Arriving only the night before, our trip began by visiting the Shonandai Covenant Church just outside of Yokohama. Although we met the Kawamura’s, the pastors, for the first time that morning, we realized we have talked in the past on the phone on our previous trip and know common friends. While Grant used his little Japanese to mention the snow in Edinburgh (yuki), Mrs. Kawamura thought this referred to her friend, Yuki Williams, who leads the Edinburgh Japanese Church. The Kawamura’s had served as missionaries in England and Germany among the Japanese in the past and know others serving the Japanese throughout Europe. We also learned they were prayed for by the pastors at Miho’s Japanese home church in Yokohama during their service overseas.
Even though this church is small, God has been at work amongst them. They are in the process of revitalization and hope to move from their present building to a new area in order to reach more people. As we entered, we took off our shoes in exchange for slippers, which may sound quite odd but is fairly common in Japan. After service, we were able to fellowship with the congregation through their tea time. We had wonderful conversations and felt loved by their warm hospitality. Currently two ECC missionaries are working alongside the Kawamuras, leading English classes among many other ministries.