The City No Longer Forsaken

"They will be called the Holy People, the Redeemed of the LORD; and you will be called Sought After, the City No Longer Deserted." ~Isaiah 62:12

Monday, March 24, 2008

Starting Out Again!

Happy Easter! Easter omedetou!

Yesterday was a double or triple treat. It was Easter, 'nuff said (much dancing). It was also the first baptism I have gotten to see in Japan. It was a woman maybe in her late 20s. She's been attending Christian schools, with the exception of kindergarten, since she was in preschool. She's played the organ at Hongo for awhile.

She had her hair very neatly up back in a bun, and she knelt very seriously and calmly by the baptismal bowl. Yasui Sensei was kind to her. I don't think there was enough water in his hands even to drip and he wiped it across her head three times in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The enthusiast in me was slightly disappointed by the lack of water everywhere...after all, God doesn't just come and get our hair a little wet, He pours all over us and leaves our hair a mess and our skirts dripping wherever we go. It was so lovely to see, though.

Apparently at Hongo, it is a custom for the person being baptized to give their testimony. I was particularly excited for this part, and made one of my bilingual friends translate the whole thing. Adult decisions for baptism are always somewhat puzzling to me. There is often a quiet miracle behind them all. Some people can point to some dramatic, concrete moment when they knew God was real and that He loved them. But the woman baptized yesterday fits a theme I have heard from many of them...they have gradually come to believe, and finally knew it was time to be baptized.

Our spring break is wrapping up now, and starting today, we hit the streets! That's right, it's pamphlet time of the year again!

For the next three weeks, Aaron (the long term missionary who runs the English Center at Hongo) and I will be handing out pamphlets at train stations and university gates. We'll start registering students for the new school year, which begins April 8th, next week.

Please pray:
1) For us to have minds that are praising God and praying as we hand out pamphlets so that His light can shine through us the most brightly
2) For our pamphlets to find their way into the hands of those who are hungry for God or who are at a time in their life when "seeds" can be planted.
3) Pray for our ministry, that God would always be molding us into a ministry where He can send those who need Him and they will get what they need

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