Pastors throughout Japan are experiencing a new level of intimacy with their spouses. As The Marriage Course DVDs from Alpha International have recently been produced in Japanese, courses have been launched specifically for pastors with the hope that these leaders will then run the course at their own churches.
One pastors' course was held at Kobe Union Church. Over 100 local pastors were invited, but just four couples signed up—and just two of the four were pastors. But both had great need. One shared with me that he and his wife were looking for help and found just what they needed in The Marriage Course. They'll start running the course at their church in September and already have eight couples signed up; they're beginning to plan their second course as well.
The other pastor told me he and his wife want to have the kind of marriage that glorifies God. Through The Marriage Course, they have gotten onto a much better path—and will start running the course at their church August 2.
The DVDs make it easy for any church to begin running The Marriage Course right away. I'm grateful Asian Access and others chose to give generously to make this costly, but greatly-needed ministry tool possible.
I was able to work with German missionaries in Nagoya to introduce the course to 25 pastors and lay leaders on July 13. Many pastors responded enthusiastically saying, "Not just our church members and their friends but my wife and I—we need this course." This event will probably lead to our largest Vision 100 course starting soon. Pray marriages throughout the region will be deeply impacted by God through His Church in years ahead.
A solid foundation for far-reaching growth is being laid.
One pastor who just completed the course told me:
"Every year several couples marry at our church. We've looked and looked for a program to support them after their weddings. At last, we have found The Marriage Course to meet this need. We expect to see much more of Lord's redeeming work among our church's families through it—and know this will become a great testimony throughout our community."
At our small church plant here in Sagamihara City we completed the course July 18. I asked a friend how the course was for him and his wife—non-Christians who had no regular involvement with any church before The Marriage Course. "We're in our sixth year of marriage," he said, "and have never had conversation like that. It was really helpful. I think it might be good if many in Japan, especially young couples, could join."
We agree—and pray that many will join! Please join us in praying this ministry will rapidly grow to where the Church is equipped in a new way to deeply impact society.
Tim with Nicky and Sila Lee, creators of The Marriage Course
Tim and Wakako Clark
Tim and Wakako Clark have been with Asian Access since 1990. They live in Tokyo with their two sons. To join them in equipping Japanese churches for ministry to families, go to http://www.sim.org/giveusa and click on “Support a missionary.” Their staff number is 39491.
- Read Tim and Wakako Clark's staff profile here...