2020 Fall Update

2020 Fall Update 964 723 Joe Pliska

A Faithful God in a Strange Year

Beloved, don’t be surprised by the trials you face, as if something strange is happening to you. Rejoice.
(See 1 Peter 4:12-13)

Question: How have we been? What have we been up to since getting back from Japan?

The past several months has been a season of preparation and ministry for us in many ways. As we’ve been transitioning into our new (temporary!) life of support raising and travelling, we’ve been graced to meet a few people along the way who have kindly answered questions and offered wisdom on how to navigate the next couple of years ahead. We’ve also had a handful of meetings already, though this hasn’t been the easiest time for many churches out here in