Recent Update from the Carters in Japan

Ministry & Building Update - January 2019

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We hope you are settling into the New Year and staying warm with all the recent snow! We enjoyed the daily delivery of Christmas cards and letters from many of you.  Though the year has barely started, we have quite a bit of exciting news.

“Expanding Space for an Expanding Ministry”
Renovations have begun on the building and we have been assured they are still on schedule to finish around mid-March. Our contractor is having an unusually difficult time finding subs due to the preparation underway for the 2020 Olympics. In addition to this other “surprises” can easily happen during a building renovation to delay its completion so please continue to pray our contractor can stay on schedule.   Many of you have generously given towards the cost of renovation and it has been very encouraging for us to see you all partner with us and share in the excitement of having ministry space in downtown Nagoya.  We only need $18,000 by March 2019 in order to pay for the renovation in cash. We are in the home stretch and just need a little more help to cross the finish line. Those who are able, please pray about helping us get the rest of the needed funds to finish this important project for our ministry. Maybe you know a church who might be interested or a friend, please let us know.  Every bit helps in accomplishing this goal to expand God’s ministry in Nagoya. Click here on how to give on-line or via check!

More Ministry Changes/Transitions
In our year end letter we shared we were scheduled to take an early 6-month Home Ministry Assignment (HMA) beginning in July. We already started making arrangements for going back to the States and were looking forward to seeing everyone, however, on Christmas Eve, I got a call from the principal of a local prestigious high school in our area, Kinjo. She called to offer me a part-time English teaching position from April of this year until the following March. The principal is a member of another church in our Presbytery and the pastor of that church referred her to me knowing our desire to church plant in the same neighborhood as the school. Unfortunately she only gave me ten days to respond...all of which were over the holidays!  So we prayed a lot, sought counsel with Pastor Aoki, met with the church Elders, discussed the opportunity with our MTW team leader, talked with family and prayed some more.  The general counsel we received was if it wasn’t too burdensome to our family this was too good of an opportunity to let pass by.

Why such a great opportunity? Kinjo is historically Christian and still is an all-girls Jr. High, High School and University.  It is one of the most famous prep schools in our city and anyone from Nagoya knows about Kinjo.  Historically, it used to be linked to Presbyterian missionaries and those who know the Cains might be interested to know Grandma Cain taught at the school!  Over the years it has lost its original identity and although is “Christian” it really is only in name.  Our denomination has always sought to reconnect with the school and help to evangelize the almost 99% non-Christian student population.  This is a great chance to build relationships and connections with Jr. High/High School students and also gain immediate credibility in the community. In the Japanese culture teachers are some of the most respected individuals and by teaching at such a well-known school so close to our new Ministry Center it automatically lends me credibility in our neighborhood.  Culturally this is quite important as we seek to gain trust and establish our work in a new area.  Therefore, we have decided to take the job and unless we have visa issues postpone HMA to July 2020.

In our year end letter we talked about change and transitions.  We have constantly been surprised and encouraged at the avenues God has opened up with the building and our ministry in downtown Nagoya. We are trusting this is God’s will not only for our family but for the Sakae church plant. God is putting things in place that will really help in spreading His gospel to this area! We’re sorry to not be home as soon as we thought, but thankful for your partnership and sending us to be here on the Kingdom’s behalf.

Michael, Cathalain, Tobin, Elisabeth & Maddie Carter

 for we walk by faith, not by sight." – 1 Corinthians 5:17

Prayer Requests
  • Please pray for Cathalain's pregnancy.  She has been feeling well so please pray this continues into her third trimester.  It's a GIRL!  Pray for poor Tobin who is feeling a bit out numbered, but convinced his new sister will like softball so all will be right with the world.
  • Pray for the process of starting at Kinjo high school.  Since I also teach part time at the YWCA I should be able to use the same special exemption on my visa.  Pray for the relationships I will build with the faculty and students and pray many students would come to our new church when we start worship.  Pray revival on the campus and for sound and true doctrine to be taught once again!
  • Prayer for my sermon preparation time. Pray I would be faithful to present 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 the renovation of the Ministry Center.  Pray for our contractor to be able to find skilled laborers, safety in demolition, and the design committee as they have many decisions ahead.  Pray for the remaining $18,000 still needed. Pray ultimately this will be a space that can be used by various ministries to expand the Gospel in Nagoya and beyond. 
Calendar
  • January 17  – English Classes at Shiga, Michael teaching Shiga Prayer Meeting
  • January 18 - MTW Church Planting Group, Meeting with All Nations Fellowship, a bilinigual church, staff to share about our church plant, & MTW Team Meeting
  • January 20 - Young People's Fellowship/Game Day (Pray for friends who invite their non Christian friends to church.  We have seen an increase in 20-30 year olds in the church that has been quite exciting!)
  • January 21 - Central Japan Presbytery Pastor's Meeting
  • January 22 - YWCA English/Downtown Adult English Class
  • January 24 - English at Shiga
  • January 25 - City to City Church Planting Incubator Group/Evening Outreach Concert
  • January 26 - Kid's English Event
  • January 27 - Preaching at Shiga
  • January 29 - YWCA English/Downtown Adult English Class
  • January 31 - English at Shiga/Michael leads Prayer Meeting Downtown for Sakae Church Plant
Our church doesn't have a Christmas Eve Service, but this is from our New Year's Day Service.  We are so blessed to be a part of Shiga!
Various churches gifted us with personal gifts in December so we surprised the kids with tickets to Tokyo Disney for Christmas.  We had a great day as a family and all enjoyed the park in different ways.  Maddie loved see the princesses in the parade, Elisabeth loved everything, but probably mostly shopping for a souvenir with her Christmas money and thanks to a kind staff person who gave our family a special fast pass Tobin was able to ride Splash Mountain without waiting two hours.  It capped a great day for him and our family.  Below you can see what mom and dad looked like by the end of the day, but outside Disney mom and dad were able to enjoy burritos at a favorite Mexican restaurant only in Tokyo!  Thank you to all those who made this possible and Grace Church in Urayasu for letting us stay in your church for two nights. (Less than 2 miles from Disney!)
 
 
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These updates are sent monthly as a way to connect with the Carters, Missionaries with MTW in Japan. 

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Mission to the World
60 Shaner Hill Drive
Lexington, VA  24450

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Michael Carter's Ordination, November 29, 2015 Photos