Missions Moment – Japan

Posted in: Missions

John and Eriko Houlette, Three Streams Ministries, Asian Access

The Houlettes are Asian Access workers having served for 34 years in Japan and Asia. Their ministries include leadership training, church development, clergy care, Disaster Response Chaplaincy, seminary education and research.

HH at a Glance

– Three training workshops were held at Gospel Town in Ohira Village on June 6th for 30 denominational pastors and on the 15th and 20th for 15 Asian Access Global Leader Interns and seminary students. I taught on the topics of burnout, emotional health in ministry and ministering to hurting people.

– My father Richard Houlette, pictured below, had double pneumonia in May, so I took a quick trip to be with him for ten days.  He is weak and in poor health.  He turns 94 in July. This picture was taken about five years ago, but he still has his magnetic smile!

– Eriko’s mom who has been living with us since last December will be moving into an assisted living facility next month.

– I finished teaching my last seminary extension class this year at Hokushin Calvary Church on June 4th.

– I will debrief the staff of the Kyushu Christ Disaster Relief Center (Kyukisai) June 27-30 in Mashiki Machi, Kyushu.

– I will teach two seminars on mentoring and emotional care at the annual Salvation Army Staff Training Conference on July 4th in Tokyo.

– Eriko will attend a Prepare-Enrich Facilitators Training course in Tokyo on July 4th.

– We leave for the US for a nine-week Home Assignment next month. I depart on July 12th, and Eriko will join me on July 24th. Eriko returns to Japan on August 24th.  We will visit SoCal (7/15-23),  Boston (7/27-31), Charlotte (7/31-8/4), NorCal (8/5-9/6; 9/12-20) Portland, OR and Vancouver, BC (9/7-11).  Please email us if you would like to get together.



Practicing Presence

And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest. Exodus 33:14

As a leader, Moses desperately needed to hear these promises while he sincerely sought after and listened to God in the desert wilderness–gifts of God’s intimate presence and reviving rest.

Presence and listening have been powerfully strategic at Three Stream Ministries.  I taught on practicing presence and acquiring good listening skills at the Attentive Listening seminar for ministry interns this week.  These are truly healing gifts for survivors. One girl approached me afterwords and said that these concepts helped her process her own pain as a caregiver by telling her story to another person during the workshop.

For ten days in May and June, I learned anew the meaning of presence and rest.  I spent those days with my father at the Veterans Home of California in Redding, CA, where he is a resident. I witnessed first hand God’s work of healing, comfort, care and kizuna, or bonding. My father was on the brink of death after double pneumonia with his lungs, kidneys and heart shutting down. As I slept in a recliner for several nights at his side, I could hear his struggle to survive. But the fervent effectual prayers of the righteous, sacrificial care of the staff and his will to live, have brought him back to health. We do not know how long he will live, but those ten days further strengthened the bonds as father and son, children and father, grand children and grandfather and great grand children and great grand father for which we are forever grateful. God redeemed this for our good and his glory. The staff here is truly on mission loving on my dad and providing me with meals and a room to sleep.

Practicing presence as a son happens in different ways.  When my dad wanted a shake and burger from In-N-Out, I was on it.  Spring rolls?  Redding Airport Chinese takeout. When I asked him if he wanted me to stay overnight in his room and he said yes, I slept in the recliner.  Spooning ice chips, prayers, reading scripture, watching Little House on the Prairie on YouTube, and FaceTime with grand kids and great grand kids were great shared experiences.  Did I experience physical rest?  Not so much. Soul rest and peace?  Abundantly.



  1. For the final preparations for our Home Assignment and safety in travel. Our schedule is quite full up until we leave.
  2. For the Kyukisai staff debriefing 6/27-30 and Salvation Army seminars on 7/4.
  3. For good life and ministry rhythms for Pastor Kuba at Hokushin Calvary Church.
  4. For Eriko’s research in the earthquake zone.
  5. For good transition for Eriko’s mom into an assisted living facility in a few weeks.

Serving the Lord together with you.