Hello from Kanazawa, Japan!

Carson_Laura_Foushee_c_sm_for webWe are Carson and Laura Foushee, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Field Personnel. Just as the NextSunday Resources blog is a new location for Christian education in your congregation in this New Year, we too are experiencing great newness in our missional journeys.

In June of 2013, we were officially appointed at the CBF General Assembly to Kanazawa and made the big move in September. It has been a quick four months here in a place we will call home for at least three years, but we have tried to soak things in as we have gone along.

Kanazawa is a city of nearly half a million people on the Sea of Japan on the island of Honshu. It is a very traditional city that has a strong Buddhist foundation. Japan, too, is a new frontier for CBF Global Missions. The first Christian missionaries came in the 1500s. Baptist missions have been active here since the late 1800s. From our reading about the country, it is estimated that somewhere between less than one percent to three percent of the 127 million Japanese are Christian. The goal of CBF in partnership with the Japan Baptist Convention is to create new opportunities for Field Personnel across the country to share the Gospel and love of Jesus.

To share with you a bit about ourselves, each of us grew up in CBF supporting congregations in North Carolina, Laura at Ridge Road Baptist Church in Raleigh and Carson at First Baptist Church, Statesville. Laura attended North Carolina State University and Carson attended Elon University. Each of us took a year away from school, Laura working at Passport, Inc. and Carson experiencing CBF Global Missions as a Student.Go student in China followed by a team trip focusing on the Millennium Development Goals in five countries over seven weeks. We met at McAfee School of Theology and eventually struck up a friendship that became a marriage.

Following our McAfee studies, Laura worked as the Associate Coordinator at CBF/GA and Carson worked as both an Admissions Counselor at Mercer University in Macon as well as the Campus Minister of Cooperative Student Fellowship at Mercer.

In Japan, our ministry focuses most in the areas of faith sharing and education. Our work is based out of Kanazawa Baptist Church, a congregation of around 40 weekly worshipers, which is actually quite large in Japan. We preach regularly in the Japanese service as well as lead a weekly English Bible study. We are also the co-pastors of an English-speaking worship service, Kanazawa International Baptist Church, which seeks to connect with Japanese and internationals interested in English as well as in learning more about Christ. We also preach regularly at Toyama Koizumi-cho Church, a sister congregation an hour’s drive from Kanazawa.

Our teaching responsibilities lie in our work as English teachers at both the church’s Megumi (which means grace) Kindergarten and Hokuriku Gakuin University, a local Christian university. The kindergarten is a group of students aged two to six whom we help to teach basic English vocabulary. A major emphasis of the work at the kindergarten is in building relationships with the families that bring their children to the school, primarily the mothers. We will teach two classes per week to these mothers at the Friendship House, a place of ministry and also our home. We also teach a group of first year collegiate women at Hokuriku Gakuin University’s English Village Club, helping to increase their conversational English skills.

Among our weekly church and teaching duties, we’ve been attending Japanese courses twice a week as well as doing our best to soak up culture through conversations and simply walking around.

Being non-native to Kanazawa and Japan as a whole, we have a limited understanding of the place we live and the thousands of years of culture and religion that exist around us. In future blogs, we hope to provide some broad strokes of life through our eyes and hearts as we seek to be the presence of Christ in our city and beyond.

It is a joy to be able to serve God here in Kanazawa and we look forward to sharing more observations and thoughts going forward. Blessings to you in 2014 and we look forward to having you alongside as we walk this journey together!

Carson and Laura Foushee can be reached by email at clfoushee@thefellowship.info. Feel free to also to check out their website and the KIBC website.

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