliness and mercy for John when life at home was filled with brokenness. How exciting to hear of this man who had made such an impact for Christ on John’s young life! Clearly a surprise blessing from our Lord!

So last weekend we met Tom, his wife and son for dinner in Des Moines. Over steaming bowls of pasta, we got to know one another and observed the beautiful tapestry of God’s work and how it played out in our lives. All those years ago Tom was faithful to plant the seed of the gospel in the hearts of his youth group kids. God grew that seed in John’s heart and, by His grace, we hope to one day see the continuation of that fruitful harvest in Japan. It reminds me of 1 Corinthians 3:7 “…neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” We are grateful for those who have “planted & watered” in our lives, and we move forward entrusting all growth to our great Creator! He is so good.

We hope you are all well and look forward to hearing your own stories of His goodness!

John & Jo Beth Lee

One time support:  100% -Woo!
Monthly support: 38% - Whew!