2018 was a transition time in many ways. One thing God has spoken about 5 years ago was to start a International Vision Village(IVV) in 2018. One of the 1st move was my wife’s mother and her sister to Urahoro house. Since we visit 2 towns and 1 village each week to continue to maintain our relationship with many people regularly, each house has some empty time. Urahoro house (Each house is called a “Ministry Center”) is now occupied by them. They were added force for God’s work in Urahoro. Somehow God works in His mysterious way to accomplish something without noticing.
Another shifting is about my son, Samuel. He has been working as a freelancer based in Sarabetsu village. We used to move together, but now he is stationed in Sarabetsu where he has his own studio with lots of his photograph equipments for his work. Each year he adds more and more equipments to enhance his work capacity and the quality of it. God has opened many doors for him by adding more people in his relationship which now is cultivated and maintained by himself not only for his work, but also connecting us to minister them in another form. For instance, we had a class to make Kimchi as my wife teaches how to make Kimchi, we were able to sing a very nice Christian songs to them and whenever they have questions, we were able to answer to those questions. This again opens many doors to reconnect to them in other forms of meeting. It seems that Samuel is an independent agent who both works and shares his life with people around him.
Last year, we purchased a house in Toyokoro town where we have moved to and started to make the house livable with many adjustments and rebuilding. One of them was making sure of the water source to supply our water from the mountain. The public water line is near the main street, but we have a water source from the mountain. We prefer to keep this water source in case of any sudden disaster. In order to do that, we had to maintain and protect our water source in the mountain nearby. Therefore, I, for the first time, climbed the mountain about 5 times. The 1st time I climbed, I could not make to the water source since there was no road to it. As I move, I had to cut the weeds or pull them in order for me to proceed to the next step. This slowed me down quite a bit. So the 2 hours and half, I was able to reach the halfway. 2nd time, I was able to reach to the water source in about two hours. It gave me a great exercise and it has been a great rehabilitation course.
Before winter, I had to build a deck. I call it “The deck of hope.” The reason why I had to build this was that the stairs to the main entrance is very dangerous when it snows. The snow from the roof falls on the stairs, therefore, I needed to make another path to the main entrance. So the deck was built. This whole process is a part of pioneering a new place in Toyokoro town. Yes, by doing so, I had to meet our neighbors since we had to cross their land and we needed to have permission to cross their land in order to reach to the water source in the mountain. We will be a part of the local resident’s meetings soon. And our relationship starts.
Our regular fellowship at Otofuke town continues. Each month, we have a fellowship and worship at Otofuke town where a farmer’s family opened their home for worship who has a vision to start a church from their farm house. Somehow God has given this family a vision that the cross is rising up from their field and it became a regular fellowship and a place of evangelism. This year, we had our Christmas outreach where the neighbors came for Christmas meeting where we had a chance to share the meaning of Christmas. This year the message was “Father’s love.” From it, one of the lady felt God has been waiting for her to come to the Father and she wanted to be at the worship.
From here and there, God prepares people who needs to be saved and encouraged to keep their faith in a society that does not make it easy to have a faith in God of all creation in Japan.
My prayer is that the upcoming year 2019 will be a year for preparing God’s Kingdom that it can bring people hope, faith, and love. Love exceeds everything else.