tokyolittles.net

Dec 29, 2020

NOTE: This month’s prayer items are copied from our December 2020 newsletter—go there to see some pics and further info about the items below.
  • GIVE THANKS for Dale’s continuing good recovery from polymyalgia rheumatica and hip replacement surgery.
  • PRAY that we will indeed be able to return to Tokyo on Dec 27, with negative COVID tests in the US and Japan. [We did indeed return—see this post.]
  • GIVE THANKS for all 6 of our children and one grandchild, and PRAY that we will continue to find ways to connect and encourage one another.
  • GIVE THANKS for those who have donated to TMC’s church planting startup fund. PRAY that TMC will be able to meet all its financial costs in the next few years and that God will raise up donors in the meantime.

Thank you for Praying for the Tokyo Littles! – PTL #157

Nov 23, 2020

NOTE: This post resumes these monthly prayer updates after a four month hiatus due to my health (Dale). This month’s prayer items are from our Nov 2020 newsletter.
  • GIVE THANKS for our new house in Cape Elizabeth, Maine—Ann’s hometown—where we have been since our home assignment began in mid-Jul (pic below).
  • PRAY that we still might be able to virtually visit a few of our eastern US supporting churches during this home assignment. COVID-19 and Dale’s health challenges have prevented us from physically visiting them. We hope to try again in a few years.
  • PRAY that we will be able to return to Tokyo in late Dec. or early Jan. While in the US for this fall home assignment we continue to rent our apartment in Tokyo.
  • GIVE THANKS for excellent health care in Maine for Dale, and PRAY for his full recovery from polymyalgia rheumatica (by Jun 2021?) and hip replacement surgery on Nov 3. In Feb. in Tokyo Dale was diagnosed with polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR), an auto-immune disease. His chronic joint pain was not under control until the end of Aug., sometime after a specialist in Maine altered his medications. The same doctor referred him to another specialist who diagnosed advanced osteoarthritis in his right hip. So Dale had total hip replacement surgery on Nov. 3, including the removal of an unexpected golf ball sized bone spur from within the hip socket. Dale is recovering well and prognosis is good.
  • GIVE THANKS that Dale can remotely teach his Japanese seminary theology class while in the US. The semester ended late Oct and he is still grading student papers. Thankfully, Japan Bible Seminary is giving Dale extra time to complete his grading.
  • GIVE THANKS for all 6 of our children and one grandchild, and PRAY that we will always find ways to connect and encourage one another. Although we are all in the US, we have not seen any of them since last Christmas and may not see them this Christmas. But we have been enjoying weekly Friday Family Fun nights by Zoom since April.
  • PRAY that the resources Ann prepares and sends for her remote children’s ministry at TMC will be used by parents to teach their children about Jesus. Ann has been sending email links to a monthly LOOM video Bible lesson she makes for children (in Japanese and English) and sending crafts for each lesson by postal mail.
  • PRAY that Ann’s online women’s ministry at TMC will become an encouragement for all the ladies. Inspired by women’s ministry at the Mill Lake EFC in BC, Ann is beginning to use a variety of media to reach out to the thirty women connected to TMC.
  • PRAY that the Lord will meet the financial needs of TMC through the giving of believers who gather in Tokyo and through overseas donors who give toward the EFCCM Ministry Expansion Fund for TMC (#2-2302). US individual donors: go to “How to Give” here. TMC has been stretched since the onset of COVID to cover the financial costs of facility rental and TMC’s portion of our bi-vocational Japanese pastor’s salary (pic below). This fund has helped us launch and is now helping us establish TMC. The long term goal is for TMC to cover all its costs, both facility and personnel, but until then this fund is a great encouragement to TMC.
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Thank you for Praying for the Tokyo Littles! – PTL #156

