Greetings from Hitachinaka, Japan:
We are back in Japan and more than settled in. Christmas is coming and Covid-19 is still in the air, but we are thankful that our Japan countryside does not seem to be affected to much degree. Everybody has a mask on, but masks were already a common thing here before Covid-19. Japanese have worn masks for years to fend off pollen allergies, protect neighbours from the common cold and for ladies when they don’t want to put on makeup.
In Tokyo and Osaka, Covid-19 cases are rising but so far, we are privileged to be free to gather with people and share God’s good news. Kathryn has started three discovery Bible studies in the 2 months since she arrived back in Japan. Two of them are one-to-one studies with women she knows, and one is with a believer who has recruited 5 friends to explore the claims of Jesus. None of them had ever seen the Bible before, but all had a lot to say after the first study. They discovered Genesis 1:1-13, which covers the first 3 days of creation. This kind of thing doesn’t usually happen here, and it is exciting to be a part of what God is doing. Can you pray that we would see some of these ladies walking with Jesus and baptized when the Pacific Ocean warms up next summer? That is why we are here.
The Lord opened up her heart to pay attention to what was spoken by Paul. Acts 16:14
Rob has preached 4 times in Japanese churches in the past month. A summary; One church has 25 members and has never had a pastor, the other three churches have about 20 members each and on Japanese pastor spends his Sunday driving and preaching, covering htese three little chruces. Next month Rob will go to another chruch of 20 people. The goal is to encourage these little groups to begin to think about reaching out, rather than holding on.
Tess/Jacob and Grady/Brittany will, like so many of you will have a socially distanced Christmas. For us, living abroad, a Christmas away from family is not such a new thing! We are thankful that Julia is with us this time, but we will remember to pray for so many that will spend Christmas alone.
Please let us know how we can pray for you this Christmas. Also, if you would like to pray for us in more detail; names and context we are hesitant to share in this sort of mail, please reply to address below.
Merry Christmas to all,
Kathryn and Rob Fleming