Recent Updates from Matthew and Carly Chase in Japan

Matt and Carly Chase

March 2018

Mission To The World

 

“He touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for” - Isaiah 6:7

Partners in the Gospel,

We are continually humbled by your prayers and giving so we can be in Japan. The last six months have been a whirlwind! We are grateful for God’s faithfulness, for calling us, for sending us and daily equipping us with the grace we need for each day. We would love to update you on what God has been doing recently through our family and ministry in Chiba City.

Singing Christmas Carols @ Chiba City Perie
 

Christmas in Japan is one of our biggest opportunities for community outreach and evangelism. Japanese know little to nothing about why Christmas is celebrated, even though in recent years commercialism has made it a popular holiday, with everyone buying Christmas decorations, presents, and apparel. We often hear Christmas hymns playing in English at the stores with the message that Christ is born and has come to save and redeem, but the true meaning of Christmas  gets pushed aside amidst other cultural messages. Many people are very curious and interested in Christmas, and we try to take advantage of that curiosity and momentum. Our team hosted two  large Christmas events this year that were huge successes. First we rented out a community place where we led our friends and others in Christmas songs, we also explained the meaning behind why we celebrate Christmas by sharing the story of Jesus’s life, death and resurrection. Our second event was hosted in a big hall right above the newly renovated Chiba station and about one hundred people came! One of our dear friends brought her family and told us afterwards, “I was so excited to hear the true meaning of Christmas”. We recently gave her a Jesus Storybook Bible in Japanese and she has been reading it with her kids! We were so encouraged that many of our friends from Japanese school and in the community came. We praise God for His work and give Him all the glory. Please pray for gospel seeds that were planted, and the deepening of relationships between our family, church-planting team and the community. 

Hudson's friends and his 3rd Grade Teacher 
Picnic with Friends

Our bilingual Bible study has been going well, averaging between five and eight people per week. We have been encouraged by a few non-Christians who have come and are interested in using English, or learning more about the Bible- praise God! We are also really encouraged at how God is bringing Christian and non-Christian international students. Last Bible study we talked about the holiness of God and the passage in Isaiah 6 came up, talking about the seraphim touching his unclean lips with a burning hot coal, making him pure. One agnostic German girl remarked, “This is the first time I’ve heard this concept! Usually religion tells you all the stuff you need to do to become pure and acceptable but this is the opposite!”. So far we have done a concise study of who Jesus is, going through an overview of the Bible using the Jesus Storybook Bible. Students really seemed to enjoy it, and we have had some great conversations. As the new school year starts next week we are excited to start a new series with them. We will be studying the foundations of Christian faith and what Christians believe. Please pray for these gospel seeds that have been sown, for good follow up with non-Christians,  and for the new study we are starting next week about what Christians believe.

Thursday Morning Mom & Kids Play Group

With our team leader John Evans and his family leaving Japan in January the last few months have had many ups and downs. We continue to mourn losing our team mates and the many changes this has brought about. One of the changes has been that I (Matt) have taken on the role of interim team leader, while we search for a new candidate. There have been many times when I have felt inadequate and inexperienced to lead an international church planting team. I have had to adjust my involvement in college ministry so I am able to focus more on leading the team. There is always more to do in ministry and I have been overwhelmed with being behind in many things. Please pray for the Lord to grow me in humility during this time, that I would press into Him rather than wallow in discouragement. Please pray for our team as they put up with my weaknesses and the many mistakes I am making. Pray for my time to be focused, intentional, and life giving rather than scattered and draining. Pray that I would honor the Lord through this as long as He calls me into this role. Praise God that HE is faithful, that HE will build His church!

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"From the rising of the sun to its setting, MY NAME WILL BE GREAT AMONG THE NATIONS"    -Malachi 1:11