Sawako Prayer Requests and Updates #2

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

(I’m sending those who didn’t receive previous email as well. If you don’t know the situation please see our previous email below. If you no longer wish to receive our email, please feel free to let us know)

Thank you very much for your prayer for my wife and my family. We received many many replies, encouragements, and even many phone calls. How much we are blessed and loved by you all. Thank you very much.

After last email, we had couple doctor appointments and received some results for the tests. Here are some updates:

1) MRI result showed not small cancerous tumor. This is bad news. Before the MRI, we couldn’t find anything cancerous. The doctor said the stage is worse than ever.

2) The MRI result and some advices from our friends convinced us to have radical hysterectomy. However, we are still anxious after effect, such as urination disorder, lymphedema etc… Also there is possibility to have radiation therapy and Chemotherapy after the surgery.

3) We decided not to ask second opinion, but go ahead to have surgery at Nagoya University Hospital.

4) The surgery will be 21st, August. And Sawako will be hospitalized on Monday 19th. Hopefully she will be discharged within 14 days.
As I asked you to pray for us, I’d like you to continue to pray for us, especially following things:
1. Please continue to pray for Sawako’s healing. The more we have doctor appointments, the worse situation we hear. Another word, we realize the situation is being worse. Please pray for her healing. I know and believe God is healer. Thankfully Sawako has great hope for the healing, and so do I. But, we are not perfect and often times we feel weakness and anxiety. And sometimes wonder what is God’s will. Please continue to pray for Sawako’s healing.

2. Please continue to pray for Shohei. I am mentally exhausted and down for couple weeks. And, I feel some depression. I know I am the one who help my wife and I need to be. But, I am discouraged myself because I cannot do enough because of my mental situation. Please pray for me.

3. Please continue to pray for my family, especially for my kids. One of our regrets is that we are not being able to take good care of our kids in this summer vacation time. We feel very sorry for them. But they understand and care about me and Sawako. Also, thanks for some friends for offering to take care of our kids during our doctor appointments. We will need some more practical help especially during Sawako’s hospitalization.

4. Please continue to pray for the finances. We already heard some offering for the financial help. Thank you very much. We don’t know how much it costs for the hospitalization and surgery yet. Please continue to pray for that.

5. Again, above all please pray for God’s glory through this situation. We want to seek His kingdom and His righteousness first. And we need proclaim His gospel everyday, every moment. We believer He is healer, not only healer of cancer but He is the perfect healer of our sinful, imperfect lives. Please pray for our reliance for God Most of all.

Again, we deeply appreciate your prayer and help. Grace be will you all.

Sawako Prayer Requests and Updates #1

Dear Team and Friends

Some of you already heard about my wife’s health situation, but let me officially announce you and ask you for your prayers.

My wife Sawako was diagnosed as cervical cancer couple weeks ago.

And today, we had a doctor appointment and also we heard detail situation. So, let me describe the facts briefly:

1. The doctor found the cancer on July. It’s been almost 6 months since she strange health condition and went to the hospital, local clinic many times. Thanks to God for finding the reason of her health issue eventually.

2. The doctor said that the cancer stage looks early stage, which is great news. Praise the Lord!! Another good news is that generally it is said that cervical cancer grows slowly.

3. Bad news is that the hospital (Nagoya University Hospital) recommends “radical hysterectomy”, which means they remove whole uterus, ovary, and also some lymph node. We thought if the stage early, the surgery has to be simpler and doesn’t have to remove everything. We understand the “radical hysterectomy” and “simple total hysterectomy” has huge differences so would like to refuse “removing everything”.

4. We are still waiting for MRI next week, 31st. And depends on the test, the stage, situation, everything would change.

5. Since the surgery could be radical, we will see the result of MRI and will seek the second opinion from other hospital.

6. There is a possibility to have radiation therapy instead of surgery. (I heard in US there are more radiation therapy than surgery. Please let me know if you know about the cases)

At first we were very shocked and struggled the fact. However, hearing more details and knowing this is early stage, we started to feel comforted and seek what is God’ purpose on my wife and our family. So, please remember us and join in our prayer:

1) I usually ask you for the first prayer request as glorifying God, but please allow me to ask you for Sawako’s healing first. She has been suffered from her health issues more than 3 years, including hypoglycemia and other minor issues. Please pray for the healing of cancer, and also hypoglycemia.

