We were able to have the last 2 of the 4 Kid’s English Club for elementary school kids in August! The first 2 were cancelled due to COVID. The same kids had all participated in the spring. Our first session was a review and they seemed to catch on quickly. The second session was a little too ambitious. However, they may have more sessions during winter break! We have some time to revise our lessons! to watch a short video (1:21) of our time!
English Café went very smoothly! We also got 2 new participants! Please pray the power of God’s word will be released over these people who are hearing the story of God’s love for us. Ask God to help us with the questions to ask for each story.
We’ve also started a mid-week English fellowship, Ochakko English, for a small group of women. This group is following the same English lessons based on a children’s Bible we are using for the English Café groups.
On August 11, 2022, our dear friend, colleague, and long-time supporter, Roberta Stephens, was called to her heavenly home. She had asked us to wait to let people know about her stage 4 cancer until she knew more about her treatment plans. But God’s plan was to bring her home much more quickly than she imagined.
For a little while, Roberta had been feeling tired, having some pain and trouble eating . After her diagnosis in July, she went to live with her sister. She slept frequently and became progressively weaker. Roberta was hopeful and wanting to see how God would reveal Himself through this illness.
This photo is from a new friend we made since coming to Rifu. She testifies to Roberta’s influence when she was a student. She said she wouldn’t be in church now if it wasn’t for Roberta. Both of the women have strong faith and belong to Oasis Chapel!
Roberta is remembered by many people in Japan! Roberta served in Sendai and nearby Shichigahama for many years. We have received a warm welcome in this area due to the many friends she made up here. Hers are some of the shoulders we stand on.
Gordon was asked to give Roberta’s eulogy for the memorial service held in Washington State. He recorded his remarks along with some pictures in a video. The video was played during the live-stream service. Click on this link to view the service (~2 hours).
She was a powerful member of our MPT although she didn’t recognize herself as being strong. We were the recipients of so many blessings from Roberta. We are thankful how God took care of her. Now she is with the great cloud of witnesses surrounding us cheering us on! Let us continue to run the race, fixing our eyes on Jesus! (Heb 12:1-3)
Our deepest sympathies and condolences go out to Roberta’s family and friends at this time of grieving. Thankfully, the Lord gives us hope and a promise that those who believe in Jesus will see each other again in eternity!
Gordon and Lee Ann