After Sukkot and the 5th pastor ordination, pastor Joshua and C-Mo took the time to connect with our Japanese branch churches via zoom, sharing precious nutrients with them.
Below is the Thanksgiving from them.
This time, the online zoom meeting for the Japanese was such a wonderful time, like an online reunion, a time to deepen our bond. Even across the screen, your love reached us tangibly, and we felt thankful to confirm that our relationship has deepened much in the past 7 years. Our beloved spiritual parents introduced us their new home, and in such a hospitable atmosphere Pastor Joshua and C-Mo shared to us the key for pastoring. What we remember the most is about “love and trust.”
They shared with us how we need time to build up this kind of trusting relationship, and how important it is to continue pouring out much grace. As we look back, in our own church, my wife and I were both DOING-oriented. In the beginning, after we became a branch church, we had demanded more ministry growth and results more than us giving them grace. As a result, trust in relationship was broken and disintegrated.
But my wife and I, as we receive grace from Pastor Joshua and C-Mo Delphine, we have been restored gradually in 7 years. At first, we were not able to receive grace from authority with a peaceful heart, because we felt insecure about the fact that we did not have much work results. However, Pastor Joshua, C-Mo, and Pastor Ruby never gave up on us. Instead they support us, pour out unceasing grace on us. In this way, trust grows in our relationship subtly.
Japanese people understand grace only in their heads, but we lack the experience of receiving grace in our relationships, especially with authorities. Because of this, we are unable to receive grace, and feel limited to give grace to others. As we listen to Pastor Joshua and C-Mo sharing their testimony, we realize the great importance of recognizing how much grace we have received. As a pastor, I would like to receive more spiritual nourishment from the mother church so that our roots can be deepened and we can thus grow into a big tree.
We have faced many difficulties in discipleship, especially during the pandemic. But we have firmly decided that we shall not give up but instead we continue to show more grace to our disciples and church members. We keep a heart that does not forget grace but gives thanks always! Indeed, we want to thank you pastor Joshua, C-Mo, and pastor Ruby for hosting this zoom meeting!
Ps Eij Iwayama, Hesed 611 Hokkaido