Nonogaki Reports – Sept 2016

The American Congregation – Sept 3, 2016

On July 15, John Phillis, who is a fellow preacher and has served in the Army for 30 years, came from Albuquerque NM to work with the American congregation.  While he has been preaching and teaching, he often visits the chapel to get to know the chaplains and lets them know the Yokota Church of Christ.  We have also dropped the church brochures and articles in the posts of American houses on base and off base .  The challenge is how to let people know that the church of Christ is here near the base.  There are approximately 10,000 people living on base.  Over 1 % of the population may be church of Christ affiliated.  100 people should attend the service.

We have decided to put ads in a base magazine and a base paper.  Meanwhile we have also decided to put up a church sign using a banner in the parking lot of the church building.  We have to install it by ourselves, but this is the most cost-effective way of putting up the church sign.  While John is here, he is going to establish the foundation of the church community.

All of us appreciate his efforts.  I have also learned from him a lot.  Spending time with him and working with him is a very valuable time for me.

A Missionary Couple from Greenville, Texas – Sept 3, 2016

This week I submitted a visa application for the missionary couple who will work with both Yokota Church of Christ and Tachikawa Church of Christ. Mark has worked as an engineer working on American military bases as well as for Japanese corporations. Mark is retired now and will dedicate his life to the Lord. They are self supported financially and basically they will provide the living expenses for themselves. Linda had a medical issue and has got it checked. It has been OK.

They hope that they will arrive at Japan in late November. I am really looking forward to working with them and serving God with them.

A Booklet for Bible Reading Schedule – Sept 3, 2016

I have made a booklet for 2017-2018 Bible reading schedule. I read a psalm and a proverb daily besides a passage from OT and a passage NT. I have been hoping that our members will read the Bible daily too.

In the booklet there are a list of prayer requests for each other, for our mission work and preachers, for non-Christian friends and family members. They read Psalm twice a year and Proverb 12 times a year. Also they read both OT and NT in two years. I know God desires us to grow in Christ and His word. We will simply follow His lead.

Being Thankful for the Work of the Lord – Sept 21, 2016

The Lord has sent us John Phillis to work with the American congregation here in Yokota. He is a very effective worker and capable of reaching out to people and touching their hearts. He arrived at Yokota on the 21st of July. On the 13th of October he is leaving us for his home Albuquerque NM. He still has a lot of things to do to build up the congregation in the rest of his stay.

Starting Prayer Ministry – Sept 21, 2016

We read the Bible, attend the worship service, pray to God, sing to Him, take the Lord’s Supper, serve His people, reach out to people around us, and some more. All the elements of Christian life are necessary for our spiritual growth. But I think one of the most vital but easy to forget is prayer. We have started our prayer ministry. I gave each member a prayer list. I encourage them to pray not only for themselves but for specifically one another, their children, their spouses, relatives, friends, and minister. For example, pray for others (and yourself):

1. To love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our mind, with all our soul, and all our strength.
2. To seek first God’s kingdom and his righteousness daily.
3. To read the Scripture and pray daily.
4. To bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
5. To make every effort to discern the will of God.
6. To be transformed into the image of Christ.
7. To know God’s power and love more abundantly.
8. To be completely humble to imitate Christ.
9. To utilize the spiritual gifts given by God.
10. To practice the Christian love and truth.

Prayers Answered by God – Sept 22, 2016

1. Emily was very emotionally unstable. (She was brought up in Hong Kong and is given an English name.) She had bad experiences in her childhood. Since then she has built up bitterness and anger in her life. She was unhappy and easy to be irritated all the time. All of us prayed for her. Her mind has changed a lot. We have seen her changing her attitudes. This is a miracle to me because I though she was impossible.

2. Shuhei is 29 years old. In junior and high school he was often bulled and picked on by others. He did never enjoy his life in school. He blamed others, parents, the Japanese society, and human evil in the world. He built up tremendous bitterness in his life and always blamed others. At the same time, he had an extremely low self esteem. He thought he was never good for anything or anybody and could not do anything or anybody right. We prayed for him. His attitudes have changed.

He began to work at a daycare center in January. It was very difficult for him to take a day off on Sundays. Sunday was his work day. I told him not to give up but pray to God. We prayed for him that he could attend the worship service on Sundays. He made his boss a request for taking a day off on Sundays. God answered our prayers. This month (in September) he will attend the service every week. This is simply amazing.

Sending a Bible Passage – Sept 23, 2016

By email I send a bible passage daily to each member and even those people outside of the fellowship. My wife’s friend who live three hours away from us made a request of the daily Bible passage. Last five years she has been receiving it. Last week she emailed me and thanked me for sending a daily Bible passage. She has gone through ups and downs in her life. Even though she is not a Christian yet, she appreciates the wisdom and power of God revealed in the Word. She has often written me that she is encouraged by the Word to live right. She tries to have a positive attitude by reading the Bible daily.

I pray for her daily and someday she will confess her faith in Christ.