Warm Greetings from Japan in the name of Jesus!
It has been over a year since the outbreak of the coronavirus. Many things have changed over the course of this year. Countries around the world are trying to deal with the devastation and implications this pandemic has brought. There have been many ups and downs, but we are so thankful that we believe in an unchanging God, and though we do not know all that tomorrow holds, He does.
Japan ended its fifth state of emergency on June 20, in time to get things ready for the Olympics. Japan is requiring strict quarantine for anyone entering Japan and is still denying entrance to any foreigner who doesn’t have a permanent VISA or isn’t on an Olympic team. Those who are allowed to enter are required to quarantine for 14 days, during which the Japanese government will call daily at random times to make sure you are staying in your designated quarantine location. Japanese citizens are not exempt from this requirement. The Olympics are still very controversial, with many people thinking they should be canceled, while others are looking forward to them as a distraction during all of the turmoil.
Thankfully, our church is not located in one of the prefectures under a state of emergency, so we have been able to meet in person since April. However, everyone is still required to wear masks in public gatherings, and windows are supposed to be open to facilitate air ventilation. Recently, we have had three siblings start attending our Sunday School regularly. Their grandmother is a member of our church, but her daughter and her children have only attended special events. Her husband doesn’t like the church. However, the oldest son was having trouble in school, and the daughter found encouragement and support from our church members, so she has started bringing her children to Sunday School. The siblings, two boys and a girl, are enjoying hearing the Bible stories and doing the corresponding craft each Sunday. Please pray with us that God will work in the heart of the daughter and her children and that they can personally come to know the love and forgiveness only God can give.
We are so blessed to have Justin and Ax home for the summer. With all of the restrictions on international travel, we are so thankful they could return to Japan. Ax had a good first year at Liberty University and is looking forward to starting his aviation maintenance classes when he returns in the fall. Justin will graduate from Liberty University with a degree in Philosophy, New Testament Greek, and Theology this December. We are excited to announce that after Justin graduates, he will be getting married to Rachel Smiley. She is a sweet girl that Justin met his first semester at Liberty. We are excited to be gaining another daughter!
Thank you again for your faithful prayers and support. We are so blessed to have you partnering with us to bring the life-changing gospel to the Japanese people. Now more than ever, the world is in need of the light of the gospel. Thank you for your commitment to changing lives around the world!
Your Missionaries to Japan,
Hiro, Eryn, Justin, Ax, Hunter, and Olivia Bamba