Greetings from the Flemings in Japan,
We are planning a one year long home assignment beginning in April. As we get older it seems to get a little harder to pack up and relocate each time. Before getting into the details of said home assignment, there are other things on our minds here in Japan.
First, I (Rob) have been preaching monthly at 3 Japanese churches that have no pastor. Pray that Hitachi Hope, Saitama International, and Takasaki Missionary Church would thrive, and that God would guide them, with or without professional clergy leading the way. Second, pray for Mrs O. She has been attending our first church plant in northern Japan, Hitachi Hope, for a year and a couple of Sundays ago asked to be baptized. Mrs. Takahashi, a founding member of Hitachi Hope, introduced Mrs. O to Jesus through her weekly baking class at the church. She has used her baking skills to reach out to Japanese women for 25 years, and Mrs O is the first to ask to be baptized. (This is Japan!) We have challenged the church to lead Mrs. O in the next steps.
Kath has been a friend to Miss N, a single mom here in Tokyo for 3 years. She has resisted most of what Kath has offered from the Bible, but as we prepare to leave, she has asked to go to church with us, along with her 7 years old daughter. We need to come home, but we leave people who will have little spiritual leadership behind. Finally, Mrs. S. began reading the Bible in 1983, was baptized, but realizes she actually became a believer just last year, after studying the Bible with Kath. She is a grandmother who says she now reads the Bible with “fresh eyes and delight”. From 1983(35 years!) she wandered in her own wilderness, not knowing the truth. Please pray for her!
What goes into “home assignment”? For the month, we will wind down ministry here in Tokyo, and do our best to make arrangements for a year in Canada, while also trying to keep one eye on our return to Japan! If you are in the habit of praying for us, or would like to begin, read on!
We have managed to end our Tokyo apartment contract, get rid of our car, arranged for storage of our stuff, and found a permanent home for our good friend of nine years, Julia`s bunny (pictured below), and have tickets for our return to Toronto for the end of March.
Next, we have to prepare to live in Canada for one year. The other day, Kath and I read from Max Lucado`s devotional “Live Loved”. A couple of verses Max gives us are 1 Thess. 5:16-18, “Always be joyful. Pray continually, and give thanks whatever happens. That is what God wants for you in Christ Jesus.” Also Col. 4:2, “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.” Encouragement to continue in prayer with expectant thankfulness.
And we are thankful.
We get to come to Canada and spend time with our kids, friends, and the churches that have supported us in God`s work here for the past 25 years. We have been blessed to be able to reach out to Japanese, see some believe in Jesus, watch them grow in Christ, and lead others to Jesus as well. We couldn`t ask for more!
With that said, can we drop a couple of immediate, practical prayer requests in your lap?
- We need a 2 bedroom apartment in the Waterloo area from May for 1 year. Any leads…Let us know!
- We need a car from May as well for a year. If you know of something for sale, let us know! Ontario is big, and we have 25 supporting churches to visit by car from Ottawa to Thunder Bay.
We will be available for pretty much anything as far as meetings, small groups, preaching, mission presentations/conferences from the beginning of May. Trips that involve fishing are especially welcome (:
We are looking forward to being close to our kids for the year. Tess and Jacob are currently in Toronto, where Tess is working as a nurse and Jacob is studying at U of T. Grady is studying in Australia now, but will be back in Ontario by July, and Julia is doing her first work term (in a machine shop!) in her Coop Engineering program at U of Waterloo.
If you would like to pray more specifically for what we are involved in, please contact us at the personal emails below for more detailed prayer requests. We love hearing from you.
Thanks so much for praying for Japan.
Rob and Kathryn.
PO 457 Guelph, ON
Canada N1E 2X7
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