How can we help children grow strong in the Lord?

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Imagine you’re a teacher at an international Christian school in Japan. Many of your students come from unchurched homes, and many are Japanese:

  • You have some students who know a lot about the Bible and some students who don’t know what a book in the Bible is.
  • You have some students who are eager to learn about God and some students who are borderline antagonistic.

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What can you do to help each of your students, including your Japanese students, to grow strong in the Lord? This is the daily challenge of teachers at international Christian schools in Japan. Kim and I want to help teachers address this challenge. How? By developing a 7-lesson teacher training kit called Share Life with Children.

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What progress have we made on developing this teacher training kit? We’ve read books and articles, watched video presentations, and interviewed 29 people. Our goal is to complete a draft of the kit by December 13.

Please pray:

  • Ask God to work in the hearts of Japanese students who attend international Christian schools in Japan (including Christian Academy in Japan, Okinawa Christian School International, Kansai Christian School, and Kyoto International University Academy).
  • Ask God to help us as we develop a teacher training kit designed to help international Christian school students grow strong in the Lord.

Thanks for being involved in God’s work in Japan!

Michael and Kim

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Thanks for praying

We like hearing the testimonies of Japanese Christians. So, we thought we’d share Yumi’s video testimony—how she became a Christian and how her mother (suffering from cancer) accepted Jesus 10 days before passing away.

Thanks for praying for God’s work in Japan:

Thanks for your partnership as we use Christian education to reach Japan for Jesus.

Michael & Kim
P.S. When sharing at churches, we’re inviting folks to think about Jesus Japanese style—Jesus as the noodles of life (instead of the bread of life). Why? Because unlike Americans who eat a lot of bread, Japanese eat a lot of noodles!

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Our summer is going well

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How’s your summer going? Ours is going well!

  • We’ve gotten over jet lag, we’ve gotten used to driving on the right side of the road, and we’ve successfully navigated local supermarkets (that seem at least 10 times larger than the ones in Japan).
  • We’ve reconnected with our daughters and their families—including grandchild #3, born in mid-June. And we’ve reconnected with Michael’s parents, individual ministry supporters, and our home church.
  • We’ve shared at 1 church in West Michigan (Faith Community), and we’re preparing to share at 2 more (including Prairie Edge on July 21).
  • And we’re attending a workshop that is helping us reflect on our 4-year term in Japan and on living in the US.

Thanks for partnering with us as we use Christian education to reach Japan for Jesus!

Michael & Kim

 

We’re on home assignment!

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We arrived in Salem, Oregon on Thursday, June 20—we’re having a blast with our daughters and their families, including holding our granddaughter, born last week!

Thanks for praying for God’s work in Japan:

  • Praise God for using Okinawa Christian School International to reach Japan for Jesus. 
  • Praise God for safe travel from Japan to Oregon.
  • Ask God to provide travel safety as we fly to Grand Rapids, MI, on June 28.

What’s happening?

Thanks for being involved in God’s work in Japan!

Michael & Kim

God is using OCSI to reach Japan

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Kim, what are some highlights from your 4 years at OCSI?

  • Students and parents getting baptized.
  • Students learning more about God and His world, and parents attending weekly Bible studies.
  • Students increasing their reading, writing, and speaking skills.
  • Staff improving their teaching by developing curriculum, participating in book discussions, and pursuing growth goals.
  • OCSI growing by refining its mission, overhauling board policy, stabilizing finances and busing, and enhancing safety practices.

Michael, you and Kim are finishing your 32nd year of service in Japan. What’s the same and what’s changed since you arrived in Japan in 1987?
What’s the same includes that Japanese need Jesus and that we are committed to using Christian education to reach Japan for Jesus. What’s different includes having increased opportunity to teach Japanese children from unchurched families and now having 2 grandchildren, with a 3rd on the way in June!

Kim, in your 33rd year you’ll be on home assignment. What are your goals?
It’s been 4 years since we had a regular home assignment. We want to:

  • Reconnect with family and ministry partners.
  • Retool by growing professionally and by developing training materials to help teachers help students grow strong in the Lord.
  • Renew by recharging spiritually and by raising our fitness level.

