Recent Update from the Carters in Japan

Ministry Update - October 2019

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​I remember a long time ago, my dad asked another pastor how things were going. His response was, “good but hard.” My dad said to him, “that’s what every pastor says.” Sometimes, ministry is just plain hard. However, most of the time, by God’s grace, there are often blessings couched in the midst of the difficulty. I don’t know why I remember my dad saying that, but it’s come to mind recently because it fairly accurately describes how our lives have been the past several months. For example, buying and remodeling a building that has become our home and ministry center has been a great blessing. We’ve been praying for this for a long time and it is finally finished. However, the process of buying the building and renovating it was something that I hope to never go through again. Good but hard. ​

Our mission organization had a retreat in Indonesia. We went there a week early to get a vacation and relax before the retreat started. The kids enjoyed swimming all day every day and it was good to reconnect with a lot of other missionaries we haven’t seen for years. However, travelling all that way with four kids, including a three-month old, was not too enjoyable. Also, upon returning to Japan, Cathalain was sick for about a month with a virus that landed her in the hospital for about four days. Good but hard. ​

As many of you know, I took a job teaching English at a local all-girls Christian high school in order to get to know people and have inroads into the community. It’s a job that I don’t particularly enjoy or feel that I am well suited for. However, it has opened up the door for us to have an American high school team come and share the gospel with the students there. It also opened the door for me to give the morning chapel message. It was a unique opportunity to talk about the joy of the gospel in front of 1,000 high school students and teachers. Good but hard. ​

Our ministry and lives have certainly been blessed, but it seems like each blessing is embedded in difficulty. The last example of “good but hard” was certainly hard, but became one of the biggest encouragements for us in our ministry. We held a grand opening ceremony for the ministry center in order to show the building to everyone who helped and supported us as well as thank them. As with all events like this, there were many little details to consider and take care of before the event. As little details are another of my many weaknesses, that fell mostly on Cathalain. In the midst of the stress of putting on this event, she had a newborn baby and was fighting off an Indonesian viral infection. It was a fairly stressful time. However, 103 people came out to the event to show support for the ministry. At a time when we felt that we were in this alone, we were once again reminded of the unity of the church and were greatly encouraged by the huge outpouring of support from friends, fellow missionaries and Japanese Christians. We were tired after the event but more than that, we were encouraged and grateful to God for all the people he has provided who support and pray for us. This, of course, includes all of you who have been praying and supporting us for many years. We are grateful for all of you and are eternally thankful for your faithful support of this ministry that is good, but hard!

Michael, Cathalain, Tobin, Elisabeth, Maddie and Abigail

Announcements:

Please check out the slideshow of the before and after of the Nagoya Ministry Center.
https://youtu.be/tNSVu6iEZVU

In our last newsletter some of the links didn’t work for the video series we created for a church’s VBS. Below the links should all work. 

VBS AM Talks
Introduction: https://youtu.be/KlKEFzKhaNE
Our Calling: https://youtu.be/je7ArVtZ6q4
The Need: https://youtu.be/gWoxhrb3Bw8
Our Ministry: https://youtu.be/72klie7UYEo
Partnering: https://youtu.be/O-KlUxr1Mjs

VBS PM Talks (Narrated by our Kids)
A Day at the Elementary School: https://youtu.be/5RcSWZoNd00

What do we need for School? https://youtu.be/zvVhNL-z2YE

Japanese Pre-School: https://youtu.be/dORazoUUOn0
Prayer Requests:
1. Pray for our family’s health. We have had more sickness/health scares this year more than any other. Pray for protection from the flu which is already spreading through Japan!

2. Pray for us Spiritually. Pray we wouldn’t be discouraged, but we would be encouraged in how the Lord is working. Pray we would be refreshed by God’s Word.

3. Pray for Rest. Pray we would be able to have times of quiet and peace. Pray we would take time to stop and be still. 

4. Pray for our various ministries. Pray as there are many unbelievers coming to
church who seem so close to making a profession of faith. Pray for the work of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of these Japanese!

5. Praise God for a wonderful Opening Ceremony at the Nagoya Ministry Center.  We are so thankful for the outpouring of support from our Presbytery and so many other Japanese/missionaries who have supported us in our time here. Even folks at our church were overwhelmed by how much love we have received from our Presbytery!

6. Pray as we continue to work towards launching a new church in downtown Nagoya! Pray especially as we seek another Japanese staff member/Pastor to help lead our church plant in conjunction with Shiga Church!
Another good, but hard was one of Cathalain’s closest friends finding out her husband was being transferred this January. We have known this family for 6+ years and each year we grow closer and closer. They have become involved in many of our events and programs. We hope to continue this relationship and pray they would connect to other Christians after they move. This past weekend we got together for a last minute BBQ and playing at the park. It was a great deal of fun for everyone. 
The day before the open house about 15 volunteers from Shiga came to help with cleaning and final touches. It was difficult having so many folks come through not only the ministry center but our home upstairs. Cathalain likens cleaning with kids to trying to brush your teeth while eating Oreos. Thanks to this crew everything was done and our home part looked better than ever!
Copyright © 2019 Mission to the World, All rights reserved. 
These updates are sent monthly as a way to connect with the Carters, Missionaries with MTW in Japan. 

Our mailing address is: 
Mission to the World
60 Shaner Hill Drive
Lexington, VA  24450

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Michael Carter's Ordination, November 29, 2015 Photos