Encouraging Churches - It is exciting to hear about how God is working in the world! Sometimes we focus on our little area and forget how big our God truly is. Seeing what God is doing in another part of the world reminds people what God is doing and can do in their town. It is also wonderful when God orchestrates a missionary’s message with what the Pastor has been teaching or what God has been doing in an individual’s life. Seeing broken heart filled with hope, despite never meeting them before, is a blessing.
Recruiting - People rarely choose to serve in a ministry they know little about. Ever since our first time in Japan, we were the only Baptist Mid-Missions missionaries heading to Japan. To make matters worse, the seven missionaries who work in Japan are nearing retirement age. We knew we must recruit. As we travel to churches, we seek people who are interested in Japan. We recently heard that a couple we connected with has decided to join BMM and will be co-workers in Japan. We praise God for solid teammates, yet we continue to ask for more.
Support - Ministry is not designed to be done alone. Churches consist of a variety of people grouped together so that they can use their skills for God’s glory. Not everyone can preach, sing, or cook meals, yet a church is able to accomplish a lot through working together. One struggle with a church planting ministry is that there are few (if any) Christians in the area to help.
- Prayer support - With few people, the ministries require prayer support from outside of the ministry. It is wonderful to know that a number of American Christians are praying for the work in Japan.
- Emotional Support - Fighting against “overwhelming odds” is draining. When there are few Christians around, it becomes even worse. We are thankful for friends that we have made who provide emotional support through emails, notes, gifts, or other creative ways.
- Financial Support - Time is extremely valuable, because in the beginning, the missionaries are the only ones who can teach and disciple. Financial support from the states prevents precious time and energy from being spent elsewhere.