This was long overdue – our BLOG has gotten a facelift! We hope that we can soon resume the good (but unfortunately lost) habit of posting updates on this medium as well. A lot has happened since our last post – starting, of course, with the COVID19 crisis, which has had the world in its grip for the last few years and still isn’t quite over.
For us, one of the effects was that we had to move from Nagoya to Yokohama. A big change for our family and for our ministry. We had to give up plans to plant a church in Nagoya. We are thankful that we have already been able to settle in well in our new home and that we can now work towards planting a church here in the city that is new to us – God has been truly faithful in this season.
In all things we know we are in God’s hands. He controls all things and is at work in the midst of the confusion of daily life – on the personal level as well as on the social and global levels. Trusting in Him, let us continue to walk and pray that many people will be reached with the Gospel and find a new beginning, a new life and hope in Jesus Christ.
During the course fo last week there has been heavy rain especially in the western parts of Japan. The rains lead to flooding, mudslides in many areas. In our area the rain has not been much more than You would expect from a usual “Tsuyu”-month, but the western and southern regions have been hit by unusually heavy rains. In many areas there has been flooding, many people died, many are still unaccounted for.
Please pray for the families, who lost everything due to flooding and have to rebuild their lives now. Please pray that they find Jesus, who is able to give hope and strength, even in hopeless situations as these.
Please pray for the families who lost loved ones, that they may find time to grief. Please pray that they find Jesus, who can give comfort, even in dark hours like these.
Please pray that the people who are still unaccounted for survive this disaster, so that they will have another chance to start a relationship with Jesus Christ, who is able to help to cope, even with trauma like this.
Bethel Church in Redding California, most of us probably already heard about this church. Weekly sermon Podcasts, online viewable video testimonies, worship sessions and seminars, viewable via livestream or later on demand are ways in which not only the person participating in the events at Bethel Church on campus but also the person connected via the Internet can receive professionally designed resources of inspiring sermons, so You can witness and become part of a church culture of expecting the supernatural works of Jesus through the Holy Spirit and encouraging the listener to expect more from Jesus. I myself have been listening to their Podcast for a long time and have received encouragement, have been challenged and even rebuked in some areas of my walk with Jesus Christ.
“Don’t eat the bones” – is a sentence Bill Johnson sometimes uses when talking about his won sermons or about what is happening in his movement originating from Bethel Church. The hearer is thus encouraged to reflect biblically about what he/she heard and keep only that which is good, als Paul also writes in his first letter to the Thessalonians. I recently stumbled upon the video embedded below and it contains – in my opinion – a fine reflection on the teachings and practices originating from Bethel Church. Not judging the whole movement or single persons, not gossiping, but using the sharp edge of the word of God to discern what is being said. I can recommend everyone who would like to have some theological perspective on the teachings from Bethel Church while enjoying their resources. Also I can recommend it to anyone who want’s to have some light shed on those moments while You ask Yourself how a certain claim or teaching can be derived from scripture.
As with everything, also about this video Paul’s words speak to us when he writes: “test them all; hold on to what is good”(1. Thess 5,21).
Due to a very cold last winter we were able to adore the beautiful light-pink Sakura blossoms more than a whole 10 days earlier as in usual years.
Now that the new business- and school-year has started, almost all the Sakura trees have already traded their beautiful blossoms for fresh green leaves.
Japanese companies and schools also start their new year in April. Therefore for many company employees, the time around the end of March and the beginning of April is the most busy time of the year. Sometimes they even just learn a few weeks before the year closes whether and where they will be transferred to. So the work related to the closing of a business year, maybe moving to a different city, children starting a new year of kindergarden or school – everything happens around this time of year.
For us also this new year brings about a major change in our missionary appointment here in Japan. As for the beginning of April we started to work together with Kanayama church in Nagoya. As for now we have not yet settled down after these changes our schedules, moreover the change of roles and responsibilites. We are excited and happy about our new task, at the same time we feel uneasy, afraid in some instances even, and we are yet to get used to this new „shape“ of ours. We are thankful that whatever situation we find ourselves in, whatever concerns us – we can go to Christ with these things. To be able to know and experience, that he already knew what would happen in these times gives us peace. He wrote all of our days into his book, long before they came to pass. God is never surprised.
On April 8th I spoke about the time when Jesus provided food for over 5000 people as it is written in the gospel according to Mark. What moved me about this passage once again was, how Jesus was not at all surprised about anything about the situation he was in. The disciples found themselves in a situation they could not cope with. Jesus told them to give this huge crowd food. All they could think about was that the money they had with them would never be enough to buy all that would be necessary to accomplish this task. But Jesus knew about their finances. He also knew, that his Father in heaven was about to use him to perform a miracle through him. I also want to have this souvereignity. I wish to be so much more like Jesus, who always knew himself in his Fathers hands. We believe in the God who takes everyday occasions and turns them them into the starting point for a miracle. God is never surprised. Why should we be?