Jun 26, 2020

NOTE: This month’s prayer items are copied from our June 2020 newsletter—go there to see a couple pics and further info about the items below.
  • GIVE THANKS that we were able to get tickets to the US.
  • PRAY that we will be able to connect with our supporting churches.
  • PRAY that we will be allowed to return to Japan in November.
  • GIVE THANKS for the medical care Dale has received here in Tokyo and that he was able to arrange an appointment at a specialist in Maine. PRAY for ongoing therapy and a good relationship with doctors on both sides of the Pacific Ocean so that we can live in both parts of the world.
  • PRAISE GOD that we have returned to carefully planned worship services at our TMC rental facility. PRAY for continued wisdom as TMC navigates the covid-19 world.
  • GIVE THANKS that Ann will be able to do a bit of TMC virtual ministry with children while on home assignment and Dale will be able to continue leading the TMC church planting team.
  • PRAY that the parents of the children Ann is reaching will be motivated to use these tools to teach their children about Jesus.
  • PRAY that TMC members, attenders, and partners will be able to cover facility rental costs and TMC’s Japanese pastor’s stipend.

Thank you for Praying for the Tokyo Littles! – PTL #155

May 25, 2020

Church Planting at TOKYO MULTICULTURAL CHURCH
On May 25 “stay at home” and other COVID-19 disaster restrictions were lifted throughout Japan. TMC is planning to resume physical gatherings in some format starting Sunday June 14, while maintaining virtual meeting options.
  • WE THANK THE LORD
    • For TMC staff who have been able to cover for Dale during his illness over the past four months and that he is able to gradually resume more TMC leadership responsibilities.
    • That worship services, small groups, and prayer meetings have continued relatively smoothly in virtual format during COVID-19.
    • That the number of people attending English worship services on Sundays has remained steady and the Japanese worship services have seen an increase.
    • That Ann has been able to encourage her outreach English class ladies and the mothers of her children’s program by sending them masks, crafts for the children, etc.
    • For the launching of TMC’s monthly “Young Adult Fellowship” in the English Department on May 23.
  • PRAY
    • That TMC will faithfully bring the truth, grace, hope, and encouragement of Jesus Christ to TMC believers and that others in our corner of Tokyo will turn to Jesus. Fear abounds in the “new normal” of our COVID-19 world. People are worried about getting the coronavirus. They are stressed from trying to care for their children at home while schools are closed. They struggle with trying to work from small homes and apartments. They are concerned about financial survival.
    • That new believer Mr. MK will remain faithful to Christ in the midst of personal stressors and uncertainty about the viability of his business.
    • That members, attenders, and partners will be able to cover TMC’s facility rental costs and our bi-vocational Japanese pastor’s stipend. TMC’s offerings have taken a hit during COVID-19 despite on-line giving options from Japan, Canada, and the US. We have had to access the EFCCM church planting fund for TMC more than anticipated.
    • For wisdom for Ann as she considers whether to restart her ladies’ and children’s ministries before we take our summer and fall home assignment in the US.
HOME ASSIGNMENT
We were scheduled for two 2-month home assignments this year to visit our eastern US supporting churches, one in the spring and one in the fall. Dale’s illness and COVID-19 changed those plans. Lord willing, we hope to take a 4-5 month home assignment starting mid-July.
  • WE THANK THE LORD…
    • That despite Dale’s compromised immunity he has not caught the coronavirus or even any colds in the past few months. His immune system is returning to normal and his chronic pain level is significantly reduced.
    • That the doctor has cleared Dale for flying starting July.
    • For his provision for housing and vehicle in the US (Maine).
  • PRAY
    • That we will find affordable flights to the US at the time we need them.
    • For wisdom to know whether and how to visit our US supporting churches.
    • That we will find ways of continuing to lead TMC in Tokyo even during our home assignment.

Thank you for Praying for the Tokyo Littles! – PTL #154

Apr 11, 2020

NOTE: This month’s prayer items are copied from our April 2020 newsletter—go there to see pics and further info about the items below.
  • GIVE THANKS for the excellent medical care Dale is receiving.
  • PRAY that his joint and surrounding muscle pain will subside completely and that infection will not set in due to his weakened immune system.
  • GIVE THANKS that the staff at TMC have been able to cover for Dale.
  • GIVE THANKS that Ann has been able to encourage the ladies and children in her outreach ministries.
  • PRAY that the Lord will use TMC to bring his blessing, encouragement, and peace to members and attenders in our new COVID-19 world.
  • PRAY for wisdom to know when and how to resume our full load of ministries: leading our church planting project at TMC, facilitating the Asia work of the EFC of Canada Mission, and visiting our US supporting churches on home assignment.
  • PRAY for our 6 adult children (and 1 grandbaby) in the US, some of whom are struggling with isolation, temporary job loss, and anxiety. Even though we video chat with them almost weekly, we do wish we could be geographically closer to them to provide some practical support.

