Taylor Report – September 29, 2021
Grace and peace to each of you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!
We have a few things to share in this newsletter, but first: we have a new podcast episode! In this episode, we share some of the challenges we’ve been facing over the last few months, as well as areas of gratitude. You can listen by clicking HERE.
We shared a lot in that recent podcast, so if you want a fuller update we would encourage you to listen to that. However, there are a few things to particularly note in this newsletter.
Most importantly, the State of Emergency (SOE) in Japan has officially ended … at least for now! Things had gotten pretty serious during the last few months, but recently numbers have been in the low hundreds around Tokyo, and well below 100 new cases per day in Matsudo, which made the government feel comfortable with ending the SOE nationwide. That is a welcome blessing, as it should open doors to spending time with those who didn’t want to meet under the SOE. It is also the first step in some ministry plans being able to move forward. We’ve been under an SOE for so long now, this has been very welcome news.
On top of that, it sounds as though Japan is starting to seriously consider reopening the borders. Right now, they have shortened the quarantine time for those who have been vaccinated, taking it down from 14 days to 10 days, but that is more complicated than it sounds. However, word on the street is that they will be opening more over the coming months.
Of course, a lot hinges upon how the virus situation proceeds from this point, but we hope and pray that any future waves will not be so problematic. Japan has vaccinated well over 50% of the population, and nearly 70% has now had their first shot, meaning by the end of October it is likely over 70% of the population will have been fully vaccinated. That likely will play a role in the government’s decisions about opening borders further. These steps matter to us because they mean both that people could come to visit us here soon, and that we could potentially visit the U.S. without so much trouble.
A few other things worth sharing here:
- Some of you may have heard, but in case you are unaware, our brother Yukusue has been diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. This has been difficult news for the church. We ask your prayers for brother Yukusue and the church as a whole.
- We’re well into our new series on the Sermon On The Mount and have been continuing our DBS-style studies after worship. We believe these are going well and are being encouraging to the congregation. Leslie is working on setting up the church website to post Japanese and English recordings.
- With the SOE over, we are hoping to get together with more people soon. Please pray that we’ll be able to reach out effectively and build many connections that will lead to disciple-making.
- As of today, Japan effectively has a new Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida. Please be praying for him and the whole government as they make decisions for the future of Japan. May it bring glory to the Lord!
For everything else, we highly recommend listening to our new podcast episode. Seriously, please listen! You’ll be able to hear a bit more about what we’re experiencing and doing here through that episode with a personal touch.
Before we close….
Here are some names you can be praying for: Bro. Yukusue, Mr. Gotou, Kobayashi family, Fujita family, Saeki family, Chie (chi-eh), Kimie (kee-mee-eh), Emi (eh-me), Mariko (mah-ree-ko), Paulo.