Thank you!

December 26, 2019

Greetings! We pray you all are having a wonderful season!

We thank you for all your prayers and support throughout the year.  We feel your prayers every single day.  We are thankful for God’s grace and provision.  God has given us many opportunities to share His love with Japanese people this year, and we are excited to see our ministry and  friendships grow.

Thank you for your continued prayers as we share God’s hope and love with those around us.

We’ve met many people at Hope House!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love these families.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vacation Bible School at our church.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We served with a mission team from Waialae Baptist Church in Hawaii.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They ministered to so many people!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Children loved to hear the Bible stories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aloha!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beautiful garden in northern Miyagi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Children at our church made rice balls for lunch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Children’s Fellowship.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Logan was asked to be our friend’s ring bearer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are blessed by our friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

English Ministry at church.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Children singing songs this past Sunday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Families from our English classes came to our morning worship.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Thank you for your prayers and support!”

Categories: Family, Hope for Japan News.

Hope House Ministry

November 4, 2019

Greetings!  We pray you are enjoying the beautiful autumn season.

Hope House Ministry

Japan is a beautiful country filled with wonderful people.  However, those who serve here can attest that Japan is difficult soil to cultivate.  For many years, we labored in our community to reassure our neighbors that we are not a cult and that the place we worship does not require perfection before one enters.  Ironically, people attend church outreach events for the community.  But, due to the stigmas they did not feel comfortable attending worship.

Guest are joyful to break bread with us at our home and study God’s word.  Sadly, our house is not that spacious and many times we had more guest than our house can hold.  We prayed God provide a place that is not only big enough to host a large group but also informal enough for newcomers.  God answered our prayer last year and we now have such a place.  We have named this new ministry, Hope House.

Summer Fellowships

We hosted many events at Hope House this summer.  One of the highlights was seeing families come and fellowship together.  Our outreach program at church was mainly for children and mothers.  Whenever we invited fathers to church ministries, most of them had excuses not to come such as “I’m too busy” and “Church is not for me.”  Many children shared in times past that they are lonely because they do not have much family time since dad is “too busy.”

Family Outreach

Seeing families coming together was a huge blessing!  We met several dads for the first time and they were so happy to be there!  We all had so much fun and laughed a lot!  It seemed like many dads enjoyed getting to know other dads as well.  We praise God for answering our prayers.  We use these times to build relationships as we prayerfully discern those who are open to the gospel.  Here it is taboo to discuss politics, religion, the military, and even sports with those you are not familiar.  We praise Him for those He is calling.

College Outreach

We also invited college students.  Because it was during summer break, only two of them could come, but we had a great time with them. One of them lives away from his family and he said it was nice to have a home cooked meal.  Our boys had the best time with them.  It is encouraging to continue ministering to young adults in our community and encourage their walk with Christ.

Fall Events

This fall, we will a have a tea time with single moms and their children.  We want them to know how much they are loved and how much we care.  Please pray our time with them will be an encouragement to them.  After the tea time, we will also have a flea market to help raise money for an orphanage.

Categories: Hope for Japan News, Hope House, Prayer Needs.

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Tohoku Baptist Retreat

September 29, 2019

Tohoku Baptist Retreat

Last week we attended the Tohoku (northern Japan) Baptist Retreat this week.  About 90 members from 12 Baptist churches in northern Japan gathered in Matsushima (well known sightseeing place) to have a retreat.  This year, our church hosted this event and all the church members worked as a team to prepare.

Worship Service and Children’s Program

During the opening worship service, children from our church sang two praise songs and they did an amazing job!  After the service, we led the children’s program.  We took children to the facility that used to be an elementary school.  This school was severely damaged by the tsunami in 2011.  The city built a new school on a higher ground, but they decided to keep this old building to use it as a memorial place to remember the March 11 disaster.  They also wanted to use this facility to teach people what to do during a major earthquake.

Children had so much fun playing at the play area.  It was a very unique experience.  Each station was used to teach a lesson.  For example, the play house represented a damaged town, the rock climbing wall represented a sea wall, the cargo net represented a big tsunami, and the slide represented a mountain.  They all teach children the importance of running to higher ground as soon as possible.

