Recent Update from the Carters in Japan

Ministry Update - August 2019



Short Term Teams: Blessing or Bother?
I am actually borrowing this title from our Country Director, Dan Iverson, who wrote a short article on Short-Term Missions.  When short term teams come there is a lot of hours spent prepping for the teams and hosting the teams. We are often asked, "Is it worth it? Should we just send the money we would raise for the trip directly to the missionaries?" This is something I have thought a great deal about and just like Dan, I think the answer is definitely both. It's a lot of work but overall a huge blessing to our ministry. This year we personally didn't host a team, but had four teams who came to Nagoya help with our ministry. Here's the impact they have had.

Example 1: 
Lauren was a two month intern who came with a huge smile and willingness to do whatever needed to be done. She helped by building deeper relationships with the cafe ministry in partnership with Life Hope Network, serving in various ways while attending and volunteering at our church, Shiga, helping oversee various short term teams at the seminary and loving on our kids.  Maddie cried and cried the day she left because of the special relationship they formed. 

Example 2:
We had a high school team unexpectedly come because they couldn't go to China as planned.  Through my connection at Kinjo High School, the team was able to come on campus for the whole day.  The Kinjo teachers went all out with a program from 7:30am-5pm.  The principal asked one high school girl to share her testimony at chapel where around 1000 people gathered. Others were able to share their testimony throughout the day and after school a few students did a skit about the Gospel and had students break out into discussions groups.  Over 95%+ of the students/faculty are not believers and afterwards two Kinjo students expressed interest in becoming Christians.  The school Chaplain and I are now following up with these girls.  It's amazing to see how God is using this part-time position to make it possible to reach this campus!

This group also did a special event at Shiga for elementary students from 3rd to 5th grade.  From this event two kids have started to come to Sunday School regularly.

Example 3:
We had a college group come through and they taught our kids English classes.  With Cathalain not teaching this gave rest to another teacher and myself.

Example 4:
Cathalain was feeling quite overwhelmed with finishing design touches and cleaning for the Nagoya Ministry Center Opening Ceremony in September.  A young adult team had a free afternoon and so they came over and accomplished a long list from painting to weeding to cleaning. It was such a burden lifted from Cathalain and encouragement to us. Other members of the same team help set up for the summer festival at Shiga church that we do every year. Below you can see our Pastor and a Seminary Student taking a picture with the group.

Example 5
This past week the Nagoya Ministry Center was used by another short-term team to put on a VBS type program for English speaking kids.  It was organized two weeks before because the teams original plans suddenly fell through.  Still over 20+ kids joined in.  Expats and missionary kids rarely get to participate in activities like this, yet there is a great need for these kids too! Our kids were in and out throughout the week.  Since it was mostly younger kids we asked Tobin to go the first day and then he didn't have to go the rest of the week.  After the first day when we asked if he would go back he looked at us with a puzzled face and said of course! He enjoyed being loved on by older high school boys who took time to meet him where he is at.  They even let him tag along when they went to an indoor sports park.  It meant the world to Tobin and he came back so excited and thankful.

I could keep adding to the list, but we are so thankful for the sacrifice of the teams that have come through Nagoya this year.  We pray that individuals from these teams would stay involved in missions whether as "goers" or "senders."  Would you too pray about how you could also be involved in missions. Perhaps your church could send a team of 5-10 people to Japan? It's a large commitment of time and resources but it goes a long way to encouraging missionaries on the field and spreading the word of God in a place where so many have never hear the truth of the gospel. 

Michael, Cathalain, Tobin, Elisabeth, Maddie and Abigail Carter

Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”  Matthew 9:37-58

Prayer Requests
  • Pray for rest during the month of August.  Our family is planning on taking next week off for family vacation.  Pray we could help to make wonderful memories with our children and really love each other well.  This has been a busy season so pray it would be fun and relaxing and God would give us the energy for vacation with four kids.
  • The following week we will be attending the All Asia MTW Retreat in Indonesia.  Pray for travel, especially health for Abigail.  I will be attending a session for future team leaders.  Although I don't have a calling to become a team leader our team leader thought the training could be beneficial.  We also will be gathering as a country so pray as we discuss issues facing Japan, vision for the future of Japan and how to create better synergy across teams.
  • Pray for Cathalain as she balances ministry, family and MTW responsibilities. Pray for wisdom in how she should be best using her time.
  • Prayer for my sermon preparation time. Pray I would be faithful to presenting Christ in the text, for my translation and the time it takes to translate, and for my Japanese tutor who helps check and teach me how to write more naturally.
  • Pray for education decisions concerning our children.  Raising bilingual children is quite difficult.  We are a bit concerned about Tobin's English levels, especially since we hope for him to attend American school in 2020 while on HMA from August-January.  Pray we can keep working at home through the homeschooling curriculum.  We are so thankful for Christian Academy in Japan in Tokyo for testing him and helping us discern his strengths and weaknesses.
  • We are planning for the Opening Ceremony for the Nagoya Ministry Center on September 16 from 1pm-4pm.  Please join us if you are in the area!  There are a lot of preparations still needing to be done and odds and ins left throughout the building.  Pray as we work with Shiga Church in putting this event on.  Praise God for such an incredible space and how much it is already being used!
Important Dates
  • August 12-21 – All Asia MTW Area Retreat/Japan Country Retreat (happens only every four years)
  • August 25  – Preaching at Shiga
  • September 16  – Grand Opening of Nagoya Ministry Center
Recommended Videos
This past June a partnering church asked if we could create videos to share for the beginning and ending of their VBS days. In the morning/opening of VBS we talked about our ministry and in the closing the kids talked about their lives in Japan. They are very much homemade and around 3-5 minutes each.  We hope you enjoy watching them.  *Please note they are unlisted and please don't share the links on any church websites...via email is okay.  The videos will be deleted after about a months time.*
Video 1: Carter Introduction
Video 2: Carter's Calling
Video 3: The Need in Japan
Video 4: Our Ministry
Video 1: A Typical School Day (Tobin)
Video 2: Things we take to School (Elisabeth)
Video 3: Japanese Preschool (Maddie)
Video 4: Partnering with Our Ministry
Copyright © 2019 Mission to the World, All rights reserved. 
These updates are sent monthly as a way to connect with the Carters, Missionaries with MTW in Japan. 

Our mailing address is: 
Mission to the World
60 Shaner Hill Drive
Lexington, VA  24450

Add us to your address book




Michael Carter's Ordination, November 29, 2015 Photos