2) Please, please pray for myself! I have been experienced tremendous spiritual and mental attack/tiredness/disappointment. Ironically, Sawako is much, much healthier in terms of spiritual/mental health. To be honest, I don’t feel like doing anything for these couple weeks, not only the fact of my wife’s cancer, but also other minor/major worries and heartaches.

3) Please pray for our family, especially our kids, John, Jay, Yuzuri, and Joe. We told about Sawako’s cancer couple days ago. Some of our kids understood, but they are sad mostly because they cannot have any more siblings… Please pray for strengthening our family unity and protect from evil ones.

4) Please pray for our finances. First of all, I thank God and everyone for blessing our regular budgets. We are enough supported for our ministry life. On the other hand, due to many tests and doctor appointments, we spend a lot for medical care recently. and also surgery and aftercare are expected soon.

5) Please pray that most of all God reveals His glorious will and glorify Himself through this situation. Please pray that I and Sawako, we all realize that He is our God, sovereign, almighty God. And know He is the one who allows us to suffer, and He is the one who saves us from the suffering, eternal suffering. And know He is the one who is to be glorified eternally, even a midst of suffering.

I really appreciate you for being the partner and team for the gospel in the global world. Thank you very much.

Thank you for your prayer!

Last couple weeks, my father in law had many, many tests. The good news is that there is NO cancer in his lung! PTL!! We thank you so much for your prayer. God is Good!

However, there IS a cancer in his stomach now. So, he’ll be in hospitalized and will have a surgery in couple weeks. Please continue to pray.

This events makes me to think how our life is fragile and our faith is weak. Once our body feel suffered, everything suffered. Even a small part of body, such as tiny scratch, very small dust in eye, slight injury cut by a piece of paper, and even our emotions, tiny worries and small regrets. These things makes our whole body suffered. And, sometimes this suffering makes us feel desperate situation. It is like well- built Jenga tower falls by tiny, tiny suffered piece.

And, this makes not only one body suffered, but also the suffering spreads and affects to the others, as if the falling down Jenga pieces spread to the other’s Jenga tower. Although we want to encourage his suffered heart, we are also worried and suffered because of his tiny suffering. We ourself are fragile and susceptible to the others. “If one member suffers, all suffer together” (1 Corinthians 12:26a)

However, we want ask to ourselves “Is is really suffering?”, “Is it truly desperate?” “Is it literally end of the earth?”

Jesus was crucified on the cross. But, He conquered the death and raised again. And, He give us a eternal life. “When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”” (1 Corinthians 15:54)

We know that God already gave us the victory through Jesus Christ. We know this earth and our body is perishable but we have a promise for the imperishable life in Christ. And, we know our suffering is tiny, tiny suffering, although it seems huge, unconquerable giant. God never gives us desperation.

Romans 8:18 says, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”

Thanks to God, my father in law believes eternal life in Christ. And, he knows the suffering of this time is not comparable to the eternal joy. And, he knows there is in store for him the crown of righteousness.

As in children’s hymn “Jesus loves me, this I know,” we confess that we are weak and fragile, but, God is strong. This is the most encouragement for us to fight against this suffering.

Therefore, we Christians “suffers, all suffer together” (1 Corinthians 12:26a), However, one of Christian “member is honored, all rejoice together.”(1 Corinthians 12:26b), Because “that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.” (1 Corinthians 12:25)

Please Pray!!

I am writing about asking for your prayer.

My father in law is diagnosed as stomach cancer. It might be spread to his lung. If so, the situation could be really serious.

He is still in checking up, but it was sudden sentence. We are all shocked and depressed. My wife lost her grandfather couple months ago. This time it is her father.

We need prayer. We need God’s help. So, please pray with us.

 

In Christ,
Shohei Ueki

Christ Bible Seminary- Christian Glocalization

I am graduating the seminary next month. But, I won’t leave here Nagoya, I will remain in the seminary as a staff. Also, I will continue the international ministry, being a full time staff of All Nations Fellowship. I am happy that God called me to stay current mission field in Nagoya.

My primary role as seminary staff is “to be a Japanese staff” in this seminary. But, you might ask me “I know you’re Japanese. What’s the point?” Yes, you’re right. But, to be a Japanese staff at Christ Bible Seminary is something important. Here are two things that I have the role as “Japanese seminary staff”

Christ Bible Seminary is established by Dr. Michael Oh and other missionaries about 5 years ago. Since our seminary is Non-Japanese founder seminary, the “color” is not Japan or Japanese. Most of the faculties are not Japanese, and many of seminary students have international background. It is good because Christianity is not Japanese religion or even American religion. It is “worldwide truth.” As we face to the biblical truth, the seminary existence with international relationship is very important fact. That’s why we want to raise young Japanese Christian leaders through seminary education with international environment.  This is the part of God’s global mission.

