Helping international Christian school teachers reach students for Jesus

2019-11-01 OCSI Class

Imagine you’re a teacher at an international Christian school in Japan:

  • You want to help each student learn about God and have a positive attitude toward God.
  • While most students seem open to learning about God, there’s a really big spread of Bible knowledge and some spread in English proficiency.
  • You don’t want to overwhelm students with limited Bible knowledge, and you want to keep students with quite a bit of Bible knowledge engaged. Quite the challenge!

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Kim and I want to help international Christian school teachers find effective ways to reach all students—so that all students keep learning about God. So, one lesson in our new teacher training materials (Share Life with Children) focuses on the following question: What instructional practices help your students improve their knowledge of and attitude towards God?

Thanks for praying! Please continue to ask God for wisdom regarding our future ministry in Japan. We are on home assignment for a year, and we want to continue using Christian education to reach Japan for Jesus.

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

Michael and Kim
P.S.
Check out this video on OCSI’s camp for grades 4-5!

Check out this encouraging testimony

We find testimonies of Japanese Christians encouraging. So, we thought you might like to hear Shota’s testimony—he was bullied at school, struggled with relationships, and felt hopeless. Then he met Christians, learned of Jesus’ love, and became a Christian.

Thanks for praying:

  • Praise God that Japanese are becoming Christians.
  • Ask God to continue using international Christian schools to reach Japan for Jesus.
  • Ask God for wisdom regarding our future ministry in Japan. We are on home assignment for a year, we’re exploring opportunities, and we want to continue using Christian education to reach Japan for Jesus.

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

Michael & Kim
P.S. We’re really enjoying the fall colors!

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Training kit developed

2019-10-04 Class

Imagine you’re a Japanese 2nd grade student from a non-Christian home. You’ve just started attending an international Christian school. You want to learn. You want to do well. And your teacher asks, “What’s a book in the Bible that tells us about Jesus’ miracles?”

Now you’re stuck—you’re not sure what a “book in the Bible” means, you’re not sure who Jesus is, and you don’t understand the word “miracle.” You feel uncomfortable—and you see that some of your classmates seem to know everything….

We want to help international Christian school teachers help each of their students (including Japanese students) grow strong in the Lord. So, we’ve developed a teacher training kit called Share Life with Children!

Please continue to pray:

  • Praise God that we’ve been able to complete a draft of Share Life with Children, our 7-session teacher training kit designed to help students at international Christian schools in Japan to grow strong in the Lord.

  • Ask God for wisdom regarding our future ministry in Japan. We are on home assignment for a year, we’re exploring opportunities, and we want to continue using Christian education to reach Japan for Jesus.

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

Michael and Kim

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International Christian school education reaches Japanese children for Jesus

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The Japanese are one of the largest unreached people groups in the world. They are spiritually impoverished and unfortunately put their hope in false religions (Buddhism and Shintoism) and in themselves. They need Jesus—they need His forgiveness, hope, and love. We really appreciate your partnership as we use Christian education to reach Japan for Jesus!

Thanks for praying for God’s work in Japan:

Thanks again for partnering with us in reaching Japan for Jesus!

Michael & Kim

P.S. Ever wonder what living in Japan would be like? Check out this video!

Reaching children for Jesus

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Why reach children for Jesus? Good question! We want to reach Japan for Jesus. And we could do that by focusing on a different age range—say, college students, those in their 30s and 40s, or those in their 70s and 80s. Instead, we are focused on reaching children.

So, why reach children for Jesus? 

  • Because Jesus invited children to come to Him. Jesus cares about children, and so do we!
  • Because children are forming their worldviews. Children are exploring who they are and how/why they will develop that potential. And children often do this by asking questions—from my little grandson asking, “Why is that squirrel on the ground?” to a high school senior asking, “Where do I go next?” It’s a delight to help children explore their questions and develop a biblical worldview.
  • Because children are open. “Japanese children,” shares a Japanese board member at Okinawa Christian School, “are still flexible in their thinking. These children are more open to hearing the Gospel because they’re not as rigid in their thinking as adults.”

Why use international Christian schooling to reach children for Jesus? Because Japanese parents want English education for their children. Because I get to connect with children about 180 days a year—what an opportunity to have an impact, to help them meet Jesus and mature in their faith, or at least to prepare the ground for the ways God’s Spirit will work in them later! And because I get to help my students learn to effectively use God’s gift of language—reading, writing, and more!

Thanks for praying:

  • Praise God for using Christian education to reach Japan.
  • Ask God
    to help us develop effective teacher training materials designed to help students grow strong in the Lord.

Michael & Kim

Christian school reaches Japan for Jesus

God is using Kyoto International University Academy (a school for which Michael served as accreditation consultant) to reach Japan for Jesus! Most of KIUA’s students are Japanese, and many of its students come from unchurched homes.

Did you know that...?

  • KIUA was started by a CAJ graduate (whose missionary parents planted churches)?
  • KIUA has about 200 students K-12?
  • Our son-in-law taught at KIUA for several years?

Screen Shot 2019-08-21 at 6.33.12 AMClick here to watch a short video of KIUA’s elementary Christmas program!

Thanks for praying for God’s work in Japan:

  • Praise God for using KIUA and other international Christian schools to reach Japan for Jesus.

  • Praise God for the progress we’ve been able to make on developing teacher training materials designed to help students grow strong in the Lord. We have developed drafts for 2 of the 7 sessions!

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

Michael & Kim

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

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