Osaka Direct - September 2003
Fukuin - Japanese word for "gospel" - Like cold water to a weary soul, so is good news from a distant land.
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VVV  OSAKA DIRECT VVV  September 2003

Dear friends,

    The weather here in Osaka has gotten much cooler, and things are a little less busy now that the "summer rush" has ended, but we are still finding plenty of work to do.   We trust that you are doing well also and that the Lord is giving you plenty of opportunities to serve in His kingdom.  It is our prayer that this edition of Osaka Direct would be a blessing to you and that it would guide you in prayer for the people of Osaka.  May the Lord bless you and keep you always!

September News

Dinner Together 

Dinner with Friends
Sometimes a meal with friends is the best ministry opportunity of all
    One thing our work at the Osaka International Church (OIC) has provided for us is an abundance of opportunities for fellowship meals.  It is common to end up going to eat together after the Saturday night or Sunday morning service, not to mention other occasions that come up.   It is a blessing that the international church fills a special need for a church that young Japanese who have come to faith during trips overseas for study or work can feel comfortable at.  These "returnees" often have trouble fitting in at regular Japanese churches, but many of them find the multi-cultural atmosphere at OIC to be a good fit for them.  Many of these young Japanese also feel a tremendous burden to reach out to family and friends with the gospel and are anxious to learn to minister in any way they can.  Several have already helped out at the Grapevine Cell Church in various ways and we may see much more of this in the future.  

Taking a Break at the Park before Passing out Digest Bibles

Taking a break with Dewayne and Amie
Karen, Dan, Dewayne, Amie, and 1,000 Digest Bibles to be passed out 
    The "summer rush" may be over, but we have still been blessed to host a few short-term workers and we continue to distribute gospel literature as time and budget allow.  Dewayne Dancer - radio talk show host, occasional mission worker, and all-around great guy - was here in Japan to work with us for the second time, and Amie Cuhaciyan, a friendly youth from Seattle, was with us for the first time.  In the photo we are taking a short break before going to deliver about a thousand Digest Bibles (a 63 page collection of key Scriptures) in a Buraku neighborhood.  The Bibles were placed in "gift envelopes" and included a letter from Dan with an invitation to the cell church and a church flyer.  One person has already come to the cell church meetings as a result of this effort, and we believe that others will come later since the Bibles provide an ongoing witness in the home of those who receive them.

Dewayne Dancer Sharing at Osaka International Church

Dewayne Preaching
Dewayne Dancer delivers a powerful message at OIC
    Many people at OIC were blessed when Dewayne Dancer shared a powerful message of Christ's love with us.  Dewayne has been interested in ministry in Japan for some years and also been studying Japanese at home in Texas.  Perhaps the Lord will open the way for Dewayne to come to Japan long-term someday.     

Gospel Ministry to the Homeless of Osaka City

Dan giving a message at a Homeless Meeting
Dan delivers a message of hope to men who need hope 
    We continue to be privileged to have occasional opportunities to minister to the homeless in partnership with Pastor So, a missionary from Korea.  In the photo Dan is sharing a message of hope and joy in the midst of trials based on when Paul and Silas were singing and praying in prison (Acts 16:25ff).   We are also praying about the possibility of trying to provide new socks to 1000 of these homeless men as a Christmas present given in the name of Jesus in December.   Dan will be meeting with Pastor So to discuss these plans in the near future. 

Grapevine Cell Church Prayer Meeting

Prayer Meeting at Sekime Chapel
Sunday night prayer meeting  is a time of prayer and fellowship
  The work at Grapevine Cell Church continues as we pray for and follow up with contacts made over the summer.  After twice being delayed, we think that we will finally be ready to start Alpha Bible classes with some of these contacts at the beginning of November.  Currently we are planning a Wednesday night class at the cell church location in Sekime and a second Friday night class near the Osaka Christian College toward the south part of town.  Currently eleven people have expressed interest in attending the Alpha study. 

Prayer Requests

  1. Pray for the new Alpha Bible classes - may the Lord bring students of His choosing and may their eyes be opened to see Jesus. 
  2. Please continue to pray for Aaron as he works to establish a Calvary Chapel Church here in Osaka.
  3. Pray for wisdom with regard to Dan's work as the interim pastor of the Osaka International Church (OIC).  Some OIC church members have asked about the possibility of Dan continuing in this role long-term.  On the one hand, pastoring the international church takes a lot of time and energy away from working on the Grapevine Cell Church plant.  On the other hand, this is an open door for ongoing ministry to Japanese and foreigners alike.
  4. Pray that the Digest Bibles and other literature that were distributed would be read and that many people would be drawn to receive Christ through this effort.  Pray that people would be drawn to learn more of Jesus and His love by coming to church or through Christian friends.
  5. Pray for strength and wisdom for us.  It is a blessing to have Aukje working with us (see the previous Osaka Direct), but we still have a pretty full schedule. 

Pray for our Regular Weekly Meetings

Sunday morning at 10:00: English worship service at the Osaka International Church
Sunday evening at 6:00:  Prayer meeting at the Grapevine Cell Church
Wednesday evening at 7:00 (starting in November):  Japanese Alpha Bible study at the Grapevine Cell Church
Thursday evening at 7:00: Japanese worship service at the the Grapevine Cell Church
Friday evening at 6:30 (starting in November):  Japanese Alpha Bible study at Osaka Christian College
Saturday morning at 10:00: Japanese worship service at the the Grapevine Cell Church
Saturday evening at 6:30 pm: Bilingual worship service at the Osaka International Church

   May the Lord bless you!  If you have enjoyed this edition of Osaka Direct, then please forward it to a friend.  If anyone wants to be added to (or removed from) the Osaka Direct mailing list, just let us know.
In Jesus' love,
Dan and Karen Ellrick

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