Greetings from Japan!
2020 and 2021 have been years no one expected. There have been unique challenges and many unforeseen events, but through it all, God has remained constant and faithful. Thank you so much for your continued prayers and support. Without your partnership, we would not be able to share the hope and joy we have in Christ with the Japanese people.
The number of suicides in Japan has risen over the past two years. The time everyone has been forced to stay at home, unable to attend school or go to work, has taken a toll on many families. Japanese houses are very small; most children do not have their own bedroom, and sometimes the whole family shares a bedroom. It is difficult for the children to study while the father is working all in the same room. We have been trying to give practical advice to the families in our Sunday school as well as our English conversation classes to help them learn to navigate this new lifestyle.
One of the mothers whose children attend our Sunday school commented on how she was encouraged by seeing how our family navigates working from home while homeschooling all the time, not just during the state of emergency. Instead of viewing having the children and her husband at home as a negative situation, she saw it as an opportunity to build family relationships through the extra time everyone was at home. She also used the extra time the children were at home as a chance to teach her children life skills that she hadn’t had time to do before because the children were never at home. We are thankful for the chance we have had to be an encouragement to these families, and we pray God will continue to give us opportunities to encourage and support these children and their families.
We have been able to continue our English conversation classes for children. Everyone must still wear masks, and we continue to sanitize the facility. However, we are thankful we have been able to give the children and their families the chance to continue with their routine and improvement of their English skills. We are also so thankful there have been no COVID cases in our school this entire time! We have been reading a children’s Bible in English in our classes. We read the creation story, which was the first time any of the children had ever heard the story. We asked why God created man last, and they said because we came from monkeys, so the monkeys had to be created first. We were able to share with the children that each one of us was created in God’s image with a special purpose, and the world he created was for each one of us to enjoy and to learn about God through His creation. Please pray with us that the seeds we are planting in the hearts of the children will grow and bring fruit that their families and friends will be able to see.
Thank you again for your continued prayers and support. You are a blessing and encouragement to us. Without you, we wouldn’t be able to share the love of Jesus with the Japanese people. Your unwavering commitment is making a difference in the country of Japan!
Your Missionaries to Japan,
Hiro, Eryn, Justin, Ax, Hunter, and Olivia Bamba