International Ministries

Growing Youth Group

June 1, 2006 Journal

Dear Friends,

Sorry that we have not written for awhile, but hope you know that you have been in our prayers, as we know we have been in yours.We were going to write after Easter, when we had 2 baptisms.Our youngest, Andy, was baptized along with Anna Banno a junior high student from the Nishi Okamoto Church.But spring is a busy time in Japan, since it is the end of the school year and the start of the new Anna Banno is in the blue shirt in the middle.  Her father is between our daughters, Alisen and Ami.  Mr. Banno is the guitar player for music time in the youth year.It is also the end of the year for business, so the week after Easter was the church annual meeting.Anyway, I know you have been wondering about us.So here is a little update.

One of the exciting new things at Nishi Okamoto Church is a Jr.-Sr. high youth group.Something many churches in the US take for granted, but almost unknown here in Japan.Junior and Senior high students are often very busy with school activities.Often these are on Sunday mornings too.So this is the time that some churches begin to lose their young people.As we made our initial plans for this group, most people thought it was going to be once a month.The kids heard the announcements, but since they had no experience with a church youth group, they seemed pretty indifferent toward the idea.

But we have gotten off to a good start.We want to start by building the fellowship and identity within the youth we have. So the emphasis is on lots of fun games that let them interact in a non-competitive way.Lots of singing and devotion, Bible study, directed to their lives.At first they were a little hesitant to come, but after a few weeks they hate to miss.Kazuyoushi had to miss on Mother's day, and confessed he would rather be at the youth group than visiting family.

Church FamilySummer is just around the corner, and as always there are lots of plans at the church.By the way here is a picture taken in March of the church family.


Grace and Peace,

John and Tomoko Armagost

ABC-USA missionaries in Japan

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