2019: A Year of Discipleship and Digging In
In our second year as senior pastors at MBCC, we decided after much prayer to make 2019 the beginning of focused discipleship through small groups using a program called "The Discipleship Group" by Dr. Jay Zinn. This includes teachings on unity, spiritual gifts, purpose, and identifying the characteristics of Christ within ourselves. Beginning in January, 2019, we are praying that this course will help people to grow individually, and that it will grow the body of Christ in Japan!
Reaching and Refining
Munakata Bethel Christian Center has experienced growth in a number of areas over this past year, including a deeper look at Who and why we worship. Teaching and discipling in the study and practice of worship is vital to a biblically-based church model, so we have purposed to spend time and resources developing our worship team. Along with that, we have been in a continual process of upgrading our sound system, stage setup and instrument upkeep. Most recently, we added a pro-grade djembe to our instrument family!
Worshipping in Spirit
We enjoy a pure and fulfilling time of worship each week during our services. Having an opportunity to serve, and occasionally lead worship with our wonderful worship team is a joy and honor. This special group of people have really grown over the years, and we continue to strive for better musicianship, closer relationships with one another and most importantly, a deeper walk with God.
Jim has been very busy leading the church's vision for this year and the years to come. Focusing first on prayer and seeking God for His leading for the church in this new season, we have done more in terms of training, education and discipleship within the body.
As we move forward, we trust God will open up the most effective avenues of outreach for both the body and for the community. Strengthening the "core" is our goal right now, and the Lord is doing great things each and every day.
As a senior pastor, Tracy has been busy focusing on relationships between the women in the church, with a desire for a deeper connection with everyone. This includes personal time spent in discipleship, and friendships with women both inside the church as well as those who are un-churched. Her current goal and mission is to create a true family atmosphere filled with warmth, strength and joy in gathering together. She is our home's anchor and balance point, always providing care and counsel to our kids, and continues to be a loving wife and friend.
Serena has grown to become a very sensible and wise young lady as she has navigated through the emotional roller coaster often experienced by missionary kids. She has thrived in discovering her gifts and abilities, and has blessed the church with her musical ability. Serena has become quite the drummer and vocalist with a big heart for worship! Picking up the sticks just a few months ago for the first time, she is a natural drummer with a great sense of timing and rhythm.
As part of her birthday gift, we got for her a couple of friends—the Lord opened a wonderful window to receive two amazing, very black cats as new additions to the family. Welcome Zico and Kookie!
Our oldest daughter Sophia is currently attending Green River College in WA State, majoring in Chinese while working part time. She has a natural ability with language, which we know will literally take her places! While learning the skill of "adulting" as she puts it, we feel she is doing a great job and is making some good decisions in her new adult life. We are very proud of our oldest daughter! May the Lord bless Sophie in all that she sets her mind to do.
In Closing . . .
We continue to study to increase our knowledge of the Japanese language, but that will be a lifelong process. We expect to stay in Japan until God gives further notice, so we have buried our roots deeply and work to make as many connections for the gospel's sake as possible. There is so much potential in Japan, we just need mouthpieces and hearts to keep spreading the Word and love of God. And, God is moving in new ways all the time, reaching the unreached and giving creative ways to love and share.
Thank You for Your Support
We are so grateful for your love, prayers, and financial support. We wouldn't be able to sustain this work without help from God's amazing people--YOU! Please continue to support missions work in Japan, and we thank you for your prayers, emails, and social media posts.
Thank you and God bless you from the Xavier family!!!
New Doman: munakatacity.com
We are not official representatives of Munakata City, but ambassadors of the Person and love of Jesus Christ! So we bought munakatacity.com because this city and everyone in it belongs to God (Psalm 24:1), and we wish to represent Him the best we can in all ways. Having this city's name in mind may help you to pray and think of the work being done in Munakata City.