The Weekly Epistle 8/9/23

Hi Living Hope Family,
Back many years ago while I served in upstate NY, I had the privilege of meeting up with a young guy, who had such a servant’s heart, and a ton of love for people, but especially the people of Japan. God provided me the opportunity to speak into this guy’s life on various occasions. But I was the one encouraged and refreshed by him. 
Since that first encounter with Paul Mackey, he met his wife Kiki, added three sons and then finally moved to Japan where he could learn the Japanese culture, make friends, and share the love of Jesus. The Mackeys will be giving us an update this coming Sunday at the end of each worship service. Here is a snapshot of what God has been doing in their lives and their church. 
It’s hard to believe that we’ve been living in Japan for 2 1/2 years already. We’ve grown and learned so much in our time here. We’ve spent a lot of time and energy focused on learning Japanese and adjusting to Japanese culture. Our boys chatter away in Japanese with local kids at the park or at church, and Kiki and I often spend time with Japanese friends over a meal or coffee speaking almost entirely in Japanese. We still have a long ways to go, but we’re so blessed by how much God has grown our ability to live with and love Japanese people in their own language. 
In our first year here the local church we work with, Dendoukan, lost their pastor and has been going through a very difficult time since then. However, in answer to your prayers, and as the fruit of us and others laboring within the church, God is growing the church and blessing our fellowship there. Kiki has been part of newly started children’s ministries in the church, and Paul has been added to the preaching schedule, as well as meeting with leadership about writing a constitution for the church, cultivating Christian community, and helping the church grow in its grounding in God’s Word. We’re so thankful for the incredible work that God is doing at Dendoukan and are excited about what He has in store for the future. 
We’ve also continued partnering with several other Japanese churches and a seminary in producing music videos for kids that teach the New City Catechism in Japanese (the Catechism teaches basic Bible teachings in a question and answer format). We love this opportunity to use our video skills to help create valuable resources for churches all over Japan. We’re actually using these same videos as part of the children’s ministry at Dedoukan as well.
Overall, we feel so blessed and thankful for what God has been doing in our lives. There’s so much more to share, and we’re so excited for what God has in store for the future. We’re looking forward to coming home from June until October this summer, and hope that we will be able to see many of you in person. The Mackeys 
I look forward to seeing them at the picnic and to hear more of what God has been doing! 
Blessings, Brian