Praise the name of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ! Thank you, brothers and sisters in Christ, for your prayers and supports. As the world has been struggling over the last two years, God has always been at work in the lives of people and churches. Please take a moment to read this newsletter which is long overdue to see what He’s been doing in and through our ministries.
◆Princeton Japanese Church
●After 1.5 year of online worship service, PJC resumed in-person service in last September! Then we returned to online again from November to March. During this time, more people in the US and in Japan started watching PJC service on YouTube Live, and we decided to continue it even after resuming in-person worship in April. We were grateful for the Easter Service after two years of missing it, especially with special guests. (↓ECC student and her husband, mom and daughter from J-Kids, and the Imai family, Kentaro, Arisa, Kishin, and Rion from Japan)
In July, Mr. Hideki Kato, former member stopped by to see us on his way to NYC from Maryland.
Former member family, Ryo and Nao Jinnai with Masato and Naoto, came to PJC worship service on 8/6 during their stay in Princeton.
● ECC: Our ESL ministry resumed in-person class last October. Though we currently have only one small class with one teacher, students enjoy learning English every Friday morning. After class, we have Chapel, and everyone listens to Bible messages with interests. One student constantly asked questions and wanted to read the Bible in both Japanese and English, so we gave her a bilingual Bible. Another student went home and shared with her husband what she had heard that day. As a result, the husband became interested in the Bible, and the couple came to the Easter service together! God is at work, touching each one’s soul through ECC.
●J-Kids: Children’s ministry also resumed in-person meeting last October. We twice a month on the second and fourth Friday afternoon, and 10-12 children participate each time. Children have been affected by COVID in many ways. Online classes were painful for those who just came from Japan as their English was not good enough. Even after in-person classes resumed, many of them and their parents were stressful as they struggled with language and cultural differences while attending the local school and the Japanese language school on Sundays. J-Kids is like an oasis for their mind. They get to enjoy songs, Bible stories, games, and crafts to the fullest in Japanese. As they have good time being loved by God and us, their hearts become open and soft like good soil that accepts the seed of the gospel. Until they return to Japan in a few years, we will continue this important ministry, praying that the seeds sown in their hearts will grow and bear much fruit.
Before the pandemic, I had already been preaching one to three times a month at Japanese churches without a pastor. After COVID, online "preaching ministry" has been moving in a new way. I’ve had opportunities of preaching for: NY Japanese Church (Scarsdale, NY), Japanese American United Church (Manhattan, NY), Cornerstone Church Japanese Congregation (Chicago, IL), and Olive Ministry (Lancaster, PA) in the last two years. This year, starting last April, I have started preaching for Todoroki Church in Tokyo twice a month. It’s not the same thing as in-person message, but God has opened new ways to share the gospel with people in distance, especially churches without pastors. Let’s keep building the Body of Christ together!
◆Next Generation Ministries
Since April this year, I have been serving Japanese Christian Church of New Jersey (JCCNJ) as part-time staff, focusing on the Next Generation (junior & senior high school, college, and working singles). While it may be unusual for a pastor to serve another church as staff, this is a unique and wonderful opportunity from God. One of the gifts God has granted me is relating to young people, and there are many of them in JCCNJ and surrounding area in Bergen County, NJ. Also, at PJC we meet on Saturday, so I am available to go to JCCNJ on Sunday to be with them. Working with Pastor Nishikori and others who love young people is very encouraging and motivating. God bless us to bless others, I believe. Let’s bless the Next Generation!
◆Joy Joy Camp at JCCNJ
On 8/8-12, we had “Joy Joy Camp”, the annual summer day camp for children. I served along with 15 staff including 6 youths (5 of them are from non-Christian background and coming to church/youth group!). This year 15 children attended and had a blast every day at the camp where they learned about God and Jesus. Theme for the camp was “Peace Rangers” that God wants us to have peace with Him, to make peace with others, and to spread peace in the world.
◆The Kurisu Family
(From left: Ayumi, Maho, Mana, Nobu)
Maho and Mana currently attend Mercer Community College from home while they work part-time. Ayumi serves PJC, especially with J-Kids, music, and women's group. She also teaches piano to Japanese children in the area. We are all healthy and well by the grace of God.
Please pray that our emotional and physical health of will be blessed, that our financial needs will be met, and that our inner persons will be filled with God's love, joy, and peace always. We sincerely appreciate your prayer and support.
May the Lord God bless you all!
With love In Christ,
Nobu & The Family
About Financial Support
Financial contribution for Criss-Cross Japanese Ministries or Princeton Japanese Church can be made in one of the following ways.
In Japan (bank transfer): Hiroshima Bank, Inokuchidai Branch, Regular Savings: Branch No. 127-00, Account No. 1660947, “Princeton Japanese Church
In the U.S. (bank check): Make payable to "Nobu Kurisu" or "Princeton Japanese Church".