This week our field ministry team prepared and taught a week long intensive English program. There were over 20 students from over 12 different countries. Michael led the “beginner” class every morning for two hours. Cathalain assisted a little while helping to take care of Tobin. As Tobin’s first ministry assignment we were grateful for how the Lord used him. He helped break down walls very quickly and many of the students loved on him! It was neat to see how God uses even small babies for His Glory.
Our prayer last week was for the Lord to help with the classes in bold ways because we definitely felt our lack of ability and need for Him. As always he showed up in mighty ways and the classes were a blessing to all involved…especially us as leaders. Today one of the students stopped us before leaving and insisted on praying for us. This was such a powerful moment to be prayed for and blessed by one of the students we were reaching out too and then in return be able to pray for Him. What a picture of the Kingdom of God.
Pray this week seeds were planted in students lives, they would all come to faith in Christ, and become connected to Astoria Community Church (or another local church).
In the Classroom
This week the emphasis was on Church Planting. Bill Yarbrough, MTW International Director for Latin America/Sub-Saharan Africa facilitated most of the sessions. Although there was time spent on details of how to church plant more time was spent talking about growing our own lives spiritually and remaining healthy amidst much stress on the field. How can we be effective if we ourselves lose sight of the message we are bringing to the nations?
Other points of discussion included why plant churches, what is a church, planning church plants, how does ethnography relate to church planting, stages of church planting, the spirits role in church planting, models for church planting, and the message, the role of nationals in church planting.
Pray Japan would see a national led church planting movement. Pray for national leaders to rise up and have callings to stay in their homeland to start churches!
We were pleasantly surprised to find out some of our future teammates in Nagoya were attending the training for 10 days. We were able to have two meals together and spend time getting to know Triston and his wife Kim, unfortunately their daughters were at home. Since we committed to the Nagoya team three additional families have also decided to join the team. Praise God for raising up workers as the harvest is plentiful!
We keep very busy between field ministry and classroom sessions. Having a baby changes the logistics of running over to Manhattan for some quick tourist moments. As we are discovering nothing is “quick” anymore! Last weekend we were able to take some time and walk around Rockefeller Center, 5th Avenue, and some side streets. Tobin especially enjoyed FAO Schwartz. We told him he could have whatever he wanted…all he had to do was ask. He isn’t too into material goods because he never said a word about wanting anything.
Behind the Scenes
Each week there is an in house e-newsletter published. Check out the second newsletter sent to all the participants for a more in depth recap of the week.
Please pray this upcoming week we would be well rested. We will be going through PILOT which is a language acquisition program…basically learning how to learn a language. (Ours being Japanese.) Pray this would be a great introduction as we will be learning Japanese for the rest of our lives!
*CCMI – Cross Cultural Ministry Internship