Recent Updates from Matthew and Carly Chase in Japan

Spring 2019

Mission To The World

Matt and Carly Chase

 

Update from the Chase Family
Church Planting/ University Ministry in Chiba, Japan
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"I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now" -         Philippians 1:3-5

Partners in the gospel,

Greetings from Japan! After a “short” H.M.A. (Home Ministry Assignment) in the U.S., we are back in Japan and beginning to settle. Since arriving in mid-March our lives have been busy getting our kids set up for Japanese school, registering as residents, paying taxes, applying for a visa, and the list goes on! God has been extremely gracious and we are thankful to have many of those big important things behind us! Thank you for those who have been praying for our transition. Our boys are doing very well adjusting back to Japanese school and our weekly routine.

Send off with friends and family 
 

Our time in the U.S. was wonderful. Our times with family and friends was short, but so rich. The last two and half months of our time was a blur as we were on the road visiting different churches every weekend and often gone during the week as well. I came away from our H.M.A. with a grateful heart, for how God is working in and through the many people and churches that support us. Not only did we get to share about Japan, but we also heard many stories of God’s redemption and restoration in many of your lives. God is writing beautiful stories in each of us, and He is faithful to conform us into His image. We felt so encouraged to hear how God has been working in and through so many of you. It reminds me John Newton's lines from Amazing Grace:

“Through many dangers, toils, and snares, I have already come;
‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home”

It is His grace that binds us to God, and His grace that continues to change our hard hearts as we are conformed more and more into His likeness.
Team Retreat 2019! 

Upon returning to Japan we immediately had our annual team retreat at the base of Mt Fuji. It was a wonderful time to gather as a team, and with our new team leader and family. We spent our time in God’s word, sharing our testimonies, praying for each other, singing praises, eating good food, playing board games, and learning more about how God has wired each of us. I praise God for the wonderful team of people He has brought together. 

Please pray for our team as we are talking and praying through what activities to continue and what our next two years should look like. Pray that God would give us unity and wisdom regarding how we can practically work towards the goal of starting a church here in Chiba City. 

While we were in the USA, we heard of a job opportunity teaching English at one of our universities nursing schools in the area. Carly had been praying to have more of an on-campus presence and for a way to get to know more college girls. We found out that the job is only five hours a week (teaching two classes of forty students each) and over 80% of the students are women. The application and permission to work went smoothly and she was able to get the job! We are so thankful for this opportunity and praying God uses it to increase our witness on the college campus as we continue to minister to the students. Join us in praising God for this opportunity. Will you please pray for gospel conversations to happen and that Carly would enjoy her time with the students? Also pray for her relationships with the other teachers and faculty as she shares why our family is living in Chiba city. 

We are thankful for how God continues to use our team to deepen ties in our community. On April 20th we hosted an Easter Party at one of the local community spaces. About fifty kids took part in decorating eggs, and participated in games with our team. At the end of the game, one of our teammates daughters, dressed up as the “Easter Bunny”, was able to share how Jesus died, and was raised from the dead to bring us hope and life. I had a wonderful time watching my teammates love on so many friends who came. In a conversation with one of the community staff, he commented how they had missed us last year for Christmas (the last three years we have had a Christmas celebration with a carol sing-a-long.) It reminded me that even though we weren’t here, God has been working. Please continue to pray that God would deepen our relationships and they would lead to conversations about Jesus and reading the Bible together.

Recently a non-Christian friend asked me why I wanted to pursue a seminary degree to whom I replied, “I want to be a better lover of God and of people”. The longer I have been in ministry in Japan I have seen what a benefit becoming a teaching elder can be for equipping Japanese for the work of the ministry. As people wrestle through life I want to be there alongside them to encourage and point them towards Jesus. Our field of ministry has many needs, but I am especially burdened to serve the Lord faithfully by being more equipped as I seek to love God and communicate His truths to those around me. It has been a long process for me, but God has been faithful to lead and provide a way for me to do distance education for seminary over the next five years. I am happy to share that I have been accepted to Reformed Theological Seminary and excited to start classes soon! MTW has approved me to do part time study- a maximum of 25% of my week working on seminary study. Many of you have been so encouraging to me in this journey and I am incredibly thankful. Please pray for me as I begin classes soon. Pray for a healthy balance of work, study, family, and sabbath. Pray for my adjustment back to being a student, reading, writing essays- it has been over fourteen years since I graduated college so I’m feeling a bit rusty!

We are so grateful for each one of you. We are humbled by your partnership with us, please let us know how we can be praying for you as well!

The Chases

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