May 2013 - Update

The Workshop on Biblical Exposition in Storm Lake

Dear Family & Friends - Partners in the Gospel,         

Can you believe that over a year has passed since we signed up for ministry in Japan?  It has—and thanks be to God! Delaying our departure this long was not in our plans, but it was in God’s all along. Looking back over this past year of seeking out supporting partners, we are amazed to see how God has worked in our lives, and the lives of others, in preparation for the plans He has laid ahead. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10). What a gift!  We'd like to share with you one of the ways God is preparing us for ministry:

I (John) have had the privilege to attend a second workshop on biblical exposition. In short, I learned to rely on God’s Word and the Holy Spirit to teach me the truths of scripture through study. Having benefited so richly from the first event in Storm Lake, I was eager to deepen my knowledge of the scriptures and hone my study methods—that I might accurately proclaim the truths of God’s Word.

I showed up on Tuesday morning alongside more than a dozen pastors who were ready to jump in. Al Lewis, a leader of pastoral training for ReachGlobal, quickly introduced himself and then announced, “I am here to recruit.” The thought flashed across my mind, “Uh oh, I’m in the wrong room.” He went on to explain that the primary intent of the Pathways workshop is not to build up those in attendance, but to foster partnerships with those who will train believers locally and globally to rely on studying the Bible for preaching and teaching (as opposed to preaching according to the ideas that each person brings into scripture).

Then, we were off—digging into the Word, putting our ideas to the test, and learning how to replicate the workshop in other contexts.

“They need this!” Al declared at the closing of the session. Suddenly, I faced the selfishness of my agenda. I went looking for spiritual edification and practical know-how, yet, until that moment, I felt like I was blind to the urgent need for those who believe in Jesus Christ to be trained to study God’s Word. Although I was aware of the logical need, I was cut to the heart in realizing the incredible grace God has shown by not only providing unlimited access to His Word, but the mentors, methods and resources I have taken for granted.

Did he recruit me? Well, we are still on track to head to Japan and I believe that God has exposed me to these workshops for a purpose. It seems likely that it may play a part in our time of ministry in Tokyo. I’m not sure to what degree, but I’m seeking the Lord and waiting on Him to reveal how these ideas should play out.

Let’s treasure God’s word together.  Grace and peace to you all!

John and Jo Beth


We are now at 71% of our total—God is so amazing!

Has God put it on your heart to partner with us in His mighty work in Japan?

Go to, click on “Support” and follow the instructions there. Be sure to designate “Lee 1752” to credit our account, and drop us a line to let us know.

Or mail checks to: EFCA, 901 E 78th, Minneapolis, MN, 55420 (Memo: Lee #1752)