Museum and First Aid Training

After playing, we all went to the memorial room to see photos and videos of the March 11 disaster.  It was not easy to see them but they stimulated important conversations with the children.  We talked about what we should do and several children said “pray to God first”.  While that was a good reminder for everyone, it is also a good idea to run to safety as you are praying!

There was another room where children could learn emergency life skills.  Many children did not know how to use a public phone. They were amazed!  They also learned how to use a vending machine when the power is out!

At the end, we went to the theater room to watch a short movie about the history of this area and how people are working hard to rebuild the city.  Some children had tears in their eyes. Before we left, we gathered in front of the entrance to pray for those who are still going through struggles as well as for those who are working hard to rebuild the city.

Encouragement for Adults

While we were away for the children’s program, the adults had several sessions and small group discussions.  They all seemed to have a good time learning together. Tohoku area is so big and it is not easy to get together.  Many church members look forward to this annual retreat.  The speaker’s messages were encouraging and the fellowship was uplifting. During the small group discussions, some people shared the challenges that they are facing in their lives as well as major needs at their church.  Please pray for Japanese believers and churches to stay strong and bold to share the good news of Christ!

Categories: Aid for Japan, Hope for Japan News.

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Autumn Approaches Sendai

September 21, 2019

The weather here in Sendai is beginning to cool down marking the approach of autumn here in Japan.  This means that our fun summer has come to an end.  So much to share. Where to begin?

Summer Events

First, children’s ministry is one of our main ministries and we all had a great summer!  Just days after we came back from Hawaii, we hosted a children’s camp.  Children from two churches got together to have fun studying the word!  It is always a blessing to partner with our sister church to host this event and we love serving with their church members.  Our boys had a great time making new friends. Many of them came from non-Christian homes.  The pastor of our sister church led the Bible lessons and we all had meaningful conversations in small groups.  We pray the seeds planted will grow to fruition.

Second, as you may already know, we host a monthly children’s fellowship at our church.  We have worship, Bible study, dinner, and craft time.  It’s one of our boys’ favorite times of the month.  In August we changed things up a bit and had a pool party. Everyone (including adults) had so much fun cooling off in the water!  After play time, the children had a time of fellowship and bible verse memorization drills. We love seeing their smiles when they are able to recite a new verse!  Please pray they will be bold to share the truth of God with their friends.

Peace and Much Needed Healing

Next, in the beginning of August, children from 4 churches in Sendai and Fukushima got together to have a day camp.  We take turns hosting this camp and this year it was held at a sister church.  The theme “Blessed are the peacemakers” taught what it means to be a peacemaker.  Each small group looked at newspaper clippings to find photos and articles that represented “peace”.

At the day camp there were a few children from Fukushima in my small group.  They have gone through unimaginable hardships since March of 2011.  The photos they chose really touched me.  Please continue to pray for those whose daily life is still affected.

What’s next?

Finally, in closing, we thank you for praying for us and Japanese people!  Michael is busy working at Hope House (there will be a new post about Hope House soon), Yu loves her job as a teacher, and the boys are doing well at school.  Please remember to pray for us as we attend the retreat this coming Monday.  About 70 people from 13 Baptist churches in northern Japan will gather for this event.  The main speaker is a pastor from Fukushima.  Our church is hosting this retreat and is working so hard to prepare.  We are leading the children’s program.  We truly appreciate your prayers!  Please let us know how we can pray for you! Praise Him! May He continue to give the increase during this autumn season!

 

Children’s Summer Camp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Game Time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BBQ!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bible Story Time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy campers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They were so happy to make new friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day camp for children from Sendai and Fukushima.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They learned what it means to be a peacemaker.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking for articles and photos that represent peace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learning how to make Japanese desserts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are getting good at making “ohagi”!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pool party and fellowship at our church.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thankful for good friends!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Hope for Japan News, Prayer Needs.

New Sending Organization

August 25, 2019

Hello!  We hope you all had a wonderful summer.  If you are teaching, in school, or have a family member in school, we pray you have a wonderful school year!

We are excited to share that we have joined a new sending organization.  Central Missionary Clearinghouse (CMC) is based in Houston, Texas.  If you would like to know more about them, please go to their website (CMCMissions.org/about).