Michael, what are you both looking to forward to about being in the US?
We’re looking forward to seeing family—we’ll be based in Salem, Oregon, so we’ll be able to see our grandkids daily! We’re also looking forward to going to bookstores, seeing autumn colors and snow, and eating honeynut Cheerios, pizza, and brats.

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Thanks for praying!

  • Praise God for using OCSI to reach Japan for Jesus.
  • Ask God for an effective year of home service. We want to reconnect with ministry partners and retool for future service.

What’s happening?

  • June 30: Faith Community in Wyoming, MI.
  • July 21: Prairie Edge in Portage, MI.
  • July 28: Brookside in Grand Rapids, MI.

Thanks for being involved in God’s work in Japan!

Michael & Kim

God is at work

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God is using Okinawa Christian School International (OCSI) to reach Japan for Jesus. Many of our students are Japanese, and most come from unchurched homes. Our students have Christian teachers, take Bible class, attend chapel, and more! 

One of Kim’s students shared, “I want to grow in the Lord more and more, to see how it is that I can impact the world for Him….This year as a junior in high school, I learned the joy of serving others…This is why I want to become a nurse in the future, because I want to make a positive impact on the world.”

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Did you know that OCSI…

  • Started in 1957 as a school for missionary kids?
  • Has over 400 students from over 300 families in preK – grade 12?
  • Uses English as the language of instruction?
  • Just published its annual report? Check it out!

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Thanks for praying for God’s work in Japan:

  • Ask God to continue drawing OCSI students and families to Himself.
  • Ask God for the health and energy we need to finish this school year well. Classes end on June 12, and on June 20 we fly to the US for a 1-year home assignment.

Thanks for being involved in God’s work in Japan!

Michael & Kim

God is helping our students grow spiritually

On Children’s Day (May 5), Japanese parents fly carp streamers to show their hope for their children to grow strong like carp. What we think of when we see these streamers is how we want our students to grow strong in Jesus.

Good news—God is helping our students grow spiritually! For example, one of Kim’s student wrote: “I’ve been going to Okinawa Christian School International since kindergarten…. My teachers introduced me to their beliefs regarding the Bible, and now I believe the same things.”

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Please continue to pray:

  • Praise God that our students are learning about Jesus.
  • Ask God to help Michael as he researches effective teaching strategies for evangelizing and discipling students. His goal is to develop a teacher training kit, the title of which is Share Life with Children.
  • Ask God to provide the health and energy we need to finish strong at OCSI. We finish classes on June 12, and we fly to the US on June 20 to start our 1-year home assignment.

Thanks for being involved in God’s work in Japan!

Michael & Kim

Thanks for praying

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Thanks for praying for God’s work in Japan:

  • Praise God for providing staff for next school year: teachers for OCSI, a high school principal for Christian Academy in Japan, and a principal for Kansai Christian.
  • Praise God for all He is doing in Japan, including saving people like Ryuhei (see video below).

Thanks for being involved in God’s work in Japan!

Michael & Kim

Helping students grow strong in the Lord

To help our students grow strong in the Lord, we involve them in Service Week, doing projects like cleaning up beaches and visiting nursing homes. Check out the video!
 

We are just about to start 4th quarter—and when 4th quarter finishes in June, we head to the US for home assignment. Our home assignment goals include:

  • Reconnecting with family and ministry partners.
  • Retooling by doing professional development.
  • Renewing ourselves spiritually and getting in shape physically.

Thanks for praying:

Thanks for being involved in God’s work in Japan!

Michael and Kim

Our students are learning!

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Our students are learning about God and His world! One of Kim’s 11th grade students shared, “The main message of Christianity—forgiveness—is backwards in The Scarlet Letter. If someone repents, the Christian community is supposed to forgive them.”

Please continue to pray:

Thanks for being involved in God’s work in Japan!

Michael and Kim