Recent Update from the Carters in Japan

Ministry Update - October 2017



Death and Life
One of the clearest ways of seeing how the gospel changes the lives of those who believe is to see those who are facing death. It is a clear picture of what Paul talks about in 1 Thessalonians 4 when he says that we grieve, but not “like the rest of mankind who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.” The last few weeks have been ones of grief. However, it is a grief that is overshadowed by the hope we have in Christ. 

Last week, a man, Nishio-san, who was baptized four years ago, went to be with the Lord. He was diagnosed with stage 4 throat cancer four months ago at the age of 52. It naturally came as a shock to everyone that this man who seemed healthy was now suddenly facing death at such an early age. The hospital he was admitted into is about a two minute walk from our church so I was easily able to go see him. He didn’t have much strength and it was difficult for him to talk, but through his tears, he always spoke about the goodness of God and the comforts of God’s promises. It’s like in Psalm 13 where David cries out to God, “Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death” but then finishes the psalm by saying, “I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me.” This man no doubt cried out to God in anguish but he always ended by saying that in his heart he will sing the Lord’s praises because he has been good to me. This was such an encouragement to all of us and a true picture of the great hope we have in God. As his life was celebrated at his funeral, his non-Christian family got to hear about this hope. We pray that the Lord will open their hearts so that they may also experience the hope found in Christ.

A few weeks before this happened, a woman who had been coming to church for about a year suddenly had a heart attack and died. She had not made a profession of faith but she had been reading the Bible and many books ladies in the church had given her. It seemed as if every week she read more and more.  She said she began to understand the forgiveness found in Christ and how, if she had been forgiven, she could then begin to forgive others. Although we cannot know her heart, we have hope that she saw her sins and trusted in Christ for her forgiveness and salvation. Her funeral was a Buddhist ceremony which was devoid of the hope present at the Christian funeral of Nishio-san. There was no grief overshadowed by hope, only grief over a loved one who will be forever gone. We pray also for her family that the Lord would have mercy on them so that they may also receive eternal hope only found in Him.

Though the last few weeks have been marked by grief, the time ended with great joy. Mrs. K, a young mother who has been coming to church for about a year, met with Pastor Aoki and the Elders and asked to be baptized.  She also said she has already discussed baptism with her husband and parents who both bless it.   She was introduced to our church through our young children’s outreach, joined Cathalain’s Biblical Parenting class and then started attending children’s Sunday school and church with her two young children. Over the years so many seeds have been planted in her life and we are privileged to be just one part of this. We’re thankful God has now given her the eternal peace and hope that can only be found in Christ. We pray that through her, her husband and children will also share in this joyous hope.

We are so thankful for your sacrifice for us to serve in Japan.  Please continue to pray for our family, our church, Nagoya and the Japanese people throughout the world. We truly believe your prayers and encouragement are life sustaining and enable us to continue ministering in Japan.

Michael, Cathalain, Tobin, Elisabeth & Maddie Carter

“Where, O death, is your victory?    Where, O death, is your sting?”  The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. – 1 Corinthians 15:55-57
Website: (updated through August)

Prayer Requests
  • Pray for peace throughout the world. Pray for our world leaders as decisions are being made concerning North Korea. Pray for the North Koreans and Kim Jung-un.
  • Pray for Cathalain as she balances ministry, family and MTW responsibilities. Pray for wisdom in how she should be best using her time.
  • Prayer for my sermon preparation time. Pray I would be faithful to presenting Christ in the text, for my translation and the time it takes to translate, and for my Japanese tutor who helps check and teach me how to write more naturally.
  • Pray as Cathalain is meeting with a speech therapist she found in Nagoya. (There is one!) We are a little concerned with Elisabeth’s annunciation and would like a professional evaluation. Pray for E to be cooperative and for a clear diagnosis.
  • Pray for the upcoming MTW Global Mission Conference. ( Over 2,000 will gather to hear what is going on throughout the world in missions. Consider going yourself!
  • Pray for the upcoming CPI Conference (see calendar) where over 600+ involved in ministry in Japan plan to gather to hear God’s Word, train to be better at church planting, and fellowship with one another. (

  • October 11-15 – “Unfolding” Art Exhibit by Teammate Peter Bakelaar
  • October 11, 25  – Mom and Kid’s Club (Hug Hug)
  • October 12, 19  – Shiga English Classes (Adult (Michael) & 3 Kid Classes (Cathalain))
  • October 13 – Kid’s Club
  • October 14 – Presbytery
  • October 15 – Young People’s Gathering after Church
  • October 18 – English at CBI (Michael)
  • October 21 – Kid’s English Costume Party
  • October 22 – Michael Preaches
  • October 23 – Pre-School Prayer Meeting/Okazaki Bible Study/Pastor’s Meeting
  • October 24-27 – Church Planting Conference (CPI)
  • October 30 – Christian Mom’s Gathering
  • October 31 – Young Adult's English
  • November 1 - Cooking Class
This past Monday was a Holiday so our church had an outing to our neighboring state.  We were in the mountains so the weather was perfect and the flowers were gorgeous.  Cathalain and the girls enjoyed the time of fellowship while Tobin and I went to Tobin's baseball tournament.  He was named the best batter on his team with multiple hits and the only home run of the day!

The PCA Global Missions Conference is Coming to Dallas

God has equipped you with unique gifts for serving the Church. Are you a teacher, pastor, artist, doctor? A financial supporter or prayer warrior? Your gifts and skills are needed to further church-planting efforts worldwide!

Join us at the PCA Global Missions Conference to discover how you can help expand the reach of the Great Commission. We’ll gather with over 2,000 fellow believers for worship, special music by Shane & Shane, and teaching by Kevin DeYoung, Lloyd Kim, and Michael Oh. Enlarge your understanding through over 80 seminars led by missions experts from all over the globe.

November 10–12, 2017, in Dallas, Texas. Find out more at

Come early for Welcoming the Refugee, a timely pre-conference that will lead you to dive deep into this critical global need. Nov. 9–10, 2017.

Copyright © 2017 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. 

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Lexington, VA  24450

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Michael Carter's Ordination, November 29, 2015 Photos