Update from Paul & Jennifer

by pomankwan on February 4, 2012

Greetings from Tsukuba,
Over the last month we’ve had weekly design meetings with our architect and hope to have everything finalized in the next couple of weeks so that construction can begin in March. It’s an exciting time and God has been at work both in this process as well as in the lives of several individuals. Please read on below for the text version of our update.
Thanks you for walking this road together with us in prayer,
Paul & Jennifer
(Brooke – 15, Evan – 13, Caleb – 9)

P.S. As you may notice our prayer update e-mail has a new look starting this month and I have over-hauled the entire list of people receiving our updates. If you’re receiving in this error, or no longer wish to receive our updates just hit unsubscribe at the bottom of this e-mail. We don’t want to be SPAM to you!

I Believe in Miracles

I reported last time on what has been for our congregation a huge test of faith. After battling limited rental options and the challenge of meeting in the small apartments that make up the core of our city, attendees at our evangelistic ministries and then main worship services were hit with threats of police action for parking violations. We joked that our facility problems were forcing people to sin in order to come hear a message of forgiveness! Clearly it was time to build – but where would the money come from?

Our church of some 30 people was clearly tested as we looked at real estate prices in a booming housing market in Tsukuba. In early December we purchased a piece of land that seemed like God’s provision. Pictured at the top of the page, this land is just a kilometre from the train station, in walking distance of the new city hall and in the centre of a growing section in the as-yet unchurched west end of Science City. Adjacent to us are flags signalling the imminent construction of a brand new subdivision and other signs of development abound – my children were excited to see a new McDonald’s open up last week just two blocks away. But where would the money come from?

Our church was quick to respond with an initial $50,000 in offerings, another $50,000 in loaned funds and the commitment of another $70,000 over the next two years. Our young pastor and his wife have given over $25,000. Interested people in our Japanese parent church have already given over $200,000 and the official appeal won’t even be made until this weekend! Our two main sending churches have humbled us with gifts totalling in excess of $20,000 and by God’s grace we have been able to commit $30,000 from our support account. Our mission has covered the cost of the land between donated funds and an interest free loan and several individuals have responded with generous gifts of support. I believe in miracles! We are in the home stretch seeking to raise an another $185,000 by April 1 in order to avoid a burdensome bank mortgage.
Give thanks for God’s miraculous provision and ask that He would supply the remaining funds. For those who have asked about giving, please send your gifts to Fellowship International marked, Tsukuba Building.
$50 will buy a chair
$100 will buy a book-shelf
$500 will buy a large cabinet
$1000 will buy a baptismal
$3000 will buy a wooden deck
$5000 will buy a cross

On-line donations can be made at the following link:

https://www.fellowship.ca/qry/sd_donate.taf?dsfq=2&dsfd=117

We trust God to multiply any amount to provide for our needs.

Relief Ministry

On Monday night I slept 2 km from the ocean in a building damaged by the tsunami which our network has purchased as a base of operations for on-going relief ministry and as the future home of Yamamotocho’s first ever Christian church. A seminary graduate from our churches moved in there last week and we gathered as leaders to discuss the next phase of our outreach in that town. Jennifer did a Christmas concert there in December and I helped serve coffee at an event there Tuesday morning but teams are going in weekly to minister to those in temporary housing and asking God to open their hearts.
Pray that God would raise up seeking individuals and believers to form the core of a church in Yamamotocho.

Local Developments
Christmas is always a unique opportunity to minister to Japanese. This year we had a great response to a pre-school Christmas event we held and had several of these families join our Christmas service for the first time as a result. Our Gospel choir performed in our mall in Tsukuba, at a regional concert, and at a church-plant outreach in Tamatsukuri in December. A number from the choir joined our Christmas service and two of these have attended services in January also. But the road is a long one.

For example one woman who has been studying the Gospel of John for more than a year announced that she had floated the idea of getting baptized to her adult children in November. She was amazed how supportive and encouraging they were. “Well then?” I prodded, and she said that she was still concerned about her mother and brother’s potential opposition.

With two others, I presented the Gospel again and drew two circles showing the throne of their lives and where they see Jesus sitting. Both wanted Jesus in their lives but resisted the idea of Him sitting on the throne. This month I shared from Isaiah 53 about the Shepherd and sheep after preaching on this text at Christmas. They both said that they felt they needed to follow Jesus as Shepherd of their lives and not just go with the flock or walk their own path. When I asked about the throne they said that Japan’s history with Emperor worship has made any thought of kings and thrones very negative to them. They are very close to faith.?
Pray that they would respond in a full commitment of faith and find life in Jesus.
Paul and Jennifer Sadler

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