"But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus"
 - Acts 20:24 -
Hey everyone!

We were recently encouraged by these words the Apostle Paul shared with the Ephesian church elders. This was just moments before leaving for Jerusalem where Paul knew what laid before him - "imprisonment and afflictions await me" (20:23). This was Paul's course and the ministry he received from the Lord.

What is our's? 6 years ago this month we were commissioned out to see God's Glory in Japan. Unlike Paul, we didn't know what awaited us. And while imprisonment thankfully has not been our experience, afflictions have. Language and culture study - a grind. Deep feelings of loss moving away from family and friends. Team challenges - by far our heaviest burden. The pace of ministry - immensely slow and results unclear.

Nevertheless, this is our course, to use Paul's word. Afflictions. Joy. Loneliness. Victory. Loss. Gain. This was our Savior's course, too. We are to run this race of life "looking to Jesus, the founder and perfector of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross..." (Hebrews 12:2). It's this same Jesus who empowers His people through His Holy Spirit "for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10). And so we will do so with you!

We're grateful you've all been actively engaged in this journey with us! Praying, giving, checking in and encouraging. We would not be here without your support in these ways.

The Lord is working in Japan! And we are thankful to be sent out to labor in His harvest fields. Check out what's been going on below!

Joyfully serving with you,
The Mitchells

**By the way, we throughly enjoyed our visit with many of you during our quick 5-week trip to the States (12/11-1/17). We enjoyed visits with friends from First Baptist Egg Harbor City, Bellmawr Baptist, Bethel Baptist and Lindsay's hometown church in Cleveland, TX, First Baptist Cleveland. We loved sitting in many of your living rooms, sharing life, catching up and expressing our thanks. What a joy! We hope to visit those we missed next time!**
Azamino Chapel Update
Azamino Chapel's winter worship gatherings have been full of activity. Our annual Christmas worship service was on 12/10 and was well attended. We invited fellow missionary colleague and Japanese preacher, Yoshitaka Sato, to preach. He shared about God's love. Then, in a last minute coverage need, Sato sensei again(!) preached for me on 1/14 when our family was delayed in our return to Japan due to covid. Our attendance varies from gathering to gathering, but we're patiently plodding and entrusting these souls into the Father's hands.

One big highlight was Clark's big church piano debut. He and teammate, Kaori, played "Silent Night" at both Azamino Chapel and our neighboring Mizonokuchi Chapel's worship services. We're proud of Clark and thankful for the experience he had playing before others and with with Kaori. Azamino Chapel met again on February 11 for worship where I preached on "The Truth of God" from the life of Elijah as we approach the end of our Creation-to-Christ preaching series. Please continue to pray for new believers, Mrs. K, Mrs. Y and Mr. T. As well as seekers, Mrs. H, Mrs. Y, Mrs. N, Mrs. A, Mr. K, Mr. Y, Mr. T, Mrs. S, Mr. H and Mrs. M. Pray also for our 4th Saturday Bible Studies to become a more established rhythm for our church plant. We're excited to have fellow missionary and veteran church planter, John Houlette, sharing on 2/25.
Cross Project Team Update
What a time for our team. At our team's Thanksgiving/Christmas gathering on 11/19, most of us were gathered together. We knew it was the last time for a while with upcoming travels/transitions before we'd all be together again. After going our separate ways and slipping into our turkey trances, Malia Walker went into labor just hours after leaving our home. Malia's husband, Jeff, was grieving with his family Stateside after the difficult passing of his mother. So, the Follmers came to stay the night with Mason & Kaili, the Walkers' 2 other kids. Lindsay drove Malia to the hospital. Kaori was on the phone with doctors for language assistance. And 1-2 hours later, baby Elijah arrives. As Malia recounts, "the team delivered our baby!" The Walkers are doing well and it's been a joy to see Elijah grow already!

Then began several of our colleagues' transitions out of country for furlough and other holidays visits. All the while, the Zodys were welcoming their first little one. Lily was born to Addison and Abigail on 1/5. They're doing terrific as new parents! All personnel are back in country and are enjoying holding these bundles of joy.  Please pray for these new and growing families. Pray for Alissa, the Walkers and Follmers especially as new missionaries. They're approaching the end of the first year. We're so proud of their progress!

Our team is also still very much in formation. The honeymoon period is over. And there's been some difficult storms to endure in recent weeks. Weaknesses are exposed, coming together and reforming is needed. Pray for a spirit of grace, gentleness and humility during these times of transition and adjustment. There's no room for pride. The Lord honors those who are humble of heart. Pray this mind would prevail on our team.
Family Update (no joking around here!)
You read it right! Baby #4 is due July 11. We are thrilled by the Lord's provision once again. We prayed about this possibility for some time. As our youngest, Bear, was getting older we thought we would be content with 3. Yet, we both felt it would be such a joy to share a new life with now our older kids and share the experience of raising a little one with them. Please pray for continued health, strength and endurance for Lindsay and the baby. As the pregnancy progresses, pray also for various ministry coverage areas to be aided by good teamwork.

We also have enjoyed watching our 3 babies grow and excel at different things. Clark and Mollie performed wonderfully at their annual piano recital in late January. Bear's Japanese language skills are improving daily and has solid friends at his Japanese preschool. Please pray for their growth as missionary kids in Japan. Pray for wisdom and discernment as we seek to shepherd their hearts well.
Japan -> New Jersey -> Texas -> Japan
We had not celebrated Christmas with our families in 6(!) years. That was pre-Bear! It was such a joy to be able to have this time with family. We were also blessed to visit with many of our friends & supporters!

Here are some highlights below!
One evening while in NJ, my (Justin) Dad, my brother, and each of our boys went to a Sixers game. What a fun memory! It's always fun to visit with Pop Pop & Mom Mom with their dog - Norman!
Celebrating Christmas dinner with Gigi & Grandpop was great! We're always grateful for their hospitality and love. We then flew to Houston and drove over to the New Braunfels area to visit with Lindsay's sisters, their families and cousins. We had our share of BBQ!
There are so many gracious and loving friends and supporters in our lives. To spend time with folks who give, pray and love on our family and care for the ministry in Japan is such a joy.
More About Azamino Chapel
Give to God's Glory in Japan!
2-10-15 Edanishi, Aoba-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa-ken, Japan 225-0014
Our email address:
Skype Phone Number: 434-473-6304

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WorldVenture · 2-4-12-1 Edanishi · Aoba-ku · Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa-ken 225-0014 · Japan

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