INTERNATIONAL MINISTRY UPDATE FOR MAY 2010
The beginning of this year presented to us a new vision for ministry. Pastor Hisoka Murakami, the Assembly Kyoto Church’s Senior Pastor, summed it all up in the verse spoken by the patriarch Israel to his son Joseph in Genesis 49: 22, “whose braches climb over a wall.” For our English-speaking congregation, it meant several images for growth and expansion. First of all, we would like to grow in our knowledge of God and in our relationship with Him. We cannot supplant communion with activity, time for the King with kingdom work. Likewise, we would like to grow in our relationship within our community of faith. There is a need for a more focused study of the Word of God and to the building up one another’s faith. Finally, we would like to glorify God by developing approaches to reaching out to those who are not of the faith yet.
The month of May is special in so many ways. Having five Sundays, we have filled–up the calendar and also have accomplished many things. On the first Sunday, we quietly remembered the 11th anniversary of this ministry. There was no fanfare, but only a solemn acknowledgment of God’s faithfulness to us. On May 16th, we heard a challenging and powerful testimony from Brother Nilo E., a Filipino missionary to a dangerous place in Central Asia. He talked about God’s call and purpose for our lives. We also joined the prayer campaign that started on May 13th and culminated on May 23rd for the Global Day of Prayer that happened on the same day as we celebrated the Pentecost, the widely accepted historical birth of the Christian church. Brother Patroba Odera (Kenya) led us in corporate prayer for this event.
In April we welcomed Pastor Takatani Mitsuyo, a new co-worker into our fellowship. This month, we were privileged to hear her lead us in worship and on the 30th she debuted as a preacher in our congregation. Her message was based on the Gospel of St. Luke 19:1-10.
SUNDAY ENGLISH BIBLE STUDY
This is a weekly event that takes place from 4:00 to 4:55 p.m. Topics for May included studies in I Peter.
It started in February but we hold it once a month every third Sunday. The first guest speaker we had was the Rev. Fernando Paunil, Philippine National Director of Prayer-Life Ministries. He preached last May 16th when we also got our first twenty copies of the Tagalog Bible that we used for the service.
Golden Week was a grand holiday for most people in Japan, however, around thirty people showed up for barbecue near Katsura River. We enjoyed playing games, chatting and moments of prayer too.
We also praise the Lord for the formal induction of Gordon Douglas Tippett into the membership last May 30. He is a missionary from Canada and has been attending and helping some of our ministries for almost four years now.
LIGHTHOUSE ENGLISH CAFÉ (L.E.C.)
This groundbreaking ministry got underway as an initiative by the members who attend the English service. In our desire to serve God and the community, we hold this event every fourth Saturday of the month, by transforming the fellowship room into a mini-coffee house. The volunteers engage guests in English conversation while enjoying specially prepared non-alcoholic drinks with a slice of cake. A typical afternoon averages 40 people (both guests and volunteers) and with some of our gifted musicians singing or playing music. There are also games and other features highlighting foreign culture, for example. Last May 22nd, Praveen Singh (India) presented his country’s wedding custom while Allan Alipio (Philippines) narrated a very inspiring story. Michelle Tonks (Australia) and Muhannad Fakhoury (Jordan) played the flute and classical guitar respectively.
1. We praise the Lord for two American young people who help us in the worship service. Kevin Otsuka and Jason Brown are exchange students now studying at Doshisha University.
2. We also thank God for the harvest of souls. We have seen four individual professions of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ both from our congregation and from the English Bible classes in the universities.
3. We are also seeing a growing desire from our contacts to explore the Bible and the Christian faith. Two mothers of our English students are now studying the Bible with Jo Ann Ricohermoso and Pastor Keiko Murakami. Likewise, a couple who attended LEC is now attending services and the Bible classes.
1. We would like to covet your prayers for God to touch the hearts of seekers that they would come to the saving knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
2. That more souls would come and join our events, services and Bible studies and for God’s glory to be exalted in all areas of our endeavors.