The Need is Great

OMF Japan

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The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest (Luke 10:2)

It was dark outside. I sat down with my steaming mug of coffee and opened my 31 days of prayer for Japan booklet and began to pray. Before I knew it, tears were streaming down my face as I pleaded to God for the people in the Kanto region, the area we are headed. Over 40 million Japanese, with so few to share the gospel with them. As I prayed, I could see the thousands of men and women bustling about the train station, repeating the same mundane commutes, knowing the likelihood that none of them have ever heard the gospel message – not even once. This isn’t right. Something must change.

According to the Joshua Project less than 0.3% of the 127 million Japanese people are evangelical Christian. Please pray that the Lord would send more laborers into the harvest of Japan, and especially Japanese believers to step up to this call.

A few updates:

  • Pledge Update: We are at about 28% of our target support level. My favorite story from this past week was a young college student who is now one of our largest individual supporters. Completely blown away by his generous and sacrificial giving. Praise God!
  • Family update: We’ve battled with sickness in the family for over a week, the boys have been hit hard with a cough and fever, and are just now recovering.
  • Prayer point: Please pray for a team of people who are willing to watch our boys while we do partnership meetings. The logistics have been very challenging! Even someone willing to house sit when we meet with supporters after the boys’ bedtime would be amazing. If you know anyone, this would be a deeply encouraging way to partner with us!

Praying for more laborers in Japan,

Patrick & Ellen

The Joy of Partnership

“Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit.”

(Philippians 4:17)

I have been deeply moved by this passage recently, and frequently share it in our partnership meetings. If our goal is merely to get fully supported so we can jet off to the mission field, I think we’re missing out. Our hearts yearn to see more fruit credited to the spiritual bank account of our friends and family who we invite into partnership! In many ways, our calling to ministry begins now. Encouraging and challenging the church to invest in treasure that will not rust, decay, or corrode, but is eternal in value. One of the great joys of partnership is sharing together in the fruit of God’s kingdom work in Japan. Let the fun begin.

And now for the updates:

  • Pledge Update: We hit 26% of our pledge goal this week including some one-time gifts. This is great news! My favorite comment of the week: “You are the first missionary family we’ve personally known. I’m excited that our kids will get to have a name and a face they know when they pray for you each night.”
  • Family Update: Rowan is enjoying Awana Cubbies this fall season, and memorizing quite a bit of scripture. It has been a wonderful way to disciple him in love for God’s word.
  • Prayer Update: Please pray for our Japanese friends in College Station. We desire for them to come to know the Lord before we leave for Japan.

Lastly, if you’ve signed up to pledge for us, but haven’t received anything in the mail from OMF (or perhaps lost it in a stack like the one on my desk), please let us know. You should get a form to set up direct debit in that packet.

Filled with joy at the thought of sharing together in the fruit of God’s work in Japan,

Patrick & Ellen

Let the Journey Begin

Friends, this is the inaugural post on our family’s journey to Japan. If you’ve managed to find this post and read it, congratulations! Read on.

For the most part this website is dedicated to three purposes:

  • Status updates on partnership process (we can’t go to Japan until we’re 100% pledged)
  • Prayer and ministry tidbits
  • Family updates

Once we’re in Japan, this blog will shift more heavily toward ministry/family updates. Most of these posts will be very short, so you can read them in less than 2 minutes and pray for us.

Ellen and I are so grateful you are a part of our lives and our journey to Japan. A journey that is yours as well  through your partnership and prayers to reach the Japanese with the gospel of Jesus Christ for God’s glory. So without further ado, here are a couple rapid updates:

  • We are roughly 19% pledged at this point
  • Pray for wisdom for Patrick (me) in directing our time between full-time job, partnership, and family time
  • Ellen is currently waiting to hear back from 15 different agents who requested the manuscript of her first novel, “The Water Child,” set in Japan.

What are you needing prayer for these days? Give us a call, or send us an e-mail; we love hearing from you.

Until Praise for His Name rings from the Land of the Rising Sun,
Patrick & Ellen