Newsletter (Equipper)
Merry Christmas!!

     The year 2016 is finishing in less than two weeks!! Thank you very much for your support for JCFN ministry this year. In the US, we are at the final stage of preparing equipper conference 16. Please pray for it.

     For the final monthly newsletter this year, we would like to share testimonies of "C-WIT" held in Illinois in November.

     Have a very merry Christmas and new year.

 
     We held another leadership camp called “C-WIT” for leaders in Mid-west areas on November 19th in Illinois, USA. Although it’s called “C-WIT,” it is totally different from WIT Camp (held every summer in California) and mainly focuses on spiritual growth of the participants. This time we had a “silent retreat” where we spent most of the day in silence and listened to God’s voice. God worked in ways far beyond our expectations: each one of us spent a quiet and relaxing time before God and reconnected with Him firmly. Praise the Lord!! In this newsletter, we share two sisters’ testimonies of what they experienced at C-WIT.
The joy of being a child of God
Tamiko Sakaguchi

     I attended C-WIT for the first time, and I was really blessed by it. Leading up to it, I was busy and worried about raising my kids, and I felt like I was worthless as a mother, wife, and Christian. I felt ashamed before God. I was nervous about whether God would speak to someone like me, but He showed me once again His love and mercy by speaking gently to me. What particularly impressed me was the labyrinth I walked in silence. As soon as I took a step forward, I began to cry. I had a vision of the time my oldest son began to walk, and I was so happy that I took him on a walk every day. I realized that, in the same way, God is proud of us. He adores us and wants to brag on us, and every day He wants to hold our hand and enjoy walking with us. While on the nature hunt, a cotton plant caught my attention. It was creepy, completely dried up in a way that it looked like a dead bird, but the soft, fluffy cotton was growing on it, and it was so pretty that I found myself touching it. In that moment, God told me that even though I felt like my family and I were broken and hopeless, we are beautiful and precious to Him. After that, I found tiny seeds inside the cotton. That reminded me of how, for the past year, my husband and I have been praying that God would use us to bear fruit, but things didn’t seem to go well at home or in ministry, and we worried a lot, feeling like we couldn’t see any fruit. I felt like God was telling me that seeds have been planted, and that it’s okay, because He is always there, raising them up. Even though I went home and returned to the same life as before, I feel like I have realized anew the joy of being loved as a child of God, and the enjoyment of living in my Father’s world. I was really encouraged by the sessions and times of sharing. I am thankful for the leaders who prepared and prayed for C-WIT, for this wonderful opportunity, and for the love of God.
 
The blessings of C-WIT
Marie Kondo

     When I attended C-WIT, there was a homework assignment for all the attendees to bring something that “represents our current relationship with God" and I chose Jenga. Jenga is a game where you pull out a block from the tower of blocks, stack it on top to make the tower higher without making it fall. The reason I chose Jenga was because of one incident, my carefully stacked faith journey came tumbling down in an instant.

     Ever since I can remember, my parents had no affection towards each other and I always thought marriage was something unpleasant. However, once I entered my 20s people at church began to mention marriage to me a lot and even the pastor began to tell me “I am praying for your future marriage, Marie”. They would mention it every time I'd see them and it persuaded me to pray about marriage from the end of 2012. This was a very out of the reach prayer since I wasn’t really interested in marriage nor had I ever had a boyfriend. Surprisingly, I ended up meeting someone in 2013. He was a man with a good reputation and from others known as a wonderful person with strong faith. My heart was interested the first time I met him, but I tried not to think about him since I thought that someone wonderful like him would never be interested in someone like me. But I decided to pray to God that if he was the man for me, please let him come and talk to me, and this happened three times. He was living in a different state so before we parted he told me he wishes he could have talked to me more. Since then we did contact each other often but he didn’t contact me unless I was the one to contact him first. My close Christian friends encouraged me by saying  “He’s probably waiting until he finishes school because he is a sincere person” and so I decided to pray for him everyday for a year. I shared this with my pastor and I also thought that I was given a verse from God. It was 1 Corinthians 2:9 “However, as it is written: ‘What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived’ the things God has prepared for those who love him.“ Sadly I didn’t hear much from him after that and after a year I heard that he was dating someone else. For this was the first “sincere Christian man” who showed interest in me,  I was just deceived by his behavior and felt betrayed by God because I truly thought that God told me that he was the one. Feeling betrayed by God, I wanted to get back at Him so I did hurtful things towards my friends and did things on purpose that I wouldn't normally have done as a Christian. I stopped praying my normal prayer before driving, and the only thing I could do at church was stand because I couldn't worship anymore. I became depressed for about a month and had to take medication so that I could make it to work. The Bible seemed tasteless and this was a very tough season for me.

     And now after couple of years, I got an invitation to C-WIT with the theme of “Focusing on the relationship with the Lord.” Even though I was finally able to sing again at church and read the Bible, honestly I wasn’t ready to face the Lord. I didn’t have money to attend C-WIT and I thought I'd rather not participate. While I was contemplating, I missed the registration deadline and thought “Oh, well”, but then I got an invitation personally from Sachi Nakamura. I reluctantly agreed to go I was offered a scholarship. Even so, C-WIT was filled with blessings I could have never imagined.

     In one of the sessions, there was a spiritual walk activity called the “Labyrinth.” In this experience, I learned that when we turn the corner or when we are about to pass others because we are walking too fast, we are to check each step carefully and take our time, we don’t need to rush but are allowed to go slowly, and most of all, I learned that there are many brothers and sisters who are walking this path together and each one of them had their own struggles. Also, by participating in the “Labyrinth” spiritual walk, I was able to spend a quality quiet time so that I could chat with God. During that chat, I was led to release the hatred I had towards God and could hear myself say “Just let go about that guy (and forgive God.)” At that moment my heart became light and I lifted my gaze from my feet for until then I was looking down at the narrow road. I saw trees that still had red and green leaves even though the temperature was below zero outside. When I saw these trees, I thought “what a wonderful world,” and decided to trust in God again and in His word.

     I believe the promise of 1 Corinthians 2:9 “what no human mind has conceived’ the things God has prepared for those who love him“ is still active and alive. It wasn’t what I thought it to be, but I will walk with Him again with the certainty that God’s huge blessing is still yet to come.

 
 
equipper conference 2016 will be held on 12/27~1/1.
Please pray for the conference!!
 
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Re-entry Seminar Video (Intro + 4 sessions) is now available on-line (Japanese only). Please use it for re-entry preparation. Clicking the image above, you can watch the introduction. All videos are available at JCFN website.