2017 - August Update

Dear Beloved in Christ and Partner in the Gospel,

How have you been?  We often think of you and thank God for providing such wonderful care for our family through you.  Thank you for being part of our lives and ministry to the people of Tokyo!  We are humbled by God's gracious care in you.

August has been a challenging month for our family, as Brooke was very sick for about 2 ½ weeks with a cold/fever/earache combination that kept us all from being able to sleep or function normally.  Thankfully, it’s finally cleared up—we are so happy to see our little girl grinning and running around again! 

Catching up with Michiyo at "David's" Cafe

Though our primary focus for now is learning Japanese, one of the ways we are still involved with our team’s ministry is through our bi-weekly Missional Life Start-Up Group.  For a while now, our team has been exploring the idea of church-planting through small house churches, so we have been meeting as team for worship together in the home of the Nakazawa family.  We’d like to share a glimpse of what these meetings look like, so you can better picture it and pray with us for God’s leading.

Since the Nakazawas were away on a trip, we had the pleasure of hosting the group in our own home for the first time.  At 5:30 on Saturday evening, the doorbell rang—we scurried to pick up some toys from the floor and welcome our guests in.  It was a small group this time-just our family and our teammates Hannah and Michiyo.  We visited for a little while and got started by singing along with a few worship song videos that Michiyo had selected for our worship time.  Since our apartment building doesn't allow musical instruments, this is a simple way to sing quietly and praise God together. 

After worship time, we shared a couple pizzas for dinner while also sharing our hearts, talking about the high and low points of the past couple weeks and also sharing how God is encouraging and challenging us in outreach and discipleship opportunities.  We also spent time praying individually for each other.  After that we prayed for the Holy Spirit to teach us as we dug into the Scriptures, sharing along the way what He placed on our hearts, and encouraging one another to walk in obedience.  We wrapped up around 8:00 with some tea and snacks before saying goodbyes. 

Being a Community with the Nakazawas

We are eager to see a community like this grow up in our own home and around our neighborhood. We value these small-group times together and look forward to how God may expand this ministry to friends and neighbors.  Thank you for praying for our community, the Waseda neighborhood, our team as we seek the Lord’s way forward, and for our family!

-John, Jo Beth & Brooke Lee

Recent Events & Prayer Requests

Connecting with Jo Beth's Classmates

  • Language study continues. John has been using a self-directed language study approach to focus on putting the many classroom lessons to use, especially in “real-life” conversations.  Jo Beth continues to study at a nearby language school.  Please pray that God would continue to enable us to learn and communicate.
  • Please continue to pray for our neighbor and café-owner, ‘David’.  Thank you for your prayers. Though John was not able to visit at the same time, Shige went with the APEX team to David’s café to eat, play worship music and connect with David.  John has been connecting with David weekly as part of his language study and outreach.  Please pray for his salvation as we continue to look for opportunities to bless him and share with him. (Correction: last time we misreported that he is divorced, though he and his wife have been working through the process of filing for it.)
  • Jo Beth has had brief opportunities to share her faith with some of her classmates. We are hoping to have several of them over next week. Please pray that these growing relationships will lead to opportunities to share the Gospel with these students. 
  • Please also continue to pray for our team, next steps in church planting and unity in Christ.  Please pray for Rob and Jill Stoddard who are back home in Michigan yet continue to lead ReachGlobal’s work in Asia. Please pray for Shige who is leading the charge in our church planting strategy.  Please pray for Rie who is running an English-school, teaching in public schools, and ministering to her students and their families.  Please pray for Hannah who has been working with Rie, teaching English and ministering to students and their families.  Please pray for Michiyo who has been ministering to university students and has a special burden for international students.

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Find past updates, additional photos and
more information at Jo-John.com