Many of you have asked how you can support financially.  We truly appreciate your generosity.  Please go to the online giving page at https://www.cmcmissions.org/donate and follow instructions to make a new account.  Or you may make an account by clicking the Click and Give box on this website.  After your account is activated, please select Michael Towery as the recipient.  Yu’s visa status does not allow her to be listed however we are serving together!

If you prefer to give by check, please read carefully the one time use DONOR FORM and address your check as instructed on the donor form.  If our names are on the checks they will send them back to you.  We apologize for the inconvenience.  Unfortunately, donations sent directly to us will not be tax-deductible.  Please send the Donor Form with your check to:

Central Missionary Clearinghouse (or simply CMC)
PO BOX 219228
HOUSTON TX 77218-9228

If you have any questions, please Contact Us and we will be happy to answer your questions. We praise Him and are so thankful for your generous gifts. Thank you for partnering with us to bring the Good News to Japanese people!

Categories: Hope for Japan News.

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Mahalo!

August 16, 2019

June and July were busy but wonderful months for us!  We went to Hawaii to visit our dear friends and ministry partners.  We spent a lot of time in prayer before leaving Japan and we prayed God would guide us and make His plans clear.  He did more than we could have ever imagined while we were in Hawaii.

What made our trip so special were the people.  They welcomed us, made us feel loved, encouraged us, prayed for us, and blessed us.  From the mission house to stay to the car to drive, God provided everything we needed through our generous friends.

We enjoyed our family time, but more than anything, we loved spending time with old and new friends who are more like our family.  Words cannot express how thankful we are.  We used this opportunity to share what He is doing in Japan and it is so encouraging to know many people have a huge heart for Japan and Japanese people.

To our friends in Hawaii, thank you SO much for loving us and encouraging us.  To our friends who were praying for us while we were in Hawaii, thank you for lifting us up.

We are thrilled to announce we are partnered with FBC Pearl City to share the Good News with Japanese people.  We have worked with the mission teams sent by their church.  They have also sent a great missionary couple to a city that is 4 hours away from our city.  We can’t wait to see all the wonderful things He is going to do in Northern Japan where there are not many churches or believers.

Thank you for your continued prayers as we answer His calling to make Him known among Japanese people.


Categories: Family, Hope for Japan News.

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Children’s Ministry

June 1, 2019

We are excited to share about our children’s ministry.  God has blessed us through these children and their families.  We love spending time and sharing God’s love with them.    Thank you for praying for these families.

We teach and serve them every week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They are children in our English classes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We eat lunch together every Sunday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have a monthly children’s fellowship and we lead worship and the mission project.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Children and Mother’s dinner is one of our favorite events.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our boys are blessed to have many good friends.

Categories: Family, Hope for Japan News.

Deepest Appreciation

May 29, 2019

Dear Prayer Partners and Supporters,

Greetings from Japan.  We pray you and your family are well.

We are writing this to express our gratitude to all our prayer partners and financial supporters.  First of all, we would not have been here without each one of you.  We have faced many challenges and trials and your prayers and support kept us going.  Please know how much we appreciate you all.

We also would like to let you know that we were notified April 1 via email by FBC Arlington that they would not continue with current or future ministry in Japan starting April of 2019.  In addition, Michael’s contract with Restore Hope terminated on May 2nd.

We are sad to end our partnership with them.  We are thankful for all their support over the last 8 years.  We pray their work in other parts of the world will be fruitful.

We have spent the last month praying about our future.  We asked our family and close friends to pray with us.  Even though our future is uncertain, one thing we know for sure is that we are called to make Him known among Japanese people. So after much prayer and consideration, we decided to stay in Sendai to continue our ministry.  We are in the process of joining a new sending agency as well as finding a new home church.  We sincerely ask you all to pray with us. We want to follow God’s direction.  We praise God for all the work He has started here and pray He will continue to bless His ministry.

We would appreciate it so much if you could continue praying for us and supporting our ministry.  If you have any questions, please feel free to write us anytime.  We will continue to update you as things progress.

Thank you again for partnering with us.

Blessings,

Michael and Yu Towery

Categories: Hope for Japan News, Prayer Needs.

Prayer Request and Praise

February 16, 2019

Greetings from Japan! We pray you and your family are doing well!