Thank you for Praying for the Tokyo Littles! – PTL #153

Mar 14, 2020

Dale’s Health
On Feb 11 Dale was hospitalized in Tokyo with a high fever, severe joint pain, and bacterial pneumonia in both lungs. He did not and does not have the new coronavirus, COVID-19. He was cleared of pneumonia and discharged after ten days on Feb 21.
Test results for pain in his joints were available ten days later: “polymyalgia rheumatica” (PMR), in which the immune system attacks healthy tissues resulting in inflammatory arthritis. His treatment is a gradually decreasing dosage of oral steroids for 4-6 weeks until an ongoing, regular dosage can be determined. The doc says he should be better by early- to mid-April. In the meantime, his pain continues, though gradually reducing, and his immune system is compromised. So he has temporarily stepped back from most church planting responsibilities, delegating those to our TMC leadership team.
* GIVE THANKS that Dale’s pneumonia has cleared up.
* PRAY that Dale’s joint pain will go away and that he will gain strength for life and ministry. The only ministry he has had the strength to do in Feb and Mar has been essential emails.
* PRAY for Ann as she has been Dale’s primary care giver.

Travel Plans
Our Asia EFC of Canada Mission retreat in Pattaya, Thailand Mar 30 - Apr 3 that we were leading has been cancelled due to COVID-19. But we are still planning to take our first short home assignment this year from sometime in April to mid-June, based in Maine. We hold our travel plans lightly these days due to COVID-19 and Dale’s health, resting in the assurance that our Lord is both loving and sovereign.
* PRAY for wisdom to know when we should travel.

Thank you for Praying for the Tokyo Littles! – PTL #152

Feb 21, 2020

Dale discharged from hospital
Dale was hospitalized at St. Luke’s International Hospital in Tokyo on Tue, Feb 11 with joint pain and bacterial pneumonia in both lungs. Today, 10 days later on Feb 21, he was discharged.

The bacterial pneumonia is healing even though both lungs are still a bit cloudy. Dale did not have the new coronavirus (COVID-19). But the joint pain in his shoulders is taking longer to heal. The working hypothesis is that he had an acute case of crystal-induced arthritis in his joints leading to immobility because of pain and eventually a fever that developed into pneumonia. It will be another week before the diagnosis of his shoulder pain can be made. That diagnosis will be reviewed on an out-patient basis on Feb 28. Until then he will be resting at home while taking anti-inflammatory and pain meds.

This has thrown a monkey wrench into our life and ministry. But as one of our wise friends (MP) told us, “Let others do the ministry.” We are grateful for our team at Tokyo Multicultural Church who are stepping up to the plate. Ann has carried a heavy load through all this. She has continued her TMC ministry, cared for Dale in the hospital by being with him every day (one way travel takes one hour), and handled most of Dale’s essential email correspondence.

We are still moving forward in leading our Asia EFC of Canada Mission retreat in Pattaya, Thailand Mar 30 - Apr 3. Click here for more information. And we are also still planning to take our first short home assignment this year from mid-Apr to mid-Jun, based in Maine.

Thank you for Praying for the Tokyo Littles! – PTL #151-B

Feb 15, 2020

Pray for Dale
Dale was hospitalized with joint pain and bacterial pneumonia in both lungs at St. Luke’s International Hospital in Tokyo on Tue, Feb 11.
Praise God for the excellent care he is receiving from a team of doctors and nurses at St. Luke’s.
Dale does not have the new coronavirus (COVID-19).
Praise God that his numbers have improved, he is off oxygen, and his temperature is dropping to the normal range.
Pray for complete healing from the pneumonia.
Pray that the doctors can find the cause of pain in his shoulders and hips and so facilitate the Lord’s healing.

Thank you for Praying for the Tokyo Littles! – PTL #151

Jan 31, 2020

We were unable to send out our monthly prayer requests in January 2020.

Thank you for Praying for the Tokyo Littles! – PTL #150