Our deepest desire for this new year is for it to be one of renewal. We’re praying for a renewed sense of awe inspired by the gospel message, a renewed longing to be like Jesus, a renewed passion for Christ-centered, church-driven youth and family ministry to spread across Asia, and a renewed vision for how we can help.
Will you renew your commitment to this ministry as well? You’re our lifeline. Your partnership keeps us motivated, accountable, focused, and determined. More importantly, your prayers are the fuel behind what we do each day. They’re the engine that drives God’s mission (at least that’s what the Apostle Paul thinks):
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
– 1 Timothy 2:1-4
A friend of ours recently emailed us because she wanted to teach her kids and some of their neighbors more about Japan, our ministry, and how they could pray. We’ve included her questions here with the hope that they might help you and your family to renew your commitment in this new year.
Q: What are your top prayer requests for your ministry but also for your area as a whole?
1. That God would raise up Christian men to serve as elders in his church (in our church and in all churches in Japan). There is a huge shortage of Christian men in Japan, and the number who are qualified to serve as leaders in the church is even smaller.
2.That God would provide Christian husbands for our female seminary students and other Christian women here. Over 70% of Japanese Christians are female. Becoming a Christian in Japan could mean lifelong celibacy.
3. That God would cultivate a heart for the next generation within the members of the aging Japanese church. Japanese society at large is facing rapid gentrification. On top of that, many churches are losing young people to cram school, clubs, and various other activities that have become more important than corporate worship. Many of their parents were not raised in Christian homes and have a hard time figuring out how what it means to disciple their children. We need people in local churches who join us as we intentionally move toward these kids instead of letting them slip away.
4. That God would cause missionary kids across Asia to find their security and identity in Christ rather than their performance or assessment by their peers. They’re just like kids anywhere else, struggling with questions of purpose, belonging, and identity, and we want to help them find those things in Christ.
5. And then personally just for our family as we figure out how to adjust to a family of three and what effect that will have on our language study as we return to studying Japanese full time.
Most children here grow up eating seaweed for lunch