International Ministries

A Gift from Friends!

May 14, 2009 Journal
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Some good friends, Barbara and Ruth, members of our partnership network, sent me some lipstick recently. They sent several packs in fact! Ami, Alisen and I each got one and I had several left over. Barbara and Ruth are a blessing.

         There are two little Baptist churches in the city of Nagoya both without pastors at this time. That also means no interim pastors.  One is a little preaching place north of the city, the other is a little church to the east of the city with a small pre-school.  The one with a pre-school asked me to come on Mother’s Day, because they were inviting the moms from the pre-school for a special Mother’s Day worship.  It just happened John was preaching at the other church in Nagoya, so we could go part way together, 2 hours by train.        

         I felt it was a privilege to be asked, but what should I share?  I was a little anxious because I knew that for some of the moms it could be their first time in a church worship service.  I decided to talk about, “Things I want to tell to those I love”. It was about “sharing” God’s love.  That morning I slipped the lipsticks into my bag.  I had seven left.  It turns out there where seven moms in church.  After the service I gave each mom a pack of lipstick.  I told them that the family of God reaches around the world, and part of that family in the US was sending their love today with a gift.  I said it was a token of prayers and love from the church in the US. By the way, the dads came too, so there were several first timers in worship.     

         It was a wonderful time, and I was glad to be part of their Mother’s Day, especially when I saw one mom put some watermelon lip gloss on her daughter, who wore it with a big smile that had, “I love you Mom!” written all over it.

         Barbara and Ruth’s gift and your prayers reaching around the world!

A SURPRISE CONNECTION! 

The day was not over however.  John and I had promised to meet Humberto and Josie, a young missionary couple from Brazil, living near Nagoya.  It was kind of crazy, because Humberto spoke no English, so he and John kept talking in Japanese, a second language for both.  Josie kept saying to me, “English, please!” because she spoke no Japanese yet, as they have not been in Japan very long.  So we kept speaking in English, a second language for both of us.

So what are they doing in Japan?  They are missionaries to the growing Brazilian immigrant community in Japan.  Here is the surprise connection.  They went to seminary and studied under Bruce and Ann Borquist, IM missionaries to Brazil.  The Baptist churches of Brazil sent them to Japan, and that is how we made a connection. By the way they have been here just a few months, but have a church with about 25 people gathering for worship in Portuguese.

I am so blessed by all the ways the Lord connects us through his Holy Spirit, and love.  Your prayers and gifts are greater and more powerful than you may realize. Thank you.

 

Your missionary,

Tomoko