Missions Moment – Japan

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John and Eriko Houlette, Three Streams Ministry

  • Relax Camp at C-On Kinshuko was restful and delightful. There were close to 40 individuals in attendance. We ate traditional Japanese New Year’s food including ramen noodles in a snow igloo (kamakura).  We did snow shoeing and tubing.  Attendees appreciated times of reflection on the blessings of God through learning about the Cycle of Grace. (Photo credits: John and Eriko Houlette, Takayuki Araki).

  • Our retreat in South Asia is coming up.  Thanks to those who gave designated gifts, we are almost at our goal. So far $4700 has come in.  Please pray for final preparations and for pastors Nagai and Morofuji who will be joining me on the trip.
  • The wedding!  Our daughter Christine gets married to Soichi Tada in two weeks (1/21)!  We are in the midst of final preparations.  It my first time to give a daughter away.  Tissues please!

How beautiful upon the mountains 
are the feet of him who brings 
good news, who publishes peace, 
who brings good news of happiness, 
who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”  Isaiah 52:7

Greetings from chilly Sendai!  Today I am working on a message for Sunday at Hokushin Calvary Church on the topic of strength from Isaiah 41 and putting together the details for the South Asia Retreat.  In missions, we must always think of context and culture in preparing for ministry. As I work on materials for the retreat, I must adapt presentations in a way which fit a more oral culture, provide time for interpretation into another language and then orient Japanese pastors on how to contextually share their testimonies in English in South Asia around themes of spiritual rhythms and grace.  Humanly it can be a frustrating and overwhelming task.  But then I reflect on beauty.  The beauty of the good news and of the person bringing it. What a privilege to publish peace, to bring good news of happiness which is all about our sovereign God who reigns!  The pastors coming to the retreat are seeing people coming to Christ in large numbers.  May they themselves experience the beauty of the gospel even as they preach it to others.

 

MINISTRY OF PRAYER 

  1. For safety, strength and great fellowship at the South Asia Retreat (1/24-2/2).  Pray that the Holy Spirit would guide all of us each step of the way.
  2. For the families of the suicide victims. We still keep in contact.
  3.  For Hokushin Calvary Church in Fukushima and their pastor Masanori Kuba who is on sabbatical. I am preaching there twice a month.
  4.  For ongoing teaching, mentoring, coaching and counseling opportunities.
  5. For wisdom on how to provide emotional care for care givers in Kumamoto.  I will go there again in March.
  6. For the health of Eriko’s mother. She had an eye operation last month and is living with us for the foreseeable future.  Pray that we would have the strength and wisdom to provide loving care.