2018 January Update

Dear Beloved in Christ and Partner in the Gospel,

How have you been lately? We pray you are well! This winter is passing quickly for us. God provided just the right circumstances to surprise our families by going home for Christmas this year, so we took a brief trip to Iowa over the holidays! We enjoyed precious time catching up with our families and feel very blessed and built-up by the little time we spent at home.

Kisses 'bye-bye' to Gramma & Grampa

After returning to Japan, we were met with a lot of exciting developments: We have a new short-term teammate, Kevin Moore. His arrival has already blessed our team and multiplied our excitement for God’s work in Tokyo. Rob Stoddard, our team leader, was back in country for a couple of weeks. With his leadership, we were spurred on to take some long-awaited steps forward in our church planting discussion. Our missional life group (MLG) is now meeting on a weekly basis at the Nakazawa’s home and we’re anticipating a healthy split into two groups in the near future. We pray that we will see some new bible studies or MLGs alongside these as well—all to reach the lost with the gospel of Christ.

Ever since we moved into the neighborhood, we envisioned the possibility of hosting a group in our home. In that direction, we have continued to build relationships with neighbors, local merchants and families with young children Brooke’s age. However, in the last couple of weeks, we have seen God bring into our home a rather unexpected group—university students.

Student Gathering

Last month, we shared about a small group of students that met in our home for a Christmas party. At that event, we were encouraged to be able to work with our teammate Michiyo to serve those students and even share the Gospel. Last week, we welcomed them back but they weren’t able to attend. However, by Michiyo’s invitation, God brought others who had already attended a team Christmas outreach event. Three students came!

Alongside our teammates Kevin, Michiyo and Hannah, we stuffed ourselves eating “Nabe”, enjoyed time getting to know one another, and began talking about the bible. Abby, a girl from Taiwan, expressed that she is a Christian and hasn’t had any support for her faith during her time in Japan. The others, Larry (from East Asia) and Yoshi (Japanese) are interested in God and want to know more. By the end of the night, each had expressed interest in reading the Bible together!

Japanese 'Nabe'

We look forward to our time together with them again this weekend, and wait eagerly to see how God is moving in their hearts. Yes, we are excited about these possibilities, but pray that our joy would ever only be in His joy.

We are so grateful to walk in partnership with you for the glory of God, and we pray His blessings on your life and ministry. 

-John, Jo Beth & Brooke Lee

Brooke's First Tokyo Snowman!

Recent Events & Prayer 

Thank you for lifting up our financial support needs this past Autumn!  God has provided miraculously in several ways, and our finances are currently in a much better situation.

Pray for wisdom in how to move forward in ministry together as a family.  We wrestle daily with the balance between family life and ministry events.  Brooke can easily fall through the cracks and end up sitting through long meetings that are uninteresting to a 2-year old.  We love doing ministry together, and would appreciate prayer for discernment in how to approach each opportunity.

Pray for our language-learning.  We want to make the most of our time for learning Japanese, and even though we will gradually cut back on formal classes we still have a long way to go.  Please pray that God will provide the language we need to represent Him well in Japan.

Pray for wisdom in which ministry opportunities to pursue, and for God’s perfect timing.  We are praying toward starting a Missional Life Group in our own home, working in synergy with our team’s church-planting strategy, but don't yet have clarity for the details.

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