Now that we have been here three months, we have been able to get to know and serve alongside some of the members at our church. Because of time limitations and a heavy workload running a seminary along with being a pastor, our pastor and our church have not been able to really develop and sustain various ministries and outreach.
Yet, we see glimpses of the tide turning at Tsurumi. Already within the first two months, one of the longtime members was able to use his skills as a systems engineer to develop a website for the church, http://tsurumi-covenant.com/. Though very basic at the moment, due to this member’s very busy work life, it is amazing to get something going and allow potential visitors to find out more about the church. All it took was asking questions and igniting a desire to see something like this happen.
Our Family Christmas Event had four others from our church come help out. Afterwards, it seemed like those not present felt like they missed out on something special. Those who were there expressed a joy in using their gifts and being a part of something exciting.
Miho recently met with an older couple from our church. The wife is a wedding dress designer and together they have written and illustrated children’s books and started a children’s theater. We had no idea about some of these talents and passions. Miho planted the seed of a possible ministry to her clients. Since most couples do not have pre-marital counseling, we hope that she might be able to suggest this idea to couples preparing for their wedding. We could then build bridges with these young couples, counsel them, and hopefully share the gospel with them. Who knows what else might be possible, whether using drama in the church, teaching kids writing and illustrating skills, or whatever!
At the end of the month, we will be having a churchwide meeting after the service. This is our opportunity to express our dreams for ministries we plan to start this year, while also explaining the need for the whole church to be a part of ministry and reaching out. We do not just want to focus on our tasks but think about the entire church, the vision, and how we can all work together to grow in our faith and in our outreach within the community. We sense that many people are ready to use the gifts that God has given them and contribute to all that God still wants to do through our small church here in Tsurumi.