Sandra Bishop with the Lord

Clint Morgan

Sandra Bishop with the Lord

 

Sandra Ogletree Bishop, 70, went to her eternal reward on Saturday, July 18, 2020, after a brief battle with cancer. Sandra was born August 27, 1949, in Tift County, Georgia, to Mrs. Julia Faye Franks Ogletree and the late Leonard Ogletree.

Sandra received her bachelor’s degree from Welch College in 1971. The following year she served on a short-term mission team to Sapporo (Hokkaido), Japan, to minister during the 1972 Winter Olympics.

Sandra and her husband Dale followed the Lord’s call into career missions and were appointed by IM, Inc. (formerly Free Will Baptist International Missions) to Japan in 1973. Their service on the field was exemplary. They were loved, admired, and appreciated by their missionary colleagues and the Japanese people. Sandra is remembered by her associates as humble, fun loving, kind, hardworking, determined, committed, and hospitable, among many other admirable qualities.

At the time of her passing, Sandra was residing in Tifton, Georgia, following the couple’s retirement December 31, 2017, after 44 years of faithful service in Japan.

Her son Doug and his family presently serve as missionaries in Japan. They arrived in the States only a few days before her passing but were able to spend some precious moments with Sandra and the family. Sandra was surrounded by her loving family as she slipped from this life.

In addition to her father, Sandra was preceded in death by one brother, Derrick Ogletree. She is survived by her mother; husband, Larry Dale Bishop; her sons Jeffery Bishop of Atlanta; Kevin Bishop of Denver, Colorado; and Douglas (Miriam) Bishop of Japan; her daughter, Jennifer (James) Cornelius of Nashville, Tennessee; seven grandchildren, Alex, Oliver, Abby, Scarlet, Hazel, Felix, and Arthur; along with one brother, Gregory P. Ogletree of Tifton, Georgia.

A private memorial service was held Tuesday, July 21, at Corinth Freewill Baptist Church, Sandra’s home church in Tifton.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to IM, Inc.: PO Box 5002, Antioch, TN  37011-5002 or online at https://iminc.org/give.

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Curry Rice Evangelism?

Nathan and Linda Snow

Curry Rice Evangelism?

Curry Rice Evangelism Update

Previously, we asked you to pray for a good startup for the monthly “Curry Club.” Mrs. Ouga (center in the photo) invites her neighbors for a monthly Bible Study. Thank you for Praying – In October, Mrs. M., a 93 year old woman who has attended all three Bible Studies, has also come to church the last three Sundays.

This past Curry Club we talked about Genesis 1 & 2, that God was the Creator of all, and how he created each of us special. It was all I could do to keep up with everyone’s questions. Afterwards, I asked Mrs. M. if she had ever heard the story of Creation before. Her answer … “no … never.” Then we rejoiced together how wonderful it was to be able to hear it while she is still a healthy 93. It seems she is very interested in learning more.

Click here (Nov 2019 newsletter) for more photos,

and to view Newsletter in it’s entirety.

This past week, Linda’s English classes combined for a Fall Potluck Party at our house. We had a house full of kids from preschool to elementary to our kids’ Junior High friends, and parents. Besides enjoying the fall feast and playing games, they heard how David faced Goliath fearlessly, and how they too can depend on God to help overcome whatever might challenge them as well. Pray that these tenets of faith ring true in their young hearts.

We will attend a national church planting conference in Southern (to us) Japan this month. It’s been 10 years since we’ve been able to attend, so we are really looking forward to it. It’s quite a trip. It will involve about 12 hours in the car, and 20 hours on an ocean ferry each way. Please pray for traveling mercies and for a good conference.

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Gospel Choir begins again in Iruma!

Daniel and Kate Speer

Gospel Choir begins again in Iruma!

Praise the Lord that we had 24 people total at our first Gospel Choir practice at Good News Chapel in Iruma! The next session after that, many couldn’t make it because of commitments, but we had three new people show up! Thank you for praying for our family as we enter into this season of ministry. I am SO proud of Kate, boldly sharing scripture and the gospel each week in Japanese. The Lord prepared her for this time, this moment. 

Good things are already happening and God is already moving in many ways in this new outreach. We give all the glory to God! After our second meeting, Kate’s mom Ruth McDonald posted about one of these ways in her group on Facebook:

“What a great day! Most of the 27 people who have attended Gospel Choir are not yet believers. One lady, Yoko, came at the invitation of Kako, a Christian lady in our church. After practice, they went to dinner and had a long conversation. Yoko asked questions like: “what does ‘gospel’ mean?”; “what does your church teach?”; and “what led you to become a Christian?”

Kako had tears in her eyes as she said that this is the first time she’s been able to share her faith. She asked me, “Did I do okay?” Umm… yes!!!

Friends, this is what fills our cups to overflowing. The gospel is being presented, people are asking questions, and believers are learning how to reach their friends.

