Community, Baptism, Newest Member of Our Family, etc.

Here are some photos from the last several months!

A surprise birthday gathering for Yoco, a good friend to Emma and many in our community & beyond. Emma has enjoyed spending many hours with many of these dear ladies over the last few years, talking about life, the gospel, and many other things.

One of the highlights from this summer was seeing Emma's good friend, Rena, get baptized. She was one of the first people Emma met through our kids' kindergarten when we moved to Japan in 2014. We have been so encouraged by what God has done and continues to do in her life. When she was baptized, her husband and their two boys joined us for our Sunday gathering, where she had a chance to share her testimony with everyone. And since then, she and her sons have joined our Sunday gatherings. Please pray for God's ongoing work in Rena & her family’s life!

Our bi-monthly community dinner continues to be an opportunity for us to show hospitality, deepen our friendship with others in our community who are not yet followers of Jesus, and connect people to a Christian community. Praying for God's favor with our friends, especially with men.

One-day special Kids Games in partnership with Grace Harbor Church and KCM, a short-term team from California.

KCM Dinner/Games at our place. This has become a tradition every year. Grateful for these guys!

Shinto Mikoshi (a vehicle to carry a deity) being carried around Toyosu. Most people participate in these rituals without having any personal belief in these gods, but I'm reminded afresh of the reason why we're here.

Sojourn Church in Fairfax, VA, one of our gospel partners, sent Scott & Adrienne Cooper to spend several days with us this summer. Scott is a professional videographer, and they walked all over Toyosu, filmed our activities, and made a great video for us, which we'll post here shortly. They worked as a fantastic team, and they both were a great encouragement to us! Thank you, Scott & Adrienne and our friends at Sojourn! (Here, they were trying our favorite Japanese ice cream…)

Celebrating Emma's birthday as a family. Emma has been the primary person to bring many people into our church community, invest significant time in developing relationships, and cared for her friends spiritually and practically. She is making the biggest sacrifice among all of us in our family in being a part of a church plant where only Japanese is spoken. I thank God for her and for her perseverance!

The newest member of our family! Scratch is his name. He was Tamia's birthday gift but has brought delight to all of us.

Golfing in Japan is pretty expensive, so I can only go occasionally, but it’s an all-day event (drive to and from, playing, and then bathing together afterward - yup, that's right, it's a thing here;-), and it provides a much needed opportunity to build relationships with men. Please pray for more opportunities with them!

Girls movie night!

We continue to gather as a church with a few families on Sundays. We are grateful to God for allowing us to share the vision and purpose for the church with these dear folks. Please pray for God's grace and guidance as we focus on making disciples as a church!

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