Joel Lovestrand from the U.S.A. came to Japan on a short-term program with OMF back in 1992. Two years later in 1994, joined OMF as a full time missionary to Japan. His wife, Seiko, was born in Japan, and became a part of OMF in 2007. With their two children, Akari and Leo, they are currently located in Sendai, Miyagi prefecture.
Some blessings and thanks over the past year… This is a little over a year now, but three ladies were baptized last year. One couple that was separated for years is taking steps toward reconciliation. Participation in our midweek prayer meeting has increased. They have a positive response to English classes and one class was taken over by another volunteer teacher when thier short-term worker left. Seiko’s involvement in a puppet club at Leo’s former kindergarten has opened up opportunities to invite children and their parents to outreach activities.
Three main things to pray for in the coming year…Please pray that God would deepen their love for the church members and give them wisdom to know how to meet their needs. Pray that church members would grow in their love for the Lord and for each other and would find joy in using their gifts to serve God and his church. And Pray that God would raise up leaders and build strong Christian families in their church.
Here is a run down of what ministry work Joel’s been up to in Japan…
1992 English teacher at Airin Chapel in Sapporo.
1992-1993 English teacher at Urawa Evangelical Church, assistant leader of short-term program in Sapporo.
1994-1995 English Sunday school teacher and university student outreach in Sapporo.
1996 English teacher at Shuto Evangelical Church in Yokohama.
1996-1998 Church planting at Hiraoka Evangelical Church in Sapporo.
2007-2011 Church planting at Sendai Evangelical Church in Sendai.
2014 to the present Church planting at Izumi Park Town Church in Sendai.
What do they like about Japan? “I like sushi, mochi, onsens, and karaoke, but what I like most about Japan is the Japanese people.”