Hallelujah! Praise the name of the Lord.
You might notice that we're sending you two monthly updates this month. Like the previous email, we are sending the hopes and expectations of one of the main speakers for ec14. This time, the message is from Pastor Shigeru Suzuki. We ask that you please pray for ec wherever you are. Pray that the attendees will be able to accept God's message for them, and for the ongoing preparations.
"Have high expectations of God"
(ec14 Main Speaker)
It's been 33 years since I met God during my freshman year of college. Every time I look back on the 33 years I've been walking with Jesus, it brings back strong memories of my college days. I spent 11 years in the U.S. as a student, and while I was there, I was challenged and encouraged by participation in various events, as well as the many teachers and Christians I met there.
This is my first time to attend Equippers Conference, but when I was a student, I participated in a gathering like this one, so I've been remembering that conference as I've been preparing my messages.
The theme of this conference is "Follow Christ on the CROSSwalk" (Luke 9:23), and I think it's a pretty important theme for me. About a year before I graduated from college, I was really worried about what I would do after graduation. I wondered if I should continue on the path I was on before I studied abroad, or if I should go on a path towards a new dream that was starting to grow in my heart. But I didn't have the courage to change my direction, and I was hesitant to go against the hopes and expectations of my parents. As I was in the midst of this internal conflict, there was a message that kept speaking to me. It was the words of Luke 9:23: "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me." Before I met Jesus, I only had a vague idea of wanting to secure a stable future for myself. However, after meeting Jesus and hearing the words that He kept repeating to me, my thoughts and way of thinking about my hopes for the future slowly began to change. As I followed in the footsteps of Jesus, who bore the cross, died for my sins, and rose from the dead three days later, I didn't just start becoming the person God wanted to be. I also started to believe that God would guide me on the path that He was preparing for me.
God, who created us with everlasting love, gave each of us a unique shape. Jesus made use of our own individual shape through our connection with Him, and He blesses us to become life for others. Our Heavenly Father treats us as being under the blessing of Jesus's cross and resurrection. We believe that we are blessed in order to bring the light of life to the world.
I wonder how God will use as blessings everyone that He brings to the conference this year. I'm excited to find out. I'm looking forward to praying with you and gathering together with you, as we all come with great hopes for what God is going to do.
Born in Tokushima in 1961. Shigeru played baseball (softball) during high school days. In 1981 he started studying in Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Within a matter of several months after being associated with Christian students, Shigeru accepted Jesus. And after that Shigeru transferred to Idaho State University in 1983. There Shigeru decided to continue his education in seminary after finding a church he felt home and encountering Campus Crusade ministry. In 1986 Shigeru joined Western Conservative Baptist Seminary in Portland, Oregon. There Shigeru met Atsuko, who had been studying there a year earlier, and they got married. They came back to Sendai in 1992, and Shigeru started working as a professor at Baptist Seminary. In 1994 Shigeru became a senior pastor at Sendai Bible Baptist Church and has continued to serve there till today. Shigeru likes to stay active and loves taking pictures of natural flowers and birds. Shigeru and Atsuko have a son and two daughters.
＊ JCFN ＆ Returnee Related Events ＊
November 22nd (Sat) 17:00-20:30 @ ISI House
ICF Kichijoji (Kichijoji, Tokyo)
November 22nd (Sat) 18:00- @ Musashino Chapel Center
4/14 Window Conference (Ota-ku, Tokyo) [Supporting Event]
November 24th-25th @ Tokyo Light House Church
Movement reaching out 4-14 age kids
RICH (Returnees in Chugoku) Hiroshima (Hiroshima)
November 29th (Sat) 16:00-19:30 @ Hiroshima EFC Asa Minami Chapel
JCFN Japan Prayer Meeting: OCHAHOP (Ochanomizu, Tokyo) Praying for ec14!
December 13th (Sat) 10:30-12:00 @ JCFN Japan Office
JCFN US Prayer Meeting: USAHOP (Costa Mesa, CA)
December 15th (Mon) 19:00-22:00 @ JCFN Staff's House
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