2017 - July Update

Dear Partner in the Gospel,

In this season of rigorous language-learning, it’s easy to feel like nothing is moving ‘forward’. Learning Japanese is a slow process, often leaving us exhausted at the end of the day after hours of strenuous effort. Language school is a quickly-changing environment where our classmates can come and go so suddenly, yet attempts to connect outside of class can be challenging to schedule followed by frequent last-minute cancellations. Though we need to remind ourselves that this environment is where God has placed us, it is difficult to continue reaching out to our classmates with the hope of talking about Jesus with them yet having many of those opportunities fall through.

And at the same time, we’re often tempted to look at the progress of other workers around us and think, “Wow—they’re getting so much done!” We share these honest feelings to invite you to pray that our hearts would be shielded from discouragement and emboldened in doing what God has called us to do.

Tokyo is His “harvest field” (Matt 9:38) and God is always at work, growing and flourishing his crops. We’re only the harvesters, called to be faithful in gathering His harvest! Our job is joyful obedience. Yet, there are times where we have failed to do what God is calling us to do, whether in avoiding difficult situations that would test our Japanese skills or not sharing our faith in a given conversation for whatever reason.  However, the other times, when we say, “yes” to God, that comes from the work of the Holy Spirit in us and the glory is His. So, please pray for this work in us to continue as we work out our salvation with fear and trembling!

Writing these updates is a good opportunity for us to stop, reflect, repent, and give thanks for His care and His work. So we invite you to celebrate what He is doing in and around us! Please take a look at the prayer requests on the following page for more details on recent events. Thank you for your prayers and support! We are grateful to be walking together with you through God’s harvest field in Tokyo.

-John, Jo Beth & Brooke Lee

Recent Events & Prayer Requests

  • This summer our team is hosting a group of seven young interns through the Apex program. Due to our language schedule we haven’t gotten to spend as much time with them as we normally would, but we’re grateful for how God is working in and through their lives for His glory. Their presence has also opened several doors for ministry opportunities, especially on the Waseda University campus.
  • Please pray for a local Japanese café-owner we’ll call ‘David’.
    David is recently divorced and, though not a believer, has also been involved in a church choir for several years and loves Gospel music and worship songs. John recently gave him a tract, and we’re praying for more opportunities to share Christ! This Friday John is planning to take some of the Apex guys to visit David’s café—please pray that David will see the light of Christ through their lives.

  • Last spring we wrote to you about a Japanese college student named Sean whom we got to know during our time in the States. As John and Sean became friends, Sean’s open heart toward the Gospel of Christ became apparent, and John had several opportunities to share Christ with him. So this summer we’ve been delighted to reconnect with Sean while he in spending the summer in his hometown, Chiba, not far from where we are living now! Meeting up together has been a wonderful mutual encouragement, and we’re praying for Sean’s young faith to grow steady in truth and conviction.

  • We’ve also had the opportunity to get together for meals with some of Jo Beth’s classmates from all over the world—S. Korea, Peru, Hong Kong, and Spain. Please pray that these growing relationships will lead to opportunities to share the Gospel of Christ with these students!

  • Please also continue to pray for our team, that we will grow together in love and unity. Especially pray for wisdom and discernment for church-planting in Waseda.

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more information at Jo-John.com