Nonogaki Reports – May 2016
One Day Meeting – May 16
A congregation at Katsuta in Ibaraki asked the Japan School of Evangelism (JSE) to send a teacher who can speak on what the Bible is and how they grow by the Word of God. I am sent to speak to them on the Lord’s day July 10. In the morning I will speak what the Bible is and in the afternoon how we grow by the word of God. Since I will be absent from the Yokota Assembly that day, Nao Fukushima, my co-worker at school will take my place to deliver a lesson.
It is always blessing to me that I speak on this kind of subject because I always see people put in practice what they have heard after the lesson. As a result they grow spiritually.
Knowing the Will of God Step by Step – May 16
As a young Christian, I thought a person would experience a drastic change when he becomes a Christian. This image came from the conversion of Paul in Acts. But this does not always happen. Even Paul needed to be away from the crowd for three years(Gal. 1:17). Probably he needed to be trained by the Lord and to grow spiritually before he actually started preaching the gospel. This was a preparation time for him. Also he knew the will of God step by step concerning his role as the apostle to the Gentiles. Peter knew the Gentiles could be saved long after he had preached the first sermon to the Jews on the day of the Pentecost.
In the same way we have come to know the (personal) will of God for our lives. I am now 60 years old. I cannot believe it! I know my time is limited, so I have to spend the time wisely according to His will. I ask God to gently lead me to the way I should go.
Update on a Missionary Couple to the Yokota Japanese Congregation – May 16
Previously I wrote about the missionary couple who would come to Yokota. They are members of Johnson St. Church of Christ in Greenville TX. I will disclose their names after they actually come to Japan. They are retired from their work. They are late 60s. You may think they are too old to be a missionary. It is good for a missionary to be young because they are energetic enough to do many things. They can do physical work too if necessary. But there are some downsides among young missionaries as I have observed them for 20 years.
Anyway I have met this couple several times. They are very good at people here in Japan and get along with them easily. I believe they will be very effective missionaries.
We have decided to pay for the cost of their air tickets when they come here in October.
I never thought about working with a missionary 20 years ago. I was not a people person. I would rather study the Bible for myself or read books than meeting people. However, I have come to a point that I enjoy meeting people and talking them. I have often seen people growing spiritually when I work with them. God has led me so far, so that I can be ready to work with a missionary. Thank God once again.
A Book on Prayer — May 18
I have recently read an very interesting book on the subject of prayer. It is Answering God: The Psalms as Tools for Prayer written by Eugene Petersen. Lots of prayer books are published by denominations or people associated with certain traditions. We do not need such books, but we have the Bible. The book teaches me how to use the Psalms for prayer. As a young Christian, I did not think about nor study the subject of prayer. My prayer life was very poor; seldom I prayed to God earnestly. When I started working at Yokota Church of Christ, I did not have a good habit of praying daily either. This is very embarrassing to admit it, but this is true. But I came across many incidents in which I had to ask God for help. I was in need all the time. I finally gave up my ego and started praying to God daily.
The book has really helped me to utilize the book of Psalms. My ignorance was revealed. Thank God that I can pray to Him day and night. I continue seeking His will in prayer and doing His will in life.