International Ministries

Easter Stories...

April 13, 2009 Journal
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I am still thinking about Easter.  We pray that the joy and the hope of Easter, that is, the promise of life through the resurrection of Christ, is still with you as it is with us.

We had a special Easter in many ways, and we want to share a little with you. Mrs. Koezuka gave her testimony and was baptized on Easter Sunday at the Nishi Okamoto Christ Church.  She came to church for the first time a few years ago when we had a special worship service led by Rev. Brad Berglund.  We had invited Brad to come and lead us in some workshops on worship, and then to actually lead us in a few different worship services over one weekend. Mrs. Koezuka came with a friend to one of those services.  I remember her well because I have a picture of her talking with one of our church members, Mrs. Mito, after that service.  She had some questions, more than could be answered in one evening.  Mrs. Mito invited her to come to “Tea-Chime”, a group of ladies who gather a couple times a month to play the hand-chimes and enjoy a time of fellowshi, tea, and a word of prayer.

In her testimony, Mrs. Koezuka said these were the first times that she had heard someone pray, but she was moved.  As time passed she began to attend worship once in awhile, then began to come to Bible Study. She said that, “I didn’t know how to pray, but I learned to pray.”  Now her grandchildren call her, “Amen Grandma”, because when she visits them or they visit her, she prays with them each night before they go to sleep.

Isn’t it great to be a part of this story?  Your prayers and gifts make it possible for us to be here in Japan, and the connection is clearer when we think of Brad and his role in this story.  

More Easter

Well the story is not done.  I confess I missed the baptism, because I was preaching at Ibaragi Grace Preaching Place, which is without a pastor at this time.  However, I did come to Nishi Okamoto Church afterward, since Nishi Okamoto was having a pot-luck Easter fellowship, and Tomoko promised to save me something.  

As we were cleaning up, Mrs. B., a lady who has recently begun to attend Nishi Okamoto Church stop to talk with me.  She said, “Today was the best!  It is the first time I saw a baptism!... Do you think I can start to think about getting baptized too?”  

Oh yes, it is Easter. 

I have more to share, but for now Tomoko and I give our thanks for your prayers and your support.  You are a part of what the Living God is doing in the lives of people here in Japan.

Grace and Peace through our Living Lord,

John Armagost

International Ministries missionary in Japan