Most of you will be receiving this greeting as we approach the third week of Advent, a time of waiting….
Waiting for what, exactly? The correct “Sunday School Answer” (as we used to say to each other growing up) is of course “the birth of Jesus….” A further fulfillment and expansion of that answer may be “waiting for Jesus to appear in my life in a new way today…” or even “waiting until our Lord and Master comes again in glory…” Sometimes as missionaries we find ourselves waiting for that day when our Japanese friends will see Jesus as fully Japanese….as well as Jewish. While the exchange of gifts and decorations and meals together with family are desires many of us share during this season….a deeper dig into our hearts may reveal that it is probably words like hope, healing, reconciliation, forgiveness, and salvation that more accurately reflect our deepest longings and reason for waiting. Jesus, light of the world, come into our darkness and give us your shine!
Thanks for praying for us and standing with us as we have waited through many situations and circumstances over the past year. We have moved three times and the children have been involved in 5 different schools (combined) during the past 12 months. Even now, we find ourselves waiting, as God – in perfect timing – reveals to us (little by little to be sure…) the shape that our lives and ministry will take over the next 12 months. Gunma Prefectural Women’s University, Isesaki Church, Christian Academy, Daily Audio Bible in Japanese, Gunma Harvest, Japan Covenant Church, family time….are all names and themes that fill our minds and calendars. We’re feeling a peace and confirmation in being here in Tokyo and want to say thanks for your prayer partnership in our lives.
Here are two thoughts we read this morning that will help us stay on track, even as we continue to work and wait….
“without me, you can do nothing….” Jesus, in John 15:5, while speaking to his disciples on the need to abide in Him…..
“Nothing that we do is too ordinary or too boring for God. He delights in us not because we are entertaining, but because we are His.” – Jan Johnson in Enjoying the Presence of God, p.41, while writing about the need to sense God’s presence in ALL that we do…..
This Month’s List of Prayer Needs for the Fridge
- All of our Christmas outreach efforts through the Isesaki Church (including a cookie baking party for children and youth, and a candlelight service – both planned for 12/23)
- Mr. Fujikura – rejoice with us as this gentleman in his 40s is baptized during our 12/19 worship service. Tim has been studying and preparing for baptism with Mr. Fujikura since we returned in August.
- Daily Audio Bible in Japanese – this is a 5 minute podcast that we have been recording since Jan.1. We appear to be on the verge of some interesting developments. Please pray that many Japanese will find this daily recording of scripture and be changed by God’s word in their lives. Click HERE to read a post about the DAB.
- Thanks for continuing to pray for Andrea’s contacts with students and faculty at Gunma Women’s University.
- For some fun, relaxing family time between Christmas and New Years. Yeah!
May you experience the special peace of our Lord during this Christmas season!
Your partners in prayer and mission,
Tim & Andrea Johnson
Sam, Lilla & Sky