This is an excerpt from Mark and Megumi Bocanegra's blog. For the full blog post, please see the post here.
Hello again from sunny California! For those who don't know, we have been fundraising since September 2019 in order to start our second phase of ministry. Mark has been called as one of the pastors of KaihinMakuhari Megumi Church and has been approved as a new MTW Team Leader. Please see this brochure.
The LORD provides. 96.8% with only $500 in monthly pledges left. When the California lock down started and all of our visits started to get cancelled, we thought that it would be pretty impossible to meet the last 10%. But too often, in times of panic, the LORD says to us what Moses said to the panicked Israelites running for their lives--"Do not fear. Stand firm. Shut up. Watch the LORD fight for you."
While sheltering in place, Megumi and I celebrated out seven years of marriage.
So what have I been doing in quarantine? Making and freezing a stock of sermons :) Knowing how difficult and time consuming moving and setting up for ministry is,I have been prepping for two sermon series that Pastor Hirohashi recommended me to work on. I hope to preach through theBook of Joshua, I thought it would be a good book to be reminded of the power of the LORD despite His weak servants and also the importance of faith in advancing His Kingdom. Also, I hope to preach through Romans because it is an epistle really dear to my heart and I hope that to use it to proclaim theGospel to Christians and non-Christians in an understandable way.
With Greater Tokyo in a state of emergency and the US barred travelers from entering Japan, can we and should we return to Japan? It is pretty amazing to see how fast theCOVID situation has changed the world. Kaihin Makuhari Grace Church has started online service this past Sunday. Also, Japan has banned all travelers from theUS to enter into Japan. This ban is indefinite. We truly pray that the COVIDcrisis dies so that we may be able to return to Japan on July 15 because 81year old Pastor Hirohashi now preaches every Sunday for the online service.Pray for wisdom as we balance out all the risks.
We've been "sheltering in place" since middle ofMarch. Often, I like to joke around that I'm stuck with my chaotic three children during this time of quarantine... but in reality, my three children are stuck with a sinful me! Pray that we would be diligent in our pursuit of the Lord in this time of inactivity.
Pray for Kaihin Makuhari Grace Church as we try to do three things: a) grow the mother congregation, b) start a new bilingual congregation, and c) start a fellowship for young adults. Pray that the "mother congregation" would be healthy enough to give birth. Pray throughColossians 3 and 4 for every single Christian at KMGC to see ourselves as citizens of heaven. Pray that we would be a prayerful people--seeking the LORD to bless us and the neighborhood with the Gospel. May our Words and Deeds prepare good soil for the seeds of the Word to be planted.
We are so thankful for your prayers and support. Please keep in touch and let us know how we can pray for you!
· 96.8% means $500 left!
· 7 years of marriage.
· Can/should we return?
· Diligence in our lethargy
· Blessing upon KMGC
In Christ alone,
Mark and Megumi Bocanegra