Missions Moment – Japan

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John and Eriko Houlette, Three Streams Ministries

Thank you for your faithful prayers and support for us this past month!

  • It was a blessing to preach at Yuzawa Bible Baptist Church in Akita Prefecture 6/26. It is a warm fellowship of sincere believers.  The afternoon session on spiritual rhythms and active listening with six Akita churches went well as attendants engaged with the material and had lively discussions.  You can see a calligraphy writing  with my message title and an attractive sign welcoming people to the worship service below.
  • I prepared for soul care and active listening seminars in Kumamoto, Kyushu. I co-led this with my colleague from Crash Japan, Helen Kwak. We de-briefed first responder staff members on Friday, led  a seminar on Saturday and preached and ran another seminar on Sunday at the invitation of the  Kyushu Christian Relief Center. Kumamoto residents experienced a 6.4 then a  7.3-magnitude earthquake on 4/14 and 4/16 respectively.  This area of Japan is prone to typhoons and summer flooding.  Eriko and I will also facilitate a retreat for pastors and their families serving in the earthquake zone on 8/16-18. Please pray for wisdom and the ability to lead well.
  • The  self-care seminar at the Salvation Army’s Tokyo headquarters for over 40 young leaders on 7/6 was well received. (see picture below).
  • Eriko continues her research-related interviews and plans to transition to writing this summer.  Please pray for this next big step.
  • In the middle of our busyness, Eriko and I were able to go on a scenic three-day vacation along the coast of the Sea of Japan from Akita to Aomori.  We spent our first night at a farm house cabin. How many of the dishes from our evening meal can you describe?
  • Pray for the Nepal Pastoral Leader Retreat 11/14-22.  Pray for a team of 4-5 Japanese pastors to serve at this retreat. We hope that 20-30 Nepali pastors will attend.

Japan-8.9.2016Japan-8.9.2016-2Japan-8.9.2016-3Japan-8.9.2016-4

Cultural Architecture 

And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.  Mark 6:31 ESV

As Jesus was training his disciples, he invited them to cultivate rhythms of ministry and rest.  Building upon the Jewish practice of Sabbath, Jesus was the architect of a new culture, fueled by the gospel of grace. He invited them to commune with God, serve, have faith, give thanks, reflect, rest and repeat. This culture begins with input before output.  The Japanese words for busy and forget are made up of the Chinese character radicals for death and heart(忙しい/ 忘れる). While ministry leaders are godly and resilient, they can experience dry and thirsty souls due to busyness and forgetting to get rest.  Strategically  I am moving more and more into connecting with young leaders and congregations, to help them nourish their souls, be effective in ministry and launch communities of mutual soul care.  Three Stream Ministries is helping many individuals and churches each month.  Thank you for your investment!

 

Ministry of Prayer

  1. For the Pastoral Leader Retreats in Kyushu 8/16-18, Iwate 10//23-25 and Nepal, 11/14-22.  More leaders are experiencing burn out.
  2. For the families of the suicide victims.  Pray for their comfort in Christ.
  3. For Hokushin Calvary Church in Fukushima and their pastor Masanori Kuba who is on a sabbatical. I am preaching there twice a month.
  4. For Eriko’s research in the earthquake zone.
  5. For ongoing teaching, mentoring, coaching and counseling opportunities.
  6. For wisdom on how to provide emotional care for care givers in Kumamoto.