Earlier this year I received an email from my youngest sister stating a fact that was soon to come true: Dad (Ken) Reutter was about to turn 70. I could hardly believe dad was turning 70 — I can remember him turning 40 (and now I’m about to)! What would we do for him for his 70th that would be memorable?
One idea quickly stood out among the other options: for all of the Reutter siblings to come back to Peoria for a weekend together. May 12 lined up in everyone’s schedules. The tickets were affordable. The plans started to come together. We decided to make it a surprise. We let mom Reutter in on it, to help us plan the whole event and pull it off.
As the day came closer and closer, we got more and more excited. We as Reutter siblings very rarely have a chance to be all together, so this was going to be very special. Dad had no clue! The excitement of landing in Peoria the night before the surprise was so great I was laughing to myself at what was about to take place. What would happen the next day would make dad declare this “the best present I ever received!”
For all of you dads out there (like me), I want to encourage you: live and lead your family by the Word of God. There is no greater inheritance you can pass on to your children than that of a real relationship with God lived day-in day-out. The fruit of this one decision alone has the power to alter your future and the future of your family. These kinds of legacies are ones worth building, celebrating and sharing! God bless you!
Watch the video and see what else is in the works below
When we visited Japan for the first time 5 years ago, I could see the potential of worship to really alter this country. In a nation so moved by music, there is a huge opportunity to share God’s love and the truth through music that no one has really harnessed the potential of it yet. But by God’s grace, we want to change that. This video is the first of many planned. These are songs that we do every Sunday in church, songs that the Church around the world has been singing for years, but still have not reached into Japan. As God gives us grace, we will continue to produce these simple but powerful videos to reach people wherever they are — on a train, at work, at school or at home. Most Japanese have never considered coming to a church, but a video could be the bridge to help them meet God. Please consider sharing this!! It is produced under the name Diflen Tokyo — the name of our local youth and worship movement.
Kind of like the von Trapp family
Recently Ruth and the girls have also joined the worship revolution and have been writing songs. These songs are fun, have great words, dance moves and catchy tunes. I began producing some of them and we are doing them at church! These songs really shook up the Christmas and Easter services! Ruth and the girls have many other ideas for songs for us to eventually complete an album of fun songs aimed at kids and families throughout Japan. Ruth is already putting together a Christmas program full of singing, drama and an unforgettable Gospel presentation. Check out the video from Easter and just try to get this tune out of your head!
In April we said good-bye to our beautiful families for a week while we went to the SEND International missionary retreat near Mt Fuji to begin working on a brand-new international worship project that will bless Brazil, Japan and many other countries. Under the team name of DIFLEN (Discipling and Forming LEaders in the Nations), we got the project off to a great start. It was a dream come true, setting up studio and working together with my brother-in-law Bruno and the amazing team that is coming together here. We are starting from scratch, writing new songs aimed for the church to sing! Check out this one-minute video about that time.
Pray, for the Battle is Underway
As we move forward on these things, it seems like sometimes everything else comes apart. Family members get sick and need to go to the hospital. Accidents happen. Many other “necessary” distractions come into play. We are well aware that the enemy is vehemently against these worship projects, the proclamation of the Gospel in Japan as well as the establishment and growth of the Church as a whole. Please, PLEASE pray for our encouragement, protection, holiness, energy and unity among our team. The day that we were working on finishing the video, Bruno’s son Paul had to go to the hospital and my daughter Anna went to the emergency room twice the following day! Your prayer covering could make the difference in us completing projects on time or fighting for each and every note we play. We love you!
August 6: Heaven View Christian Fellowship Church Service, Peoria IL at 5:30 pm
August 7: New Life Christian Church Services, Morton IL
August 14: Sandwich Federated Church Service August 18: Peoria Area Open House at New Life Christian Church starting at 6pm
August 21: 1st Free Moline Service August 21: Quad Cities Open House at 1st Free Moline starting at 4 pm
The girls will have 5 weeks off for their summer vacation, and we will be making the most of it! Come see us at one of the these places and times, especially the open houses, as we will be sharing about the exciting things happening in Japan and how God is moving powerfully here. We will have snacks at the Open Houses, so we will be asking for RSVPs if you are planning on coming. We can’t wait for you to meet Joshua and see how the girls have grown up.
