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The Stewart's time in Japan

by Glenese Parish last modified Apr 18, 2014 12:34 PM

A letter from Nathan

We’ve had a very fruitful time in Japan. We met with the Presbytery of Western Japan and were very encouraged by how warmly they received us. We look forward to working together with churches in this Presbytery in addition to the Osaka congregation.

Setsuli attended her first week of Grade 1 together with all the other children starting school. Of course, Setsuli is an old hand at school now having attended two years of school in Australia. For the Japanese children this was their first time at school. The school welcomed both Natan’el and Setsuli very warmly and friends were quickly made despite the language barrier. Their only sorrow was that our stay was so short. Natan’el’s class was especially disappointed because he managed to contract chickenpox and so was unable to attend the last few days.

For our last week, we have moved to Chiba. I visited the Evans family on Sunday and saw their new house. The family is settling in well though the task of finally unpacking everything still remains. Life is very busy in the Evans household. John’s progress with Japanese was very encouraging and although she won’t say so, Rose’s standard is excellent. Most of the burden, therefore, of dealing with various kinds of bureaucracy including many forms with complicated Chinese characters falls on Rose. This, on top of being a mother of six! Please pray for her.

This week, I visited Rev. Daisuke Kimula who spoke at the General Assembly of Australia in September last year. He and his team are preparing a church plant in Sendai, the major city of the Tohoku region that was hit by massive natural disasters in 2011. This was a short but very sweet time of fellowship and learning. The bonds of fellowship between our churches grow stronger.

On Friday, I will meet with the President of Tokyo Christian University, Rev. Prof. Takanori Kobayashi who is Secretary of the PCJ Overseas Relations Committee. We hope to begin the process of creating a new partnership agreement between APWM and the Presbyterian Church in Japan. Please pray for speedy progress in this over the coming months.

As an unexpected pleasure, I will now travel to Iwate in the disaster zone to visit a friend of ours who became a Christian in Australia around thirteen years ago. Emiko, who lived with us for a while, was like our first “daughter” (although she was eighteen at the time) and it is a delight to find her all grown up and working as a missionary in her home country. I will meet her on Friday evening stay overnight in Iwate and spend time seeing her ministry in progress on Saturday morning then return to Chiba.

On Sunday, our family will attend church with the Evans Eight (now that the chickenpox is gone) and have lunch together before heading for Narita airport. Our flight to the Gold Coast leaves at 8:25 JST and we’ll touch down on Monday morning in Australia. Thanks for all your prayers and messages of encouragement. In Christ, Nathan Stewart.

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