God is good all the time! I trust that God has been working in your lives as he has in mine. I apologize that there was such a big gap between this prayer letter and the previous one.?
Here in Japan we just exited the raining season and are in full swing of the summer heat. Even though it is 9:30am right now, I am already getting soaked in sweat. They say that it will be one of the hottest summers this year, so there are several TV programs advising the public to drink lots of fluids and avoid direct sun exposure.?
GAP (Gospel Assembly of Praise) has been struggling since many faithful members left the church. The biggest change was that our previous pastor (Bob Welch) returned back to the U.S. due to family issues. Because of that GAP is now under ICA (International Christian Assembly), which is a church of several families from different nationalities.?
ICA has a three-fold vision statement:
Following this vision, it is exciting to see what God is doing in that church as they are growing and pushing for an outreach program.
GAP still runs at the usual time (4pm) and has a focus towards university students and young working adults. Recently we had two new additions to our church ? one Japanese student from Kobe (southwestern Japan) and one Malaysian student. They are both Christians and are eager to join the community we are establishing at GAP. Please pray for us as we seek for Godfs guidance in establishing this community and reaching out to those around us.
Masami and I have been looking forward to moving into our new home at the beginning of October. It has been a challenge for me to get through the legal documents written in Japanese, and even though Masami can read the whole document it is a challenge for both of us to understand what these difficult words mean. In addition we are realizing that there are several expenses which we did not take into account. One big example is the air conditioning. In Japan most houses do not have central AC, so we have to buy a new AC unit since we will have a bigger living room. Please pray that we will have wisdom throughout the moving process. Once we are moved in we want to invite all of you to visit us. We are planning to setup a guest room where visitors can come anytime. God gave us this home, and we intend to use it as a place of hospitality and sharing Godfs love.
Here are some photos from recent events:
The local gMatsurih event: http://picasaweb.google.com
GAP summer camp: http://picasaweb.google.com
Welch family farewell:
We appreciate your continued prayers for us, GAP, and for Japan.
Stephen & Masami Goto