April 2013 - Update

Ramen with the Yuri and Mrs. Fukuda

Dear Family & Friends - Partners in the Gospel,

Thank you to all who prayed over the possible shift in ministry focus from the tsunami disaster area in the North to Tokyo. This has not been an easy decision for us to make! However, God has led us to join the Tokyo team.

I (Jo Beth) particularly struggled with this change. Having grown up in a small town in Iowa, I never desired to live in a large city…much less one of the largest cities in the world! Though there are many reasons for this location shift, one especially grips my heart: Cities mean people. LOTS of people. Yes, it’s uncomfortable to be crowded into trains and sidewalks that are jam-packed…but could I actually let that stand in the way of going to share the most important news that the Japanese will ever hear?

A few weeks ago I was wrestling deeply with the thought of moving to Tokyo when John and I visited a certain church in Minnesota. The pastor preached on this one verse, 1 Corinthians 16:22: “If anyone does not love the Lord, let that person be cursed! Come, Lord!” The penalty for not loving Jesus, the pastor told us, is absolutely, overwhelmingly unthinkable. When a holy God curses someone to the punishment of eternal destruction, all hope is gone. I was immediately convicted of my selfishness—in this city of 32 million, so very few have ever heard the good news of salvation through the cleansing of Christ’s blood. How could I ever let personal discomfort keep me from sharing this treasure!

Please continue to pray for us during this time of transition. Not only has the location changed, but our roles in ministry will also look differently (though the end goal stays the same!). This newly formed ministry aims to network existing church plants and Christian ministries throughout Tokyo, building on a foundation that has been laid by many faithful workers, and raising up future workers to join the harvest. We’re so thankful to be joining a GREAT team to work with. We are also excited that the Lord is placing us nearby some dear Japanese friends of ours—Yuri, my friend from college, and the Fukudas, the family who rents a room to her.

Please pray that God will work now in all of these plans, and that He might soften the hearts of many to accept His grace. We also invite you to join us in prayer that He might provide for us to depart for Japan this summer, if it be His will. May the nations praise His holy name!

By His grace, John & Jo Beth Lee

OUR SUPPORT PROGRESS: We are now at 62% of our total, but a bit under that for monthly support. God is so amazing! Has God put it on your heart to partner with us in His mighty work in Japan?

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