God is good! Please take time to watch the video…and pray for God to continue to work.”

You can read the rest of our Fall newsletter here!

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Final Hokkaido Update

Stacie Compton

Final Hokkaido Update

From Chris Truett:

Wow! What an incredible three weeks. E-team 2019 was a life-changing experience. I as sit back at home and look at all the posts on social media and see how God changed the lives of young people and adults, I am thankful to the Father for the opportunity he gave Kim and I to serve Him, the people of Japan, our team, and our denomination. What a privilege!

As I sit back now and evaluate from home, I can see clearly how God moved and how God’s hand was on our team the entire time. God provided safety, opened opportunities to serve, provide relationships with people who did not know Christ, and matched us up with other believers who need the encouragement of the Holy Spirit and He just allowed us to be part of where He was at work. The students that served with us were a blessing to us and over half of our team feels called to the area of missions. We will be forever impacted by the laughs, tears, and conversations with these 9 students as they shared their lives with us. Their love for the Father and passion to serve the Savior challenged me and will forever impact my ministry. Sometimes you don’t realize what you have until it’s gone and that’s the way I feel today as I reflect on each of the 9 students that God gave us for the last 3 ½ weeks.

As I reflect, God allowed Kim and I to be a part of His incredible plan. I quickly realized the spiritual darkness of the country of Japan. This country, for the most part, does not live in financial poverty, but in DEEP spiritual poverty. This presents our missionaries with an almost impossible challenge. The Japanese people don’t even see their need of a Savior. Yet the suicide rate in Japan is the highest of any country in the world. They desperately need the Savior yet most have never even heard the name of Jesus. As we drove over 1500 miles in the northern area of Japan, we saw only 6 evangelical churches. All of those churches have few than 60 people and 3 of them less that 30 people. It takes years of relationship building to see people converted. Every person Nathan and Linda Snow came in contact with, they saw as a potential convert. I need that type of mentality and pray that I will bring that mindset home with me!

Final word: See where God is at work and ask Him to allow you to join his plan! E-Teamers, don’t wait for next June to be salt and light. Be salt and light every day where God has you. “To whom much is given, much is required.” You have been given much! Make a difference for the Kingdom where you are. People will expect a different you, as they should! Sayōnara E-team 2019. We will never forget.

So Will I!

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Work and Rest

Chris Truett

Work and Rest

Friday started off by going to meet the mayor of Bihoro. We were able to hear a lot about the city and the mayor himself. We were also able to sing our English song to him, a ministry in disguise. From there, we traveled back to the Bihoro church. There, we painted the exterior of the church. We ate lunch with Pastor Ishii and his family, and they seemed really appreciative and showed their thanks by giving us Japanese ice-cream (YUM). On Sunday, we will be able to see the members and their reactions to the renovations we did to the church. We are excited to see how we encouraged them in the curb appeal of their church. During dinner, the team was split up into 3 groups for home stays. Unfortunately, only one group was able to spend the night at the home stay. Nevertheless, we were able to eat dinner with the families.

On Saturday, we were able to have more of a relaxing day. We went to see the ice museum and out to eat. At the ice museum, we were able to experience the extreme cold of the winter here in Abashiri. After that, we met the group that was at the home stay at park golf. Park golf is a Japanese version of putt-putt that incorporates elements of croquet and regular golf. After our games, we headed to the Snows’ house to eat dinner. On the way we were able to dip our feet into the Sea of Okhotsk!

Please pray for us as we finish our time here in Hokkaido; it will be a very difficult goodbye. It has been an amazing opportunity to come and minister here in this culture. Pray also that the ministering that we did here will take root in the hearts of the people of the community. We hope to see you guys soon!

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A Day of Ministry in Bihoro

Chris Truett

A Day of Ministry in Bihoro

Today we visited an elementary school in Bihoro. We got to see the principal and the vice principal of the school, but our main focus was on the second grade class. There were about 60 children in the second grade class, and we got to sit in on one period and their lunch. During the class period, we were able to give a presentation about American school and we were able to sing our English song. Afterwards, we played two games with the kids. We then ate lunch and got to build relationships with the kids. It was a joy to be a part of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

From the school we went to Bihoro church. There, Pastor Ishi and Mr. Nathan gave us lessons on the religious beliefs found here in Japan and the history behind them. We were able to see religion from the opposite side of the fence. After our lesson, we were able to actually see the temples and shrines up close. It was a sad sight to see how blindly they follow these false teachings. The Japanese people have to do so much in order to practice their religion. It’s hard work to please the gods of the temples and shrines. What is even more sad is the fact that they do not know the God they need to please.

After our tour of the temples and shrines, we went back to Bihoro church, where we were a part of the event that Pastor Ishi planned. People from the Bihoro church, Pastor Ishi’s English class, and even people from the elementary school we went to earlier all came to the event. We had food, Mr. Chris played the trumpet, we sang our English and our Japanese songs, and we were able to fellowship with many who did not know Christ. It was a great time and a great opportunity.

