“This worked for the first two services,”
said Pastor Mike Malpass as he adjusted a connection and looked back at the large
screens behind him. As members of the third-service congregation watched, he explained
that we would be hearing a report from Japan via Skype if all went well. Moments
later, the faces of Billy and Motoi Petite, missionaries to Japan, appeared on the
screens. “Good Mornings” were exchanged, and then Pastor Malpass explained
that it was indeed morning in Japan—1:00 A.M. Monday morning! In this age of
technology, skyping missionary reports should not seem unusual—it’s
good to put faces with the names of those for whom we are praying, and to hear how
God is using them in ministry.
Billy Petite, a graduate of Shepherds Theological Seminary, and his wife, Motoi,
currently serve at Akita Bible Baptist Church in Japan. Billy was preparing
for a big day in his ministry, April 4, 2011, when he was scheduled to be ordained
and begin his pastoral work at Akita BBC. Then March 11 happened and changed everything—a
tsunami crashed onto Japan’s shores, killing thousands and destroying everything
in its path. The Petites live about three hours from where the tsunami hit, and
Akita was not damaged very badly so they were able to serve as back-up for local
churches and contacts. Three days after the tsunami hit, Billy and Motoi delivered
supplies to a local contact in an area that was greatly damaged, and safely picked
up Motoi’s sister and niece who were in an evacuation shelter. After that,
they continued to make numerous trips to deliver supplies and to volunteer where
help was needed. They even delivered sixty bicycles to those who had lost their
Although there is still much work to be done, most of the world, including most
of Japan, has moved on. People in the devastated areas say they feel like the world
has moved on while they are stuck in time. In January, Billy had hoped to take a
volunteer team to help those still in need, but not one person signed up so the
trip was cancelled. Billy said, “Please pray that the local Christians who
are continuing to labor would be able to show those who have lost so much that true
hope can only be found in Christ. May they come to know that, even though the world
may forget about them, Christ desires to be with them always.”
Here’s how you can pray for the Petites:
- Pray for the follow-up that is taking place after the recent "Celbration of Hope"
sponsored by the Billy Graham Evangelical Association that took place in Sendai.
The hearts of the Japanese people are more open than ever before, and this event
could have a large impact on Northern Japan.
- Pray for the local Christians who have been serving others faithfully since the
earthquake and tsunami. Their one desire is to see souls saved, but they are growing
tired after such a long and demanding time of recovery.
- Pray for Akita Bible Baptist Church. God has been working among college students
over the last year. They are looking forward to baptizing a new believer on March
25—their first baptism in more than two years.
- Please pray that God will glorify His name in Akita.