Newsletter (Equipper)

Annual Report 2017 #2

     Hallelujah! We praise the name of the Lord.

     We'd like to share the second part of our Annual Report 2017.  You can also download the PDF version of the report by clicking Here.

JCFN Staff Update
Each staff update is constructed as follows. Name . Title . Update . Prayer Requests

Setsu Shimizu
North America Director
I can’t believe it!  Half of my life, I have served as a JCFN staff. At the end of this year, my 25th year with JCFN begins.  This past summer, I was greatly challenged by God at BBWIT in Japan.  I was challenged to stop and review JCFN ministry so that it could continue to move forward. Also, there is a big transition coming up for us as a couple.  My husband, Mao, is responding to God’s calling to plant a church.  Currently, we are still in a prayful planning state, but it is our prayer that we will start worship service sometime next year.  Remainder of this year will be used for its preparation.  I am excited for this special 25th year because God is going to teach us to pray, stop, trust, and move forward.
1) Please pray that this 25th year will be the year of rededication.  As I reflect on JCFN ministry, may God help me to listen to His voice and obey it.
2) Please pray that we will trust and expect God to work as we plant a church.  Pray that we will be faithful in serving God.

Yuko Ozeki
North America Staff
As my younger daughter became a 1st grader, I have more time to dedicate to JCFN and I’m thankful for that. Yet, since the of ce staff resigned in May, I took over most of her work, such as finances and administration, I’m getting busier.   Also, the English Cafe ministry with a local church is growing. I feel it’s important for me to exercise to maintain my physical strength as well as mental and spiritual strength. As for a new ministry, we are planning on a retreat focusing on spiritual formation. I personally feel this meets my needs, too.  I pray so that I’ll be transformed more like Christ and to become a true worshipper.         
1) For a good balance of family and ministry life.
2) To be daily nurtured by the Word and prayer, and led by the Holy Spirit.
3) For recruiting young workers for full time and associate staff of JCFN.
Yuko’s Blog:

Chihiro Okada
Japan Director, Staff Coordinator
We had a baby girl in February this year. After 2.5 months of maternity leave, I returned to the ministry in May. Through parenting, I’m daily experiencing the importance of relying on God in any circumstance. I was working part-time from home; however, I have begun commuting to the Japan office in Ochanomizu from October, since my daughter started going to nursery school from September. I was reminded of that God’s timing controls our planning throughout this process. Watching at my daughter increasingly learn new things each day, I too am learning and would like to walk with genuine faith by receiving all God’s goodness. We as a NEW Okada family are praying everyday to serve God in our own uniqueness.
1) For parenting with love and wisdom.
2) May God be glorified through home, church and ministry.
3) To be able to focus on God’s word and prayers everyday.
Chihiro’s Blog:

Maki Goto
Japan Staff
Twenty-six years have passed since JCFN was established, almost 20 years since the first ec, and 18 years since I began my walk as JCFN staff. Sometimes I feel that time passed idly and was just wasted. However, when I look back I can say confidently that the Lord is at work.  Day by day, I see my kids grow rapidly and become bigger and more powerful.  In comparison, I become older and less powerful day by day. Even so, I’m content to see myself trying to keep up with them and holding on with a fighting spirit. I’m grateful for the Lord’s protection and blessing upon the ministry, as well as my family throughout the past year.
1) Pray for continual protection and blessing on my family.
2) Pray for my health so I can continue to be in ministry.
3) Pray that God will keep changing and molding me as a vessel to be used for ministry.

Yoshiki Saeki
North America Associate Staff (OR)
Thank you for your prayers for us through the year so that we could walk in His grace. We’ve been through full season  as parents and also in the area of work and ministry. Since we had been involved four years in a local church ministry, we’re still learning to trust Him daily. This past year, we thanked God for giving us opportunities to serve those who would return to Japan soon.  We were also thankful to God for sending us in this ministry.
1) Please pray that Yoshiki can be good influencer as a servant leader at work place.
2) For our children (Towa 7, Remi 5) spiritual growth. For God’s wisdom for parenting.
3) For ministry at local church, may God send more workers and we can serve by His wisdom and direction.

Megumi Kurata
North America Associate Staff (MI)
This year we continued our work to cultivate networking and community growth among Japanese Christians in the area, and also worked in cooperation with local ministries. The network is growing and we are also encouraed by the steadfast enthusiasm of local churches to reach Japanese population in the area. We sense the hand of God and are excited to see what He has in store for the Midwest. Our prayer as a family is that we will be obedient to His purpose and be able to witness His plan in His timing and in His way.
1) To actively seek to be filled by God.
2) For all our ministry and activities to be done in response to God’s love.
3) For wisdom, peace, and patience in all area of our lives.   

Nobuyuki Kurisu
North America Assosiate Staff (Youth)
Thank you for accepting and praying for my role as a youth worker since last fall. God has increased the burden,  love I have for youth work. Because of the situation in the church I serve at, I wasn’t able to start youth work as soon as I hoped, but I’m slowly spreading the word about the importance of youth work and of making their “place to be”. This June at Higakyan (East Coast Japanese Youth Camp), we had 28 campers including those from Toronto and Tokyo, we also had wonderful leaders, and reconfirmed that our “ultimate place to be is Jesus Christ.” I’ve committed myself to continue to walk alongside “next generation youth.” I’m thankful for you, my co-workers in the Lord, my wife who supports and encourages me from behind the scenes, and my daughters who educate me of  true feelings, culture, and trends of today’s youth.
1) That we may be able to start youth meetings regularly in different areas in the east coast.
2) That youths’ “place to be” may be born and that people who would walk with youths may be provided.
3) That my family’s spiritual, emotional, and physical needs may be filled.

