Greetings from Japan!
In Japan, traditionally, they count their years from the year and month the Emperor starts reigning, so it doesn’t always coordinate with our years. After a thirty-year reign, a new Emperor took the throne on May 1. The new era was named Reiwa, which means “beautiful harmony.” We know that only true peace and harmony come from knowing Jesus Christ, and when Christ returns, the whole world will experience perfect peace and harmony. Until that time, we are honored and excited to have you working with us to bring this peace and joy that only Christ can give to the Japanese people.
Recently, stores in Japan have started to monopolize on Easter as an opportunity to sell Easter themed food and decorations. Though they may see the word Easter in stores, the Japanese have no idea what it means or why it is celebrated. It has given us the opportunity to share the meaning of Easter and why we celebrate it with our friends and with our English students and their families. We always read an English book to the students in our English conversation classes. We read the Easter story during the month of April. Several of the children were impressed by Christ’s sacrifice for them. Please pray with us that these seeds will grow in their hearts and the hearts of their families when the children go home and share the stories with their families and friends.
We were blessed to have Clayton and Regina Kipps, from Harbor of Hope in Christiansburg Virginia, come to Japan and minister at our church. The people were blessed by their message and fellowship and touched by their love for God and people. We enjoyed showing them around Japan and sharing the needs of the Japanese people and the challenges of reaching them with the gospel due to the strong Buddhist and Shinto traditions that are embedded in their culture.
Justin has been taking CLEP tests online to earn college credit. He has completed almost two years of study that way and will be entering Liberty University this fall. Please pray for him as he adjusts to college life, and us as we will be so far away in Japan. Ax will be working as a counselor in three Christian summer camps this summer. The camps are for kids from 1st through 8th grade. Please pray that he will effectively share God’s love with all of the campers. Hunter has been competing in many swim meets this year. He also qualified to swim in the state competition this summer. As the only Christian at his swimming school, please pray that he can be God’s light to his teammates as well as the coaches. Olivia had a ballet recital in May. She had a lot of fun, and all of her fellow dancers, as well as the audience, commented on Olivia’s smile while she is dancing. Pray with us that people will be drawn to Olivia’s joy and have a desire to know the source of her joy.
Thank you so much for your faithful prayers and support! Your love for the people around the world and your commitment to fulfilling the Great Commission is such an encouragement and blessing!
Your Missionaries to Japan,
Hiro, Eryn, Justin, Ax, Hunter, and Olivia Bamba