The Epistle - December 2017 - Vol. 22, No. 10

4 This year has flown by and we can't believe that we are leaving for our missions trip in just a few weeks! God has been so gracious to our team as we prepare for our trip this year. Blessings: • We have met our fundraising goal of $8,000! We are blown away by our Wintersburg fami- ly's love for the nation of Japan. We know that this love can only come from our Heavenly Father. Thank you all so much for your help, financial support, and prayers thus far. • We especially would like to thank the Nichigo congregation for its time and effort in serving our team as we prepare for the trip. We have come away with a greater understanding and appreciation of Japanese culture and the hearts of Japanese people. We are looking forward to using this knowledge as we minister to the people of Kobe. Please Pray for: • Team Unity – Please pray for our team members to be united in vision and purpose during this missions trip. Please pray that we would love and serve one another in humility through the Holy Spirit. • Travel/Lodging Logistics - Please pray that our full day of traveling with multiple transfers will go smoothly. (Hopefully no missed flights and 5 hour delays this year!) Please pray that the logistics of our living situation during this trip would go smoothly. • Protection Against Spiritual Attacks – As we serve as lights in a spiritually oppressive cul- ture, please pray that God would protect us and strengthen us against any attack from the enemy. • Our Outreach Efforts – Please pray for the outreach events we will be hosting each day: two Christmas outreach events, English classes, street outreach, street live performances, fly- ering, and helping with worship service. Please stay in touch with us throughout our missions trip. We will be posting regular updates on our Facebook group: . If you would like to subscribe to our mailing list, please email Kiyoshi at . Last month, Koh and I had the opportunity to follow up with a Japanese friend. We originally met him 8 years ago when he was a student in America, but he now lives and works in Japan. He shared about how his work has been so stressful that it made him "sick." I asked him what he meant by sick, and he pointed to his head. He had developed some form of depression and anxiety due to his work environment. He was now taking medication and on a leave of absence from his job due to his condition. This was not like the fun-loving, confident friend that we had come to know. We know that the stressful conditions of the Japanese work environment lead to cases of karoushi , or death from over- work, and suicide. Hearing my friend's personal experience was a wake-up call to the deep needs of many Japanese that hit close to home. Later that night, Koh and I prayed for our friend's salvation. We know that God has a plan to glorify Himself and bring re- demption and freedom to those who are hurting in Japan, just like our friend. We are so grateful that God would use Wintersburg to sow into His vision for Japan. We pray that His will would be done! = Missions to Kobe, Japan BY YUKI SHIDA