• Mission,  Prayer,  Reflections

    Sowing With Tears, Reaping With Joy

    Over the course of this year, the importance of prayer has become ever more apparent to me. I think it’s safe to say that I have prayed more this year than I have ever prayed in my life. Of course, I still have plenty of room to grow in this spiritual discipline, but I have learned to lean on God in prayer throughout this year like never before. I am thankful for the challenges that have led me to that deeper relationship with him. Part of what has helped me focus in prayer this year has been reading through a daily devotional book on the Psalms by Tim Keller called…

  • General,  Reflections

    What We Are Thankful For

    With this likely being our last Thanksgiving in the U.S. for at least several years, we’ve been trying to make the most of this year’s special day by tuning our hearts to the many things we have to be thankful for. There are so many blessings we have experienced this year and have much reason for gratitude, but there are a few special blessings connected to our Japan mission for which we would like to take a moment to give thanks. We’re Thankful For Our Partners We started raising funds for our Japan mission sometime around July or August. In less than half a year, we have already secured 83%…

  • Mission,  Partnership

    Excited For Service

    Not too long ago, our dear sister Sanpei wrote about why she would like for our family to return to Matsudo. Here’s a translation of what she said: “Although the Matsudo Church has been around for over 50 years, at the moment we have no preacher and are relying on speakers from various other churches to help each week. We currently have less than 10 people on Sunday, and we hope from our heart that Leslie and his family will be able to return to Japan and to their mission work here. We feel certain they will be able to reach out to young families and children in this area.…

  • Prayer

    Seven Things To Pray For

    Our family believes in prayer – we believe God hears and cares and answers. This is especially relevant when it comes to work for the kingdom. God has made promises to us related to prayer and we would be foolish not to avail ourselves of those promises! Not only do we believe these things, but we also believe that prayer is not intended to be a solitary endeavor. Rather, prayer is something that we do with and for each other (e.g. Rom. 15:30; 2 Thess. 3:1). So, while we are certainly in continual prayer about our upcoming work, we desire (indeed we need) for others to be in prayer for…

  • Reflections

    Be Ambitious (For Christ)

    The name William Clark probably doesn’t ring a bell for most Americans, but he’s big in Japan – or at least, a few of his words are. William S. Clark was a native of New England, born in Massachusetts in the first half of the 19th century. He went on to join the Union Army and had a meaningful influence in the Civil War. However, perhaps his most meaningful influence came not in physical warfare in the United States, but in spiritual warfare in Japan. During the late 1800s, Japan was intent on modernizing the country and invited a variety of academics from across the globe to help towards that…

  • Prayer

    Rainbows And Promises

    How many rainbows do you see each year? I think it’s safe to say I’ve gone whole years without seeing one, or at least without seeing a colorful one that stood out. However, within the past few months I’ve seen at least four, all of which were very colorful and memorable! I’ve seen several more earlier this year as well. I am thankful for this seemingly small grace. It’s been a tough year for our family in a number of ways. God has been pruning us. Sometimes during those times of pruning I need a reminder of God’s promises, and those rainbows have been a vivid reminder. We normally think…

  • Partnership

    The Blessings Of Partnership

    May I be blunt for a moment? I really dislike fundraising. Fundraising is one of my least favorite parts of mission work, right up there with leaving the people you love and jet lag. Asking people for money feels dirty. We all know of the various televangelists who sell their false gospels to the masses, preying on generosity to finance their lavish lifestyle. Although the work we are planning in Japan is far different from that and our lifestyle could hardly be considered lavish, asking for money to do the work makes it feel much the same. Even aside from the unfortunate televangelist connection, one often needs to be a…

  • Updates

    Visit To La Grange

    This weekend our family took our first trip to our sponsoring church in La Grange, Texas. We are always so grateful for the way the Lord works to provide for us, and the connection with the La Grange church is just another example in a long list of such graces. Earlier this year, as Sara and I were looking into whether a return to Japan would be possible, we first needed to see if we could secure a sponsoring congregation. Legally this is necessary to get the work visas we will need, but it’s also important for us on a spiritual level as well as for financial organization in the…

  • Partnership

    The Ten Partner Project

    Our family is very excited to announce today the launch of the Ten Partner Project! This project is aimed at finding 10 churches or individuals who will partner with us in our mission work in Japan! Specifically, if we could average out just $200 over 10 partners, we would be able to begin preparations for our return. If we averaged $300 over 10 partners, we would nearly have met our sustainable budget goal! To find out more about the project, please watch the video below: Along with the video, please visit our dedicated page for the Ten Partner Project by clicking here. How Can I Help? If you’d like to…

  • General,  Reflections

    Learning Grace From The Japanese People

    Often times, when you’re focused on a mission, it can be easy to forget how that mission is perceived by others. What seems obviously true and objectively important to you may appear as questionable and only of subjective value to those around you. For those of us who are saved, we see the gospel through spiritually illuminated eyes as “the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:18-25). But for many, our faith is but another viewpoint in a sea of religions. In Japan, there is an old adage that goes something like: “many different roads lead to the top of Mt. Fuji.” As a religiously syncretistic…