Hiromi Kakehashi
Japan Associate Staff (SG)
This year, I’ve been busy with meetings for GiFT, ec, GRC.  I rarely had free time during weekends because of church and JCFN events. It was an encouraging and fulfilling year for me through these events.  I began a 2 year Biblical counseling course and that motivates me to read Bible regularly and grow spiritually.  To see people transformed and revitalized through Biblical counseling prompts me to study enthusiastically. I look forward to how God will use me through this course.
1) To be able to have devotions daily and grow, despite my busy schedule.
2) For God to give me energy and protection of my health.
3) For God to give me wisdom on how to follow up and encourage returnees.

Roberta Peabody
Japan Associate Staff (Kanto)
Last year I was able to encourage workers ministering to Japanese in the U.S. as they visited Japan to catch up with their former students. I made a Facebook page to pass along events that they might be able to introduce their former students to. Continuing to look for creative ways to meet and spend time with returnees through my local church.
1) Creative ideas for meeting returnees and the continuing connections with the Returnee housewives in Kodaira area.
2) Using my local church for effective follow up of returnees.
3) One on one mentoring of Japanese returnee women.

Kunitsugu Onishi
Japan Associate Staff (Kansai)
We returned to Japan at the end of September last year. While we stayed in Osaka for a month, we were adjusting and getting ready for next step of our lives in Japan. In the same month, ANRK (All Nations Returnees in Kansai) was hosting an event which we were able to attend. As a returnee, I found peace and comfort in the similar culture that ANRK has with otherJCFN events. In October, we moved to Nishinomiya, Hyogo as the new location for ministry, where there is another returnee family. One praise report is that we’re able to host ANRK events monthly since May, and slowly it has been recognized. It’s not been easy to connect returnees with local churches or bilingual Bible studies. There are a few reasons; the lack of cooperating churches, the inablity to reach the large area of Kansai, the lack of understanding current situation of Kansai returnees and other reasons as well.  Presently, we will continue to host monthly ANRK events, and we’d like to start a few small groups in addition to the one that meets monthly in Osaka.
1) The health of our family
2) May God solidify our family as a family who lives in the Kingdom of God as we are getting used to the lives in Japan.
3) May God use our family to be part of the ministry of multiplying discipleship and he send grant us wisdom and people who are available for the ministry.

Akashi Nishigata
Japan Associate Staff
I became JCFN associate staff in June. When I was in America from 2013 to 2017, I got to know JCFN. The reason why I knew JCFN was because of ec13. At ec, I spoke with JCFN staff, and had many opportunities to work with them even after ec. Besides ec, I attended CC (Central Conference) and C-WIT, and last year I attended the JCFN 25th Celebration Conference in Hawaii. Although I was born in Christian home and became a Christian in Japan, I have a passion to encourage Japanese Christian returnees because I’ve met many Japanese Christians in America. I’d really appreciate it if you would remember me in your prayers.
1) For work in JCFN.
2) For graduate classes that I am taking.
3) For using time wisely.

Erika Mine
Japan Associate Staff (GRC)
I first heard about JCFN when I attended university in California. Since then, I’ve had the privilege to volunteer for JCFN, learn how to do ministry and see the type of leaders Christ looks for. It’s been two years since I returned to Japan. Right now, I’m the leader of the ministry in Tokyo called GiFT, director of GRC18, Bible study leader and many more things that I do personally. I’m so thankful that God has given me these ministries to work for Him. I pray that God will give me more opportunities to get connected with the new returnee Christians.
1) To be able to get more connected with the new returnees.
2) To be able to listen to God’s voice as I lead ministries.
3) I have started graduate school in worship studies. Pray that God will bless my studies and that I’ll be able to grow more to become a worshipper of spirit and truth.

Shower of blessings from the Lord
Mai Nakano
I studied in Long Beach, California in my sophomore year. At the beginning, I was lonely. I was new there and I didn’t know anybody. I felt nobody needed me and nobody cared about me.  Then I met Christians. As I attended the events and the ministry, I got interested in knowing who God is and who Jesus is. I wanted to know if God in the Bible is the one that I was seeking for. I started to pray. When I read the Gospel of John, I got excited because I felt that I was communicating with God through the Bible.  Jesus talked directly to my heart. The doubt disappeared and I understood who God is. I decided to believe in Jesus.

I was worried about going home, since I had no idea how to live as a Christian in Japan. However, God prepared everything for me. Through the ministry that I was involved in Long Beach, I was able to get connected with Christians who live in my hometown, Osaka, while I was in the U.S, and they introduced me to a church in Japan. Since I didn’t know any Christians before coming to the U.S., to know fellow believers in Osaka was a great comfort. I was able to attend a regional meeting sponsored by ANRK in Japan. There I met many returnees from the U.S. and enjoyed the fellowship. God poured His blessings into me in Japan. Soon, I wanted to share His blessings with other returnees. Now I serve as a member of ANRK and support and encourage many returnees.

It has been challenging to live in Japan as a returnee, however, each challenge allows me to experience more of God’s love and His mercy.  I am very grateful.

equipper conference 17

Online Registration is available:
Click here to register!

Date: December 27, 2017 - January 1, 2018
Location: Murrieta Hot Springs Christian Conference Center
Theme: “Freedom”: Living the Freedom in Christ
Theme verse: 2 Corinthians 3:17
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
Speaker: Rev. Naoto Kamano, Rev. Shinji Seki, Rev. Yuichiro Inatomi

GRC18: Global Returnees Conference
May 2 - 5, 2018
@ Hotel Evergreen Fuji (Yamanashi)
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