Arrivals

John & Emily Orme with Anna and Noah

 

What is your current ministry?

We have been working in a long-term church plant in rural Tohoku, north-east Japan, for the past four years. It is a congregation with just 3 members attached to a very slightly larger congregation of around 20 members in another town around 40 minutes away. We have been working to support the church as a whole, but with a focus on reaching out from the church plant.

What has been the highlight your term?

Summer day camps for kids were a real highlight for us each July. These camps were part of ongoing outreach to local children and families. Gradually getting to know these local families and seeing how they trusted us with their children has helped us outsiders to become part of and serve the local community and opened up opportunities to share the gospel with them.

What’s the most unexpected thing you have seen this term?

How God works in unseen ways! One local man we had never met before turned up at our church ready to accept Jesus and start studying for baptism! He had been learning about Jesus through YouTube videos by a well-known Japanese pastor and had followed his encouragement to find a local church.

What have you learned from East Asians this term?

Sharing gifts and produce with your friends and neighbours is a significant part of Japanese culture. When we moved to a rural area four years ago, we discovered that this continued giving and receiving is a way to connect with people and become part of the local community. Sharing the abundance of leeks that we received from a friend with an older neighbour and receiving some grilled chicken in return opened the door for her to share about her recent illness and the struggle she has been going through.

What have you missed most/most looking forward to about being back in the UK?

We are looking forward to spending time and catching up with family and friends. Whether in Japan or the UK, we always miss those who are
far from us!

What can we pray for your future and OMF Japan?

Please pray for a fruitful home assignment - pray especially for refreshment and encouragement as we reconnect with family, friends and supporters. In the longer-term we plan to return to the same ministry following our home assignment. Work in rural Japan is slow and takes time, please pray for our endurance and for the Holy Spirit to move.

Joelle Kenny

What is your current ministry?

I have been serving in north-east Cambodia among the Krung and the Broa tribal people. I am currently involved in three areas of ministry.

Firstly, I am involved with two weekly youth meetings, in villages called Ochum and Taveng. Secondly, I am involved with two weekly women’s meetings, one in Ochum and another in a village called Krala. Thirdly, I run a dorm project for Krung and Broa teenage girls. This means the girls live with me during the week so that they can get a middle and high school education.

Highlight of your term?

All three ministries involve teaching the Bible, plus training and equipping Christians to be able to teach the Bible also. Teaching God’s word whilst not entirely fluent in the local language has been both a challenge and a blessing. I have learnt to trust God to be at work despite my limitations and the awkwardness of teaching in a different language.

What’s the most unexpected thing you have seen this term?

The newest addition to my workload is the girls’ dorm. Being an introvert, I was reticent to open my home to eight teenage girls, but it is a ministry that has forced me to depend more on God, which is always a good thing. It has been a pleasure to see the girls growing closer to God, as well as each other. I wanted to keep the intake of students small so that we functioned like a family rather than an institution. God has been kind to us, for it truly does feel like family.

What have you learnt from East Asians this term?

Most tribal people farm their own land, which means they are rarely in a hurry or fixated on getting an urgent task done. Like the nature of their work, they do everything at a relaxed pace, are flexible and undemanding. This approach to life has rubbed off on me a little. I used to feel the need to be in control, to jump in and ‘get things done’. Now I am more able to wait and see, or to hold things more lightly.

What can we pray for your future and for where you serve?

Please pray for the dorm and the youth work whilst I am back in the UK. That they will continue to flourish in their relationship with Jesus. Please pray for me as I settle back in the UK; that God is glorified as I speak of his faithfulness to me and his wonderful work among the Krung and
the Broa people.