Recent Update from the Carters in Japan

Ministry & Building Update - December 2018

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Transitions and changes seem to be a common theme in our update letters. While we’re usually comfortable when everything is stable, the thought of change usually brings fear and anxiety. However, in our experience, change and transition are often good things. Change has meant expanding ministry and transition has meant building relationships with new people. Change and transition together also create a necessary reliance on God alone! We often need to remember that alongside the fear and anxiety that change brings, it also brings a lot of blessings. This year has been no exception in our life’s pattern of frequent change and transition. There have been enough recent changes to fill several letters, so rather than recount the events of this whole past year we will just focus on the recent and future changes of our lives and ministry.
 
Changing Ministry
Last year, our ministry felt like it was at a stand-still. We were continuing with our work at Shiga but we were struggling with how to expand and move our focus to the downtown area. We knew that one of the biggest obstacles keeping our ministry from expanding was the lack of our own space. We prayed and searched for over two years for a new building or rental space in our target area. As you all know, this summer the Lord provided a building in a great area that MTW, in partnership with the Japan church, recently purchased. We are finalizing the blueprints and the renovations are scheduled to begin any day. Barring any major problems, the renovations should be completed by March of next year. We see so many potential ways to use this building for ministry and we’re really looking forward to the future.
 
After we move into the upstairs of the ministry center in March, our kids will begin the school year at a new school in April.  This will be a major transition for both Tobin and Elisabeth.  Thankfully both are excited and we continue to pray God would lead the way. 
 
Although we are not scheduled to take our Home Ministry Assignment (HMA) for one more year, we decided that, ministry-wise and family-wise, the best timing would be to take an early HMA starting next summer. Also, instead of a typical one-year HMA, we will only take six months. Legally, we must go home in the next year and a half and although no timing is perfect we already have seen God’s provision. He has provided housing and a car for our time in America as well as workers to help fill in some of our ministry roles while gone.  Please pray as this is a sudden change. We still have a lot to organize with our American partners and to arrange with our ministry here in Japan!
 
Changing Lives
As you can see we have many good transitions next year, but the most anticipated in our home right now is the new Carter baby we expect in late April.  Cathalain had a rough first trimester with tiredness and nausea. She has slowly been getting better as she is now in her second trimester, but this has definitely been the hardest pregnancy yet. This baby comes in the midst of great change and transition, and we always seem to move after the birth of our babies.  This time we will move before and after!  The baby has already brought great joy and all the siblings are very excited.  Everyday Elisabeth and Maddie ask how many days until the baby comes and are so excited to hold the baby.
 
Never-changing God
All this change and transition makes us very grateful for a God who is constant and never-changes. Through all of the unknowns and uncertainties, He has been constant. Through all the doubts and fears, He has been faithful. We’re eternally thankful for His continued blessings and provision for our family and our ministry. Another constant in our lives has been the prayer and support from you. Many of you have been with us from the beginning and we are continually overwhelmed by your generosity and support of reaching the Japanese for Christ.  May you be richly blessed this Christmas and may you too in the midst of change and transition feel God’s presence and faithfulness.

Happy Thanksgiving!
 
Michael, Cathalain, Tobin, Maddie, Elisabeth and Baby #4
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” – James 1:17
Partnering with the Carter’s Ministry
 
Prayer
  • Pray for the many changes and transitions in the next year.  Pray that through these we would more deeply rely on the Lord and cling to his promises.  Pray for protection in our marriage and as parents we would be slow to anger and quick to listen and love.
  • Pray for the new ministry center.  Pray for the remaining finances we need.  Pray for the remodel process.  Pray as we make many many decisions in how we can best utilize the space.
  • Pray for our move into the ministry center.  Pray for work/life balance.  Pray for our children starting new schools and for them to make friends.  Pray they would have to depend on the Lord for their strength.
  • Pray for health for Cathalain and the baby in her womb.  Pray for a safe delivery and recovery for Cathalain.  Pray for extra strength and energy.
  • Pray as we plan for a Home Ministry Assignment.  Pray we can leave our ministry well and have good people to fill in our gaps.  Pray we can schedule with churches in America and be able to see everyone we so desire to see without physically wearing ourselves out.  Praise God for the generosity of his church in already providing a place to stay, transportation and a school for all three of our children!
 Serve
  • Pray about coming to Japan and serving alongside us.  Maybe short term or even long term?!  Pray God would provide workers, Japanese or Foreigners, to partner with our church plant and help us be a part of expanding God’s Kingdom in Japan.  Please let us know even if you are just curious and have questions!
 Give
  • This year has been the first year in eight years our personal support account ran a deficit.   We also will be losing a few partners next year due changes in employment.  Would you pray about joining our partners and supporting our ministry monthly at $30, $50, maybe even $100? Maybe you know a church interested in partnering with a church plant internationally?  Please let us know!
  • Praise God that we have almost raised our goal of $250,000 in support needed for the new ministry center and remodel.  We are still short $23,000. Would you pray about a one-time gift to the ministry center this December?
 
How to Give: 
1. Giving On-Line / Electronic Funds Transfers: https://mtw.org/ways-to-give
 
  1. “Carter – #11209” (For our Personal Support Account which directly supports our mission work.)
  2.  “Nagoya City House – #92906” (This account is for the Nagoya Ministry Center Building Campaign)
 
2. Donations via Check or Money Order:
Please make checks payable to MTW with the correct account name and number in the memo line.
 
  1. “Carter – #11209” (For our Personal Support Account which directly supports our mission work.)
  2.  “Nagoya City House – #92906” (This account is for the Nagoya Ministry Center Building Campaign)
 
Please mail checks to:
Mission to the World
P.O. Box 744165
Atlanta, GA 30374-4165
This picture was recently taken after our second service at Shiga Church.  We are so blessed by this small but faithful congregation's support as we seek to expand our ministry into downtown Nagoya, Japan through a daughter church.
 
 
Copyright © 2018 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