Recent Update from the Carters in Japan

Ministry Update - August 2020



This month I have listed various prayer requests with updates following each prayer request.  We thank you for praying with us and joining us in partnership to reach the Japanese for Christ.

Pray for God’s timing and our patience in when we return to Japan.
This past month we finally received Maddie’s passport.  Our team was able to apply for her Certificate of Eligibility (COE) on our behalf and now we wait.  The COE, if it’s granted, can take from two weeks to three months to issue.  Once we have a COE it will be sent express mail and Cathalain and I will need to go to the Japanese Consulate.  It will then take about a week for them to issue Maddie’s visa and approve special permission for us to return.  Then we will be able to purchase plane tickets, wrap up our HMA and fly home to Japan.  Once the COE is issued we think it will take a month before we can return.  We are praying for a September return, but everything is hinging on the timing of the COE.  Pray we would rest and trust in the Lord’s timing and God would grant us patience when we find our hearts unstill from the unknown. (We aren’t good at living in the unknown.)

Grieving with those who Grieve
Cathalain received word that her friend’s husband, my barber, passed away.  It was a long battle with cancer and he leaves a widow and two young children.  Apparently the end was quite difficult and my Mrs. Y has still not told her friends that her husband passed away.  Many don’t even know of his two year battle with cancer.  Our Pastor’s wife has been walking with her through this journey and Cathalain has also been with her through this journey.  Pray for this mother, who is deeply grieving and struggling, to come to know Christ and the hope in him.  Pray for her oldest daughter who is in third grade to have support during this time and thank God she has been able to continue to participate in English Zoom classes.  Pray for the three year old daughter who still can’t comprehend what is happening. Pray for wisdom for Cathalain and Niwako to know how to love Mrs. Y and for our church to be a support to her.

Praising God for Sustaining Ministry and Adding New Ministry
The eight, first-quarter English classes held via Zoom finished last week.  Through the surveys, the moms gave very positive feedback.  We are so thankful for our Japanese staff member for leading the administrative aspect, communication with moms, and Bible time during classes.  Her husband, a Japanese man raised in Hawaii, filled in as the main teacher and did an excellent job.  Isn’t God amazing to provide these two in this time?  If you remember, they were “supposed” to be living in Tokyo once married in March, but God changed their heart to live in Nagoya last December before we knew what was ahead.  Not only has the Lord provided financial support for them, but they are actively helping many ministries with their gifts!

Last night, Cathalain hosted her second meeting of a new Parenting Bible Study.  She and a young mom in the church have desired to do this class but everyone was always too busy.  Cathalain has prayed for these young moms to make time, but it seemed God never provided the way.  Then enters Covid where everyone is stuck at home! She was contacted by the Pastor’s wife about doing the study over Zoom and now between five and seven are gathering to discuss what the Bible says about parenting.  Two are not Christians, two grew up in the church but we don’t see fruit in their lives, and two are strong Christians.  As Cathalain always does, she presented the Gospel so the moms could understand better how Christians think about parenting and how it is different than Buddhism. Pray that, even though she feels insecure, God would use His word and reach these moms. Pray also this would be an opportunity for the Christians whose friends are in the group to have more conversations with their friends about Christ. Finally, please pray for Cathalain’s preparation and leading in Japanese.

Covid Continues
This week our Pastor in Japan wrote us about his weariness amidst Covid.  He’s tired because he misses not having others to bounce ideas off of, there are many strong opinions about the virus even in a small congregation, it’s hard going from physical worship to on-line worship…the list goes on.  Pray for wisdom for the church in Japan.  Pray for support for our Pastor and other Pastors in our denomination that are trying to make difficult decisions with their elders with no “right” answer.  Pray as I continue to help lead Prayer meeting once and month and potentially will preach again if they return to Online worship.  

There have been challenges and adjustments in learning how to live and minister in this “new normal” we find ourselves in. Some changes have been a blessing, such as everything going online, which has allowed us to be involved in ministry in Japan despite being in America. Some changes have been a trial, such as not knowing when we will be able to return  to Japan and not being able to see everyone while we’re here in the States. However, we continue to take comfort in and are eternally grateful for the things that don’t change, like the sovereignty and goodness of God as well as the faithful prayers and support of you as our partners in the Gospel!

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

“that this is God, our God forever and ever. He will guide us forever.” - Psalm 48:14

Recently our kids have been going to their grandparents alone or in pairs.  Last week Cathalain was able to go up and help with projects at her parents and grandparents.  We are so grateful for the opportunity to spend time with family and relish the time we have! Even swimming in the pool is such a luxury to us.
Kuni came to Shiga as a seminary student in need of a break from the busyness of all the ministries he was involved in.  His purpose was to simply worship and rest at Shiga. After a semester of refreshment and just being part of the church he decided to extend his time and became an intern under Pastor Aoki. This spring he graduated from seminary and is heading back to America this month to begin the process of ordination in the PCA in his home state of Michigan.  Please pray as he is still discerning where to serve in Japan after his year in America! Pray also for his ordination process.
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These updates are sent monthly as a way to connect with the Carters, Missionaries with MTW in Japan.




Michael Carter's Ordination, November 29, 2015 Photos