By Carson Foushee, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship field personnel
Our family took an exciting step this month in renewing our partnership with Kanazawa Baptist Church when we joined the church as members. During worship on September 25th, we looked out upon the faces of brothers and sisters who have welcomed us back to continue our missional journey together.
An aspect that we most appreciate about new membership in Japan Baptist Convention churches is that each person stands before the congregation to offer his or her testimony. In our time in Japan, we have been witnesses to these holy moments in several churches, yet continue to be amazed at the ways that the Spirit moves in the world.
In just the last several years at Tokiwadai Baptist in Tokyo, several testimonies left us in awe. There was the man who was working for a Japanese company in Myanmar amidst the unrest of the coup d’etat and COVID-related supply issues who felt a desire to attend church for the very first time. He decided to look for a church in his neighborhood in Japan to attend online and happened upon Tokiwadai Baptist, which he proceeded to attend virtually each week. When his company moved him back to Japan, he made a profession of faith and joined the church in-person on Easter Sunday before being transferred to work in Europe with full intention of continuing his virtual attendance.
There was the man in his nineties who began regularly attending church with his wife. Though she had been a Christian for decades, he finally made a decision to become a Christian himself and joined the church. And there was the first-grader who, along with her mother, became a follower of Christ through the ministry of the church’s preschool. She stood before everyone to speak, but became nervous in front of such a big group. Our pastor, and her former preschool principal, stepped forward to help ease her tension and lead the congregation in singing “Jesus Loves Me” as she gathered herself to finish. Holy moments.
This month, it was our chance to offer testimonies of how we have been shaped and formed by God and God’s people in communities across the globe over the years. We shared about our parents who created loving homes and modeled the way of the faith for us. We spoke of our home churches in North Carolina, FBC Statesville and Ridge Road Baptist, as well as FBC Elon, where Carson attended while in college. It was under the guidance of these brothers and sisters that we were raised in the faith and challenged to dig deeper. We shared about formative internship experiences with Passport Camps and CBF’s Student.Go mission program which opened our eyes to a wider world and helped to confirm our calls to ministry. And we shared about how our previous work with Kanazawa Baptist helped to confirm a long-term calling to serve in Japan alongside the Japan Baptist Convention. Holy moments.
We are grateful for the warm reception by Kanazawa Baptist and are hopeful for the ways that, in partnership, we may be Christ’s hands and feet to others, so that they too may be able to stand before ours or another congregation somewhere in the world to offer a testimony of how the Spirit has moved in their lives and led them to follow Jesus.
Carson and his wife, Laura, Foushee serve as Cooperative Baptist Fellowship field personnel in Kanazawa, Japan. Learn more about their ministry at cbf.net/foushee.
The Offering for Global Missions provides for the long-term presence of field personnel like Brooke and Mike. The theme for this year’s Offering is “A Place at the Table for Everyone.” In Luke 14, Jesus teaches us to invite those least expecting and, in society’s view, perhaps least deserving of invitation. CBF field personnel serving in countries around the world invite and are invited to the table as they cultivate beloved community, bear witness to Jesus Christ, and seek transformational development.
Learn more about the Offering for Global Missions and access free digital and print resources at www.cbf.net/ogm.