Bryan and Jessica met in 2012 at their church (First Evangelical Free Church in Manchester MO) after Bryan began working as an engineer at Boeing in St. Louis. Jessica works as an occupational therapist in the school system.
Over a sixteen month period all three of our children have or are getting married. In May 2016 Kristy gave us a wonderful son-in-law, Matthew Fujiura. Jessica just became our first daughter-in-law. And we are looking forward to adding a second lovely daughter-in-law in August 2017 when Matthew Little marries Victoria Azagoh.
On Sunday December 11 we had another full house at TMC! Worship service brought out 27 adults and 6 children. That is a record number of children on a Sunday morning!…and so Ann is dreaming about launching a TMC Sunday School, perhaps in the fall of 2017.
For several hours 13 children and 17 moms & dads, along with half a dozen TMC helpers, celebrated Christmas. Of the 13 children, 9 came as a result of Ann and Alicia’s “moms and tots” outreach English classes, 1 was from our apartment complex, and 3 were children of TMCers.
The children’s Christmas party included games, singing, Bible story, and snacks. An impressive moment was when all the children waited to eat their home made cookies until they had said a simple prayer that Ann teaches during her children’s English classes.
Several adults heard the Bible-based Christmas story for the first time. Two moms asked Dale, “May I come to TMC on Sundays?”!
Aligning with TMC’s multicultural focus, 4 of the children have at least one parent who is Chinese. And given the 6 Chinese speakers in our morning worship service, we are hoping to launch our Chinese (Mandarin) Department in some fashion in 2017.
Baby Ray seemed right at home, falling asleep in Dale’s arms during the pastoral prayer on Sun Dec 4.
Born to loving parents who are TMC members from Japan and Bangladesh, we know that baby Ray will have many opportunities to be nurtured in the love and obedience of Jesus Christ.
So on our first Thanksgiving gathering in Japanese at TMC on Wed Nov 23, we had 28 people show up (not all pictured). Most were invited by TMCers. Many of them had never been to TMC before. And a number of them were non-Christians.
We enjoyed eating a turkey meal, singing, interacting about what we are thankful for, and listening to a Bible talk about thanks given in Japanese by Duane Dietze. What joy to point people to Jesus Christ at US Thanksgiving time in Tokyo!
But as an alternative to Halloween, on Oct 31 Ann threw a party for TMC’s Moms and Tots outreach English classes that would focus on animals of the Bible’s Noah narrative. The kids and their moms donned monkey masks, had fun playing animal games, learned about Noah and his ark full of animals, played in a model of the ark made from large cardboard boxes, and enjoyed some snacks.
For a first time event at TMC, this was fun! It provided another opportunity to share the Scriptures and develop personal relationships with young moms. Maybe Ann will do it again next year!
Alicia Lim’s home church, Ottawa Chinese Bible Church, sent a team of young people to teach outreach English classes for one week at Soka EFC in late July and early Aug. We had an opportunity to lead them on a prayer walk in Sumida-ku, the area around TMC. The prayer walk ended with a meal at TMC and a time of sharing TMC’s vision.
We do not yet know for certain that this will be the location of TMC#2. But we do want to launch TMC#2 by about 2020, continuing to establish TMC#1 until at least then. TMC’s church planting model for the world’s largest (and livable) megacity is both affordable and reproducible. More on our TMC vision here—scroll down to Phases.
And it was also great to have Mel Sayer, EFCCM Asia Director, share from the Word on this special TMC Sunday!
Jessica has lived in St. Louis, Missouri for her entire life. She works as an occupational therapist in the public school system. Bryan has been working in St. Louis as a design engineer with Boeing since graduating from LeTourneau University in 2012. They met at their local church, First Evangelical Free Church of Saint Louis.
They are making plans for a December 2016 wedding. So it looks like two of our children will be married this year, and one next year! We pray for God's blessing and wisdom for Bryan and Jessica as they seek his will for their future life together.
Victoria is from the New England states. In July after completing their studies at Biola University (greater Los Angeles), they moved to Burlington, Vermont where Victoria began a management job with Abercrombie & Fitch. Matthew continues much of his movie production and marketing work online (check out The Unknowns), but is also seeking local employment.
We look forward to Matthew and Victoria's wedding in the summer of 2017! And we are praying that God will meet all their needs as they together seek how to become God's blessing to the nations.
See many more pics here.
So we now have three sons and one daughter. But we might be getting another daughter-to-be soon!
It is wonderful to have Jon on our team of TMC church planters, along with Duane Dietze (seconded from ReachGlobal)! In addition to his "normal" church planting responsibilities, Jon will be coordinator of short term teams received by TMC and our intercultural specialist.
The Lord provided Jon with an apartment within a week of his arrival (see pic). His shipment of personal belongings will arrive in late May and he will begin his supplemental Saturday wedding ministry in June.
The Lord has been making her path smooth, including helping us procure her religious activities visa, providing financial support through her home church, giving her the opportunity to visit the classes she will be teaching before she becomes the teacher of record, and opening a furnished apartment for her to rent nearby TMC beginning Apr 1.
It’s great to have Alicia with us, happily learning how to live and serve alongside us and other churches here in Tokyo!
We are thankful for Megumi Project’s ongoing testimony of God’s love in Onagawa. The half dozen Japanese ladies who design and sell the crafts made from donated kimono have plenty of opportunity to see and accept God’s love for them in Jesus Christ. The five missionaries leading the Onagawa Megumi Project are faithfully serving with joy.