Last week, I relived a bit of my student days as I served as the theme speaker at the annual Hokkaido Varsity Christian Fellowship Spring Conference. I was particularly encouraged by the students’ desire to know God and His Word more deeply. It was not easy though to keep up with them over the four days we were together, but on the last evening, I managed to stay talking with some students until 2 am before crashing, while they continued till 3.30 am.
Last Saturday, we celebrated the graduation of three students from Hokkaido Bible Institute. We pray that the Lord will use them greatly in their new ministries for the extension of His Kingdom in this country.
And on Sunday, we rejoiced with 25-year-old Wataru in his baptism at Hiragishi Izumi Christ Church. He is now the third person to be baptized in our little church plant. The Lord has clearly been working deepy in his heart over the last two years, and we trust that He will continue to cause growth and bring forth fruit in Wataru’s life in the years to come.
This month marks the first anniversary of the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake. There is still a lot to be done, especially with 300,000 people still being displaced from their homes. Only less than 7% of the 22.5 million tons of debris generated by the tsunami has been disposed. Recovery work is slow and uneven. The emotional wounds sustained by the survivors will take decades to heal. Please continue to pray for Christians and churches working to bring emotional and spiritual recovery to the people in northeastern Japan. From 21st to 26th March, Kaori and I will be leading a team of 8 from Hokkaido Bible Institute to help in OMF’s relief work in Iwate, one of the three prefectures most badly devastated by the tsunami. I’d appreciate prayer for the Lord’s presence with us as we minister to those in need.