2018 August/September Update

Dear Beloved in Christ and Partner in the Gospel,

This time, we'll jump right in: Introducing Bonnie Bae Lee!  

Bonnie was born on August 22ndat 1:16am here in Tokyo, Japan.  She surprised us by coming ten days early and, even more shocking, taking just over one hour to arrive! That hour included an intense taxi ride to the hospital while the poor taxi driver mopped sweat from his brow in his effort to get us there in time. We were grateful to make it to the delivery room just about ten minutes before Bonnie made her appearance.  She weighed 6.7 lbs, nursed well from the beginning, and Jo Beth’s recovery has gone smoothly.  Praise the Lord that we are now a family of four!  

Since then we’ve had much joy but also a hard season of adjustment.  I (Jo Beth) find my patience running thin so often as we are short on sleep and scrambling to carry on with the daily activities of an almost-three-year-old as well as hosting a house church and various other meetings in our home. I feel the constant need for repentance, as I struggle with the desire to serve myself before others.  We are grateful for your prayers during this time of adjustment!  

In September we had another reason to celebrate—our newly believing friend ‘Larry’ was baptized along with two other members of our small church network!  In the past months we’ve been privileged to watch Larry grow as a disciple of Christ and now share his testimony boldly with others.  

It seems that joy is often laced with a flipside of hardship because, ironically, that day of celebration was also one of the hardest days we’ve experienced during this term of ministry in Tokyo.  We felt heavy opposition all through the day, starting with a 12:00am phone call letting us know that a John’s mom’s house in Iowa had caught on fire! Thankfully, no one was hurt! Ending the very long day with a lost wallet (which was eventually recovered).  We also fought some personal battles with shame and sense of failure that day. That was a firsthand experience of Satan’s attempt to steal the affection for God from our hearts, and a wake-up call to be vigilant to put on our ‘armor’ each day!  

The Lord's church
(that meets in our home)

We share honestly both the beauty and the brokenness that make up our lives with the assurance that God is working far beyond our own strength or plans, and also with the grateful knowledge that you will lift us up in prayer.  Thank you for being a part of our lives and ministry!

~John, Jo Beth & Brooke

Recent Events & Prayer

Family Life  As mentioned above, we are both blessed by the birth of little Bonnie and also hugely challenged.  Please pray for love and patience toward each other. Also for daily wisdom in shepherding Brooke’s heart.  She loves her new sister, but it’s hard to share Mom and Dad’s attention!

Baptism  Three members of the small church network (incuding ‘Larry’) were baptized in September!  We are so thankful for the Spirit’s work in the hearts of each one!  Please pray for Larry, Jeff (a middle schooler), and Hyeon (a Korean woman) as they continue to grow in their walks with Christ.  Pray for spiritual protection over their hearts and lives, and that our team would be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading for each of their discipleship.  Check our blog for the video!

Outreach Dinner & Small-Church  We had another outreach dinner in September and were blessed by a visit from John’s mother and sister, who prepared a Korean feast for the students who came! One young Christian girl named Anita came to this dinner and has now begun attending the small church meeting in our home.  The small church group is growing, nearly to the point of outgrowing our little living room! Because of this, the social dynamics change each week.  Please pray for us as well, as our teammates Michiyo and Kevin, that we will follow God’s leading in the details of planning and also that we would have Christ’s love for each member.  

Three small group churches,
gathering for three baptisms!

Our church's last outreach dinner with John's mom and sister visiting from Iowa!

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Find past updates, additional photos and

more information at Jo-John.com