Before our big trip to the States, we have a couple of other important trips planned. On April 16 a massive earthquake rocked the southern Japanese island of Kumamoto. It was the largest earthquake ever recorded for that area, and in a moment the lives of everyone living there was turned upside down. Our church sent a team from our DIFLEN (Discipling and Forming Leaders in the Nations) missions’ school down to the area to help and minister to the people. What happened was miraculous. As the team served, God’s love was poured out in such a tangible way that many people gave their lives to Jesus and many were healed. One lady told a team member that she wanted to raise her hand to accept Jesus, but was not physically able to. When they prayed for her healing, she was instantly healed and raised both hands all the way up in the air and started to praise God! Now we are planning a second trip, and I will be going with this team from our church — an international team of missionaries and Japanese church members that will continue to share God’s love in tangible ways. The trip is scheduled for June 16-22. Check out this video we made from our first trip to Kumamoto.
Then on July 9, our family boards a plane for the first time in over 2 years (since we moved to Japan). We are taking to the skies on 14 different flights for 7 weeks of travel. The first few weeks will be spent in Brazil, where Ruth’s brother Paul will be getting married! Around all the festivities planned will be an extended family reunion on Ruth’s side of the family. Then we come back for a busy 4 weeks in the States, including the schedule above and a couple other family reunions on my side of the family.
We can’t thank you enough for all yours prayers and support for us. We can’t wait to tell you some of the things that God has been doing — even recently — and how powerfully lives are being touched here in Japan. And we are all looking forward to a time of catching up, both in Brazil and in the U.S. God bless you! See you soon 🙂
We recently celebrated our first Christmas with our new church family here in Japan. Our Christmas Candlelight service was the most packed service we’ve had yet, full of visitors. Some — like our pharmacist who accepted our sister Beth’s invitation, heard the story of Christmas for the very first time. She was so thankful to hear it! Even though not many people in Japan know the true meaning of Christmas, the Japanese are familiar with many Christmas carols. Shopping even at the convenient store, you can hear the Gospel declared through the English lyrics of “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing!” Oh that it were in Japanese for all to understand and hear!
So as we were preparing for our Christmas Candlelight Service, we decided to take four key Christmas carols that nearly all Japanese are familiar with and sing them in our Fuse Worship style — a verse in English, a verse in Japanese. There was something so special about singing these recognizable songs in Japanese — the timeless truths being declared. The age-old invitation to come and worship the newborn king going out for all to hear! The lyrics are so rich and fresh when you hear them (again) for the first time! So please enjoy this special Christmas treat — here’s our Fuse Christmas Celebration to download and enjoy! Lots of piano, strings, brass, organ and the beautiful singing of fellow missionary Jennifer Huber. But most of all the most important birthday being celebrated in a whole new language.
So what do the Japanese think about Christmas? Well, fellow missionary John Eisenmann went about town asking people what they think of when they hear the word “Christmas.” The responses were funny, interesting and a little sad all at the same time. What a difference it is to know the true meaning of Christmas! Enjoy the video.
We love baptisms and everything they mean. The decision to get baptized is a big decision for anyone — you are identifying with Christ’s burial and resurrection in a profound public statement. In Japan, it’s an even bigger statement, as only 1% of the Japanese are Christians. The social pressure to not do anything outside of the “normal” is immense, and my hat goes off to these two wonderful young people. God is truly doing an awesome work here, as after this very public and fun baptism at the beach, a number of other people from church decided to get baptized, including two people from our cell group!
I made this video with my good friend and fellow missionary John to try to capture a bit of the excitement here in Japan. At the time of this writing, it has over 350 views, which is more than our attendance! Enjoy!