Excerpts from their June/July Newsletter
Yesterday we said good-bye to Minnie, one of the OMF language students from Hong Kong. She had been staying with us for the past 6 months and now moved into an apartment close to her newly assigned church. There she will serve for a year to firm up her language. Normally a course of study at the OMF language school is 26 months. Lately we have seen an increase in young people coming to the Japan field, who already have considerable language skills. Within 6 months to a year they are usually proficient enough to join a team or a church to get further training. The Guest Home works well for a place to live for 6 months or less.
A couple of weeks ago Shelley and I had the chance to go help the OMF couple, who has led the relief effort in the Tsunami area in Iwate for the past two years. They are closing up the volunteer center in Miyako and Dieter was able to take down the bunk beds and walls that he had constructed two years ago. That volunteer room facilitated over 500 volunteers in the past couple of years! For Shelley this was the first time to go to Iwate since the Tsunami happened. Though it has been over two years now, she was still very much affected by the devastation that is still evident. Overall we were encouraged, though, with the progress in restoration that can be seen. Everywhere we drove there is construction going on and there seems to be a spirit of forward movement – signs of hope.
We are excited to see the Japanese pastor couple Takahashi take over the operation in that area, and to see how the relief work will now also change into a church planting effort. Pray with us for God’s abundant harvest from all those seeds sown by teams of volunteers!
In less than two weeks, on July 1st, we will be on our way to Jakarta, Indonesia, to attend the Rebekah and Kevin’s wedding! The celebration happens on Monday, July 8. Our good friend, Steve Weemes, will perform the wedding ceremony. Thank you for praying for the final wedding preparations and also for travel mercies for all of us who come from afar to attend. May God be glorified in this wonderful event.
With our English Speakers’ Fellowship we are planning a retreat in September on a public holiday. Pray for God’s leading in choice of place and theme. Our English Service is taking place every last Sunday of the month. Thanks for praying for God’s working His purposes amongst us!
In the Friday evening Easy English Bible group for working people, we are sensing a keen interest in spiritual things by two of the participants. Pray for God to open hearts and for them to come to committed faith in Jesus. Thank you for your partnership in bringing the Gospel to Japan!
- Thankful that the Coaching Workshop gave us helpful skills to mentor people
- Shelley’s good results from the SPEC scan (for her heart); no further testing needed for now
- New members at English Speakers’ Fellowship as result of the International Welcome Party
- July 8: The big day for Kevin and Rebekah! Pray for God to be glorified in their union.
- July 9: Safety in traveling back for all of us who came from afar
- July 15: Beach outing with the church and internationals; Andrea will come for a week!
- Shelley’s brother Dale; continue to pray for healing from kidney cancer and for his salvation
Thank you for your partnership in bringing the Gospel to Japan!
Dieter and Shelley