Also, we want to develop our inner focus, the relationship between Japanese churches/Christian in existence and new generation ministry. Japanese Christian population is less than 0.22%. It means that Japan is definitely the mission field. However, it does NOT mean that there are NO Christians in Japan. In fact, there are about more than 280,000 Christians. It is not many, but there are! But, the fact is that the most of Japanese pastors and Church leaders are above 60’s and 70’s. And, the same situation is happening to the church members. Many of these churches are very traditional. Almost none of young generations. Moreover, there are many churches with no pastors, like “Sheep without a shepherd. (Matthew 9:36)”

The question is “Can you ignore these people?” “Is it God’s will to focus only the new generations?” “Can we justify our ministry with ‘Neither is new wine put into old  wineskins’ (Matthew 9:17)”?

My answer is “No.” We just cannot ignore the existing churches and their people. They are indeed one of the body of Christ. “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’ (1 Corinthians 12:21)” Rather, we want to connect each other as “fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God (Ephesians 2:19)” And, we want to help and develop their focus on the gospel from their traditions. Eventually, we want to build the one body of Christ.

Kenyan pastor, Oscar Muriu said during Urbana ’06, “Our goal is interdependence, not independence.” I believe that Japanese mission also needs to be interdependent, not independent. Japanese churches had been desiring for their independence from foreign missions for the 150 years of its history. As a result, there are strong formality to the traditions and legalistic tendency, but the luck of gospel and people in present churches. Interdependence and mutual collaboration are the necessary reflection of our history.

The world is being much smaller than before. Globalization is our reality. As the followers of Jesus Christ in the 21st century, we have to recognize this fact. At the same time, we should focus on our local. So, my role in the seminary is to be a bridge, connecting between local churches and seminary, also seminary and worldwide Christians. Another word, “Christian glocalization” is my job in the Christ Bible Seminary.

子ども手当

http://www.nikkei.com/news/latest/article/g=96958A9C93819481E0EAE2E2E78DE0EAE2E3E0E2E3E3E2E2E2E2E2E2

3歳未満の子どもたちに対する子ども手当の支給が2万円に引き上げられる法案が閣議決定されました。

3歳以上の子どもに対しては、中学生まで月額1万3000円の支給を据え置きとしています。

子どもの多い我が家にとっては、非常にありがたいニュースなのですが、一方でこのような子育て支援がいつまで続くのか不安でもあります。

子どもは基本的に生まれてから大学にはいるまで、または卒業するまで両親の扶養に入っています。保護者はそれまで経済的な援助をしなければならず、教育費は家計の中でも大きな位置を占めています。

けれども、政府の意向ひとつで今年はいくら、来年はいくらと毎年変えられても、家庭としては一喜一憂するだけのものにしかなりません。

子どもはこれからの日本の国を未来を背負う大きな資源です。しかし、日本の国は子どもが少ないのは誰もが見てもわかる現状です。
このような状況に対して、一本筋を通した支援を是非ともしてもらいたいものです。

子どもに対する投資。家庭でもよく考えることですが、政府も良く考えないといけない時代になってきたのではないでしょうか。

Happy New Year from Uekis!!

It’s been a long time no post. But, I would like to say to all of you, “A Happy New Year!!” I hope you have wonderful year with our mighty savior this year as well.

As Japanese, we celebrate new year day with several thing, one of our tradition is to send a new year card to friends and relatives. We usually make a card with family picture. This year, we tried to take a picture of us in front of our home as usual. However I noticed how difficult it is to take a picture of family with four kids. No matter how we try to see the camera at the same time,  somebody our kids see other thing!

This picture is one of the “best” picture out of more than 10 pictures. But, you’ll notice that you cannot see baby Joe’s face. Eventually, we gave up to take a photo but decided to use another photo that everyone looks good. (Sorry kids, but I appreciate your contribution!)

Anyway, this is our first story of this year. It is funny story, but indeed it is definitely “Blessing” by God. A family with four kids is rare in Japan now. I and my wife believe that our kids are nothing but God’s mercy and blessing to us. So, we hope God may show His Aroma in the nation of Japan through us; messy, unsophisticated, but loving-each-other-by-His-grace family.

At the foot spa, near our house.