Greetings from Japan!
We are so thankful for your prayers and support that surrounds us each day. With a Christian population of less than 1%, it is rare to meet a Christian in Japan. Knowing we have so many brothers and sisters in Christ partnering with us to bring the Good News of God’s salvation to the Japanese people encourages us each and every day. Thank you!
As summer comes to a close, school is starting for many kids in America. However, in Japan, the new school year begins in April. No matter when the school year starts, it is often wrapped in anxiety and filled with many unknowns for a lot of children. Japanese students face extra challenges and stressors each school year. For students entering junior high school and high school, the year leading up to the beginning of school is a very stressful and busy year. Most students quit all other activities and recreation and spend every minute studying for the entrance exams to get into junior and high school. Many who don’t get into the school of their choice take their own lives. The mothers are also under a lot of pressure to help their kids succeed and make sure their child matches up to their peers. They worry constantly about whether they are doing enough to help their children and if their children will succeed.
One of the mothers at our church has a child entering junior high school and another entering high school; big years for them both. Though she wanted her children to succeed, she was not anxious like all of her friends in the same situation were; she had peace and comfort. She knew that no matter what school her kids got into, God would lead and direct them. She realized keeping God as the center is more important than any test score. Knowing that God has all things in His hands brought her peace and comfort during this stressful season. Please continue to pray for this family and for the father and children to accept Jesus as their savior as the mother is the only Christian in her family.
In our English conversation classes, we are reading through an English Children’s Bible and retelling the stories in Japanese. The children always listen intently to the stories and are eager to hear all of the things Jesus does. One boy said he always enjoys the stories, and his mother really likes the stories and the lessons they teach too. The children have never heard the Bible stories before and no other English schools teach them. The children always go home and tell their parents the stories they hear. Through the children, we are able to reach the parents as well. The number of students in our school has dropped a lot as the students get older and move on. Please pray with us that God will bring more students to fill our classes so that we can reach even more children and families with the Gospel!
Your prayers and support truly are changing lives around the world. Without you, we would not be able to bring the peace, hope, and joy that the Japanese people so desperately need!
Your Missionaries to Japan,
Hiro and Eryn Bamba, Justin, (Rachel), Ax, Hunter, and Olivia