Recent Update from the Carters in Japan

Ministry Update - February 2020

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Going Deep and Wide...

January has been a time when we have done a lot of praying and planning about our future ministry at both Shiga church and the Ministry Center in downtown Nagoya. Therefore, we wanted to use this month’s newsletter to share some of the things we’ve been praying about and planning for this coming year. 

While we are working with Shiga church to plant a church in downtown Nagoya, we are continuing to help with the ministry at Shiga. This involves continuing preaching, leading prayer meetings and Bible studies and Cathalain leading their Kid's English program. It’s interesting working at both Shiga and at the downtown church plant because we get to be a part of churches that are in completely different stages. Shiga is a well-established church about to celebrate its 50th Anniversary.  Recently the church has experienced quite a renewal through Pastor Aoki and the Session's leadership.  This year the staff team realized that the church is at a place where our main priority isn’t casting out the net as widely as possible in order to introduce the gospel to people, but instead our focus needs to shift to going deeper with those whom the Lord has led to Shiga church. One example is within the young adult group I lead.  Beyond events and the monthly Bible Study I will begin meeting one on one with other men in the Bible study for discipleship. Currently, there are seven other men in the Bible study, so I’m looking forward to getting to know them on a deeper level and I pray that God will use that time to grow all of us in our faith and love of the Lord. Akiko, the staff member shared between Shiga and the church plant, will be meeting with the women for the same purpose and also begin discipling the upper elementary school girls, while Cathalain will be focusing on young moms.  We are so grateful for the growth in recent years at Shiga and now we pray God will help the church to grow even deeper!

While Shiga is well established with a focus of going deeper with people, the downtown Nagoya church plant is still in the beginning stages, so our main focus is on casting our nets far and wide to meet people and build contacts in order to share the gospel. Some of the ways we do this includes kid's English classes at the Ministry Center, a concert series, Christian artist exhibitions, cooking classes and hosting lots of parties within our home. We’ve already been able to meet many people in the neighborhood through these events and we pray that we will have many opportunities to share the gospel with the people whom the Lord brings through our doors. 

Please join us in praying about how to transfer Shiga's English program to another missionary in 2021.  We have over forty kids involved and are expanding to six classes next year.  Cathalain has realized that teaching two days a week at both Shiga and the Ministry Center is too much and so we are trying to recruit someone to take over the Shiga program.  It's been amazing how the older kids who have heard the weekly Bible times for around seven years are asking really good and hard questions.  We are excited they are grappling with the Gospel and really see value in this ministry continuing. Pray God would raise up more teachers!

Upcoming HMA...

Another big change occurring this year is that we will be spending half the year in America on Home Ministry Assignment (HMA). I’ll be heading back to America in June in order to start visiting churches and Cathalain and the kids will head back in July once summer vacation starts. In March we will be dedicating our newsletter to what HMA is and some needs we foresee. HMA is always a natural time to reflect on what is going well and some ways in which we can be more effective in ministry.  Please pray for wisdom as we are in talks with MTW leadership about how to initiate some changes administratively.  Also pray as we seek wisdom and guidance about our next term!

Thanksgiving...

Thank you again for all your continued prayers and support for our ministry. 2019 was full of difficulties and blessings and we’re grateful that you have been there with us through your prayers and support. Please continue to pray for God to use our ministry for many Japanese to come to know Christ!

Michael, Cathalain, Tobin, Elisabeth, Maddie and Abigail

 

Prayer Requests

  • Pray as we prepare for Home Ministry Assignment.  Pray for our children's hearts as they are being uprooted and are already struggling with the transition.  Pray for wisdom in schooling in America.
  • Pray as my time at Kinjo High School is coming to an end.  Although the job wasn't my favorite I really see it as a God ordained year.  For the first time in many years this school is now reconnected to our mission organization and there are already plans for a short term high school team to go back for two days this summer.  Pray as we continue our connections there and vision of how our church plant can be involved in the lives of these young women.
  • Pray for us to finish our term strong.  It's hard to shift our focus to America and yet some days we just want to already be there and its hard to be motivated to finish strong here.  We really look forward to reconnecting with all of you and speaking ENGLISH!
  • Pray as we are visioning for our next term.  Pray we have wisdom in making some changes to our ministry that will help us be more effective. Praise God for all the blessing of this term!  It's hard to believe we will be celebrating our 9th Japan Anniversary next month.
If you missed out on receiving our Valentine's Day card let us know.  We'd love to send you one and make sure your physical address is updated on our mailing list!
 
Copyright © 2020 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

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Michael Carter's Ordination, November 29, 2015 Photos