Even though this day seemed very good (and it truly was a good day), it was very emotionally, physically, and spiritually draining as we experienced the spiritual darkness of this country. Please pray for us and our future plans. We plan to visit a high school today (Thursday the 20th) and much more to come within the week. Please also continue to pray for the hearts of the people in Japan. Pray that our ministry will take root in their minds and hearts.

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Sightseeing in Hokkaido

Chris Truett

Sightseeing in Hokkaido

Today was a fun day here in Hokkaido. We were able to see the beautiful sights here on the island. From mountains that spewed sulfur to lakes that overlooked mountains, the hand of God was seen through His creations here in Hokkaido. It was a blessing to see the creativeness of God in His creations. Please pray for the team as we minister in the school and church in Bihoro tomorrow.

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Blessed to Be a Blessing

Chris Truett

Blessed to Be a Blessing

Throughout the second day in Hokkaido, we were apart of something amazing. The weather made our plans change, but nonetheless we had an amazing day. We went to the city of Kitami to visit a man that has had ALS for 5 years. The church in that area partners with Mr. Snow’s, so they wanted us to go sing to the man to encourage him. Little did they know he was one of the biggest encouragements to the team that day. When we arrived at the house, we were told that the man has been saved for about a year. His ALS has gotten to the point that he is only able to move his eyes. He has a machine that allows him to talk to us by sensors of his eye movements on the Japanese characters. He kept telling us thank you over and over again. He was so grateful that this little group from America came and sang to him. He shared with us his testimony, and that really spoke to us. Even though he has this debilitating disease, he praised God for his salvation and God’s work in his life. On the way out we learned that he had a lift to his house. We were all wondering as to what it was for. We were told that this man went to church every Sunday, and that this lift was what got him to be transported out of the house. If American Christians had half of the faith that this man exhibits on a daily basis, it would be a whole new ballgame. We stay at home from church if we have a sniffle, if it rains, or if we feel tired from the day before. This man is so determined to attend his church, to see other believers, to worship God–if American Christianity were like this!

Then we went to the church he attends. The church is held in the bottom floor of a house. In the back, there was a bed for the man with ALS so that he could have accessibility to hear the word of God preached. The people there were very hospitable– they had bento-box type meals, a plethora of Japanese snacks, and tea readily available for us. While there, we learned more about the man with ALS and the circumstances surrounding his coming to faith. The pastor’s wife is his daily caregiver and showed the love of Christ through her occupation. We then sang some of our songs and fellowshipped with the believers present. One man there just recently came to faith after begrudgingly coming to church with his Christian wife for nearly 30 years. He will be baptized next month on July 13th. It has been a blessing to see how the Lord is working not only in the hearts of the team but also in the precious people of Japan.

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First Day in Hokkaido

Chris Truett

First Day in Hokkaido

We had a big, big day yesterday! In the morning, we went to the church in Abashiri. It was a small church of about 10 people, and the first evangelical church we have seen thus far. During the service, Korey and Morgan gave their testimonies, the team sang a song in Japanese and a song in English, the team performed their mime, and Mr. Chris Truett gave the message (with a little help from Mr. Nathan in the Japanese department). After the service, we were able to have conversation with the members. It was inspiring to see these members continue to be so faithful with what little they had. They were some of the happiest people we have met. We then traveled home for lunch, and began to get ready for the cookout the Snows hosted that night. The cookout had a turnout of about 20 people who were mainly the Snows’ English students, school friends, and acquaintances. We were able to minister to them through gaining relations and we were able to share the gospel with them through our songs and Hannah’s testimony. Over half of those people were unsaved individuals. Please pray that we are able to minister to the Japanese people in an effective manner, that we can minister to the Snows, and that we can learn and grow through this experience.

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Team Hokkaido Has Arrived!!!

Chris Truett

Team Hokkaido Has Arrived!!!

Thanks so much for your continued prayer for our team! We have arrived at the Snow’s house without any complications. The airport securities and customs gave us no troubles, and our flights were very smooth. Our team stayed in a hotel at the Sapporo airport for the first night, and then proceeded to travel to Abashiri in the morning. Our drive lasted about 7 hours, and we were able to see many of the beautiful sights that are in Hokkaido. From waterfalls to large mountains, the cities in Hokkaido have some of the most beautiful landscapes around them. We were given the challenge by Mr. Nathan to find an evangelical church on our long ride to the Snow’s house. However, we were unable to find even one church in the 220 mile car ride. This is just an encouragement to continue to pray for the spiritual condition in Japan. Continue also to pray for the team and our upcoming events. We will be visiting churches and schools throughout the week while having community events in between. With the busy week ahead, pray for our nerves, our patience, and our effectiveness while we continue our time on the field.

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