What an amazing year 2015 was! When we stop for a moment, take a breath and look back at all God has done in spite of our weakness, we are overflowing with thankfulness! Our church started the year with 8 cell groups, but ended the year with 14 — a 75% growth rate! Many people have heard of God’s love for the first time and several have responded. The average church in Japan baptizes about one person a year, but by God’s grace, we baptized a total of 16 people in 2015! Without a doubt, it’s not because of us, but because of our great God who is moving through us and desires Japan to be saved.
Even though we are thrilled with all that God has done this year, when compared to the 127 million people that have yet to know of God’s love, it barely makes a dent. God’s heart still breaks for the millions that have yet to hear. Looking forward to 2016, we want more of God’s move, more salvation, more leaders being raised up, more cell groups, more church locations, more revival! We desire more strategies to reach the lost and raise up leaders that will impact this nation. We are so thankful for the part that you have played, praying for us and supporting us all this time. We could not be affective without you!
On a personal note, Ruth’s due date of January 21 quickly approaches. Her parents have arrived and will be helping us during this time. Please pray for the birth of Joshua to go smoothly and safely. We are also looking for a larger place to live in the area around us. Ironically, the church is also looking for a new, larger place to meet — the families just keep growing! 🙂
I with a story from our cell group. A couple of weeks ago we were talking about Matthew 11:28-30. Jesus says:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
We asked different people in the group to comment on what this verse meant to them. When we reached one of the girls in our cell group, a new Christian, she said, “Yesterday in prayer meeting Jesus told me this! Then, as we were worshipping, my burden just got lighter and lighter until it was all gone. But I didn’t know this was in the Bible!”
I was amazed and overjoyed, for God’s presence is touching people and God is revealing Himself personally. It is one thing to read the Bible and understand a concept — it is something else entirely to have it personally revealed to you through the Holy Spirit. May God also bless you with a special revelation of His great love for you this holiday season. God bless, and happy new year!!