Many of you already know that we started a new ministry called “Hope House” where we gather to have fellowships and Bible studies.  God has already blessed this ministry so much and we have made new friends at this ministry house.

Recently, we had severe roof damage at Hope House because of strong wind.  We contacted several roofers but many of them said they would not be able to help because the current roofing materials were brought from America when the house was built.  We spent a lot of time praying and contacting roofers.

Thankfully, we heard from two roofing companies and they came to look at the roof to give us estimates.  One company was willing to do a temporary repair so we wouldn’t have a problem with water leak from the snow.

We praise God for answering our prayers and we would like to ask you to pray with us as we continue to pray for His provision and guidance.  We are still waiting to get estimates for repairs.  When Michael met with them this week, they said it looked like we would have to replace the entire roof which would cost a lot of money.  We want to use this house to make Him known among Japanese people.  Thank you so much for your prayers!

Categories: Prayer Needs.

Blessing Moms and Children

December 30, 2018

Greetings from Japan.  You may be surprised I am writing a new blog post two days in a row.  This is something that has been in my heart for a while.  However, it always takes courage to write and ask for more help and support. I was not sure if this would be the right timing because of the holidays and everyone is busy around this time.  After praying for several days, God has given me peace to share.

A Growing Problem

In the last month, there were two moms who committed suicide after killing their child(children) in our city. One of these tragedies happened at a house that is about a 10 minutes drive from our church.   It’s called “Muri Shinjyuu (forced murder-suicide)” and it happens a lot here in Japan.  When a parent believes they have no hope and decides to commit suicide, dad/mom will feeling sorry for a child that will be left behind kills him/her.  The frequency of occurrence is numbing people to the point that they are not even surprised or shocked when it happens.

Every time I hear news like this my heart breaks. This time hits me really hard. It happened so close to the community we serve and the child who was killed happened to be my friend’s former student.  Just the fact that a parent believes this is the only solution is very heartbreaking.

After discussing this with my good friend/ministry partner, we wanted to take action.  We wanted to invite our non-believer mom friends and share the hope we have in Christ.  We wanted them to know they can ask for help.  And we wanted them to be the ones to offer help to their friends.  So that is exactly what we did!

All the moms that came shared that they had struggled with marriage/parenting before, and some of them said they didn’t have anyone they could trust to share their needs and concerns.  Everyone agrees with the need and share our vision for “mom’s community”. They asked if we could continue meeting more often and if they could invite their friends.

I have been reflecting and thinking a lot about this community, and there is so much more I want to do and so many more people I want to invite.

A Local Need Revealed

Right after we had one of the fellowships, we also hosted a bazaar (like an inside garage sale) at Hope House to raise money for orphans in India.  My friend, who is a single mom, came with her daughter.  She shared that she would be leaving her parents’ house to move to an apartment.  This is the step that she has been praying/preparing for for a long time.  She has worked very hard to be able to provide for her daughter.

I have been praying for them for several years and I am so happy for their new journey.  When I asked her how we can help, she was hesitant at first (a typical Japanese person wouldn’t ask for help), but she shared that she doesn’t have anything for her new apartment.  Several ladies at our church are trying to provide what we can, but I know the need is great.  This is a mom who hasn’t asked for any help.  And I know her family can’t help her much (this is one of many reasons she is leaving her parents’ house).

How You Can Help

I am writing this because we know there are many needs.  And even though I don’t like to ask for financial help, I know God has sent me here to make Him known and there are many people who love and care about Japanese people.  In order for me to continue ministering to these moms and children, I need your help.

As the end of this year approaches, you may be considering supporting ministries with a tax-deductible gift.  It is an honor that through your support the people of Japan receive the opportunity to hear the gospel and find hope in Christ.  If you would like to give a one-time gift or set up a monthly donation, please go to this link:

https://sending.org/worker/michael-and-yu-towery

We understand that you may not be able to support financially right now.  Please remember these moms and children in your prayers.  They need lots of prayers.  And please pray for those we have not even met yet.  We have many ministry goals for 2019 and we value your prayers.

Please know we appreciate each of you so very much.  May God fill your heart with His joy and peace as you continue to serve Him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Prayer Needs.

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