Dear praying friends,
Thanks again for faithful prayer on our behalf. Some highlights from November:
- A really good day at the Arakino Church on Nov. 9th. Thanks for praying about that event which included a concert by Tim in the afternoon as well as speaking at their morning worship service. We had the opportunity to pray with a woman following the concert in which she prayed to begin a new relationship with God. Our sharing that day about losing Karisa 4 years ago seemed to touch a chord with her….she had also lost a 22-year old son just a year before.
- A good time of worship in two locations simultaneously on the 16th. About 12 met in a home, and about the same number met at the church. We continue to pray and work toward doing this “decentralized” worship on a monthly basis.
- Lilla did great at her ballet performance on Nov. 24th. Maybe when the video becomes available we can put a small clip up for you to see.
As we enter Advent we look forward to the many opportunities we will have in December to talk with our friends about Jesus. You can see from the schedule below that there are many “events” planned and these events take a lot of thought and energy. Yet, our real desire is simply to live out our lives in a way that always points to how great our Lord is. Whether through a large outreach event or just a simple conversation over a cup of tea….we want to stay focused on topics that are connected to eternity. Please use our words and actions this month Lord!
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN DECEMBER?
Some Christmas events for which we would appreciate prayer:
- 12/09 – a service of carols, scripture, and testimonies (a women’s gathering that we call “Life-Talk”)
- 12/13 – our Hosanna Music Team will be helping out with another church here in Isesaki as they hold a special Christmas program in a local community hall.
- 12/14 – Tim will be performing in a Christmas piano concert with another missionary named Tim Johnson (true!). We both grew up as missionary kids here in Japan, have known each other for many years and occasionally have even performed together. I have not practiced piano this much for years! This will be at the Kurume Bible Fellowship, a church which meets on the campus of Christian Academy in Japan (Tokyo), the school where Sam attends.
- 12/18 – our annual Christmas program at a large facility for physically and mentally challenged children (ages 4 through 18). Several of our area Covenant church folk participate in this event. Pastor Matsumoto of our Maebashi Church has faithfully ministered to these children weekly for over 20 years.
- 12/20 – A Children’s Christmas event at our Isesaki Church in the morning. Then we take the same event “on the road” to the village of Shintomura for a 3:00 p.m. gathering. A team of 4 or 5 individuals from our Isesaki Church is heading up the planning for this outreach. It will be our first attempt at a public gathering for children in Shintomura. At 7:00 in the evening we will be back at the Isesaki Church for an informal and fun Christmas event for those who attend our monthly English Worship.
- 12/21 – special Christmas worship events at both the Isesaki Church and the Yoshioka Church. Tim will preach at the Isesaki gathering and lead the music for the Yoshioka event.
- 12/22 – a Christmas concert at the Futaba Day Care Facility. This will be the 5th year for Tim to perform at this facility. Megumi Kogure, wife of our colleague and partner Pastor Kogure, works at this facility which is a day care center for both elderly as well as pre-school children. I get to perform for about 40 little children as well as about 40 seniors…it’s always a lot of fun.
- 12/23 – an evening candlelight service at the Isesaki Church. Many churches in Japan use this day ( a national holiday) rather than the 24th or 25th (which are not holidays) to invite folks to Christmas events.
- 12/24-25 – some quiet time of Christmas reflection with just us as a family!!
We look forward to sharing with you more news about Gunma Harvest, Andrea’s teaching ministries, future plans, etc. as we enter 2009. Considering how many of you remember us and pray for us on a regular basis is truly breathtaking and humbling. May your sacrificial investment in heavenly treasure pay huge dividends. In fact, we know it’s a sure thing.
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. (II Corinthians 8:9)
May these great riches as well as the great PEACE of our Lord be yours this Christmas.
Your partners in prayer and mission,
Tim & Andrea Johnson
Sam, Lilla & Sky