International Ministries

Church Life

September 11, 2002 Journal
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Friends,

The Yokohama Davidsons want to share a little bit about a trip we recently took up to Sendai, a major town in the northern part of Japan.We went to this part of Japan (called the "Tohoku") to be oriented to church life "up north" by the every feisty and creative Roberta Stephens, one of our veteran ABC missionaries.

The attached picture is of Adam and his new friend, Yamada Hakiri-chan. Hakiri and her parents, Takahiro and Michie, just recently moved to Sendai--her father is now working as one of the pastoral staff at Shiogama Church.One drizzly afternoon, while Adam, Sarah and Hakiri-chan ran around outside throwing grass, locusts, and whatever-else-they-could-find at each other, Kari and I got to hear the story about how Takahiro was called into ministry at mid-life.

We were incredibly encouraged to hear his story of recovery after years of battle with a severe illness, and to see the enthusiasm in his face as he talked about his hopes for reaching out to younger folks in northern Japan.His wife, Michie, too, had to sacrifice a steady job in Yokohama to make the move to Sendai.This is a pretty big deal in Japan, where the economic slump has made everyone a little "gun shy" of transitions.Truthfully, after meeting with the Yamadas and with other church leaders in northern Japan, we felt soul-refreshed and very thankful that God is alive and still calling people to do daring new things for the sake of the Kingdom all around the world.

We met lots of other folks up in Tohoku as well, but we won't load you down with names.If you can take just a moment, pray for God to shower a sense of love and empowerment down on the pastors and churches in northern Japan! Tohoku is a very traditional area of the country and it's tough--even for Japanese church leaders--to break down stereotypes about Christianity there. And pleaseremember Hakiri-chan and her family, who are making adjustments to a new place and new faces, just like we were about a year ago, this time.

For those of you in American Baptist Churches, you know that it's World Mission Offering (WMO) time again!We want to quickly remind you that we can continue to work here in Japan only because of your faithful giving to missions through the WMO.Please prayerfully consider how much you can give this year to spread "good news" around the world through your 150 ABC missionaries and national partner denominations.As always, if you or your church would like to direct your giving to us, or any other ABC missionary, you can do that as well.

God's Peace to you all!Keep the faith!

Dwight Davidson