Schmidt’s Prayer Letter, May 2015
3rd floor of the church, 2 PM. “Want a banana smoothie?” Out of the blue, a guy who rarely comes to the English Speakers’ Fellowship (ESF), brings all the fixings for smoothies, and proceeds to delight our palate! Then in come many others that have not been around for a long time. The room fills up. The door opens and the Mexican dad of the newborn baby with his father and Russian stepmother visiting from Mexico enter. Congratulations ensue all around. He passes around some spicy Mexican candy instead of cigars. That morning when I was making brownies, Dieter had asked, “Are you expecting a crowd?” “Yes.” And there was. In the midst of them, we saw God’s wonderful provision in a unique situation. In the morning service we had met an English-speaking Russian lady and her daughter. That afternoon they also came to ESF for some Christian fellowship. It was amazing to see this Russian Christian translating the Bible study to our other Russian visitor, who did not know English, nor much of the Bible. We were very encouraged to see how God works in this international Group! There were 25 people from 10 nations represented that day at ESF. We look forward to what the Lord will do for the Global Day of Prayer!
Jesus, in Matthew 21:13, said that “the church” was to be a house of prayer [for all nations]. On that day of Passion Week Jesus also had an extraordinary day! It began by entering Jerusalem with praises all around Him, to clearing out the Temple of enterprising businesses, to offering healing to the blind and lame. Meanwhile the children still shouted Hosannas while the Pharisees plotted against Him. At the end of that long day Jesus headed to Bethany, where He knew He would find quiet, rest, comfort, and food.
We pray that in the midst of busyness, our guests can find the Sapporo Guest Home to also be a place of refuge and quiet. Our days are usually of the ordinary kind of getting ready for guests and preparing for ESF, among other things. This month is unusually busy, so we need prayer for energy, efficiency, and the right balance. We are looking forward to our friends from Massachusetts visiting for three days from May 18 on, and shortly after that Andrea will be here for a couple of weeks!
A year from now we are planning a home assignment for 9 months. Please pray with us for a suitable couple to come and fill in during our absence. If you know of anyone who would be interested, please get in contact with us. Our work does not require Japanese ability, though some basics are helpful.
This year we get to celebrate the extraordinary event of CIM/OMF’s 150th year anniversary! God’s unchangeableness and faithfulness to OMF is being celebrated in many different countries throughout the year. There will be events in Japan too, so please pray that God would use these opportunities for His glory and for many to be stirred to pray for missions and consider going themselves.
Praise for good cooperation and good atmosphere at the International Welcome Party in April
–various CIM/OMF’s 150 year celebration events in Sapporo June 5-7
-for two short term prayer groups from the UK and the US, as they travel in June to churches in Hokkaido to encourage believers, and to pray for openness to the Gospel in Japan
-for energy and smooth running of the Guest Home in the next two months with many coming and going
-for Rebekah, as she travels to the US on June 13, to join her husband Kevin for the summer
Rejoicing in the faithfulness of God,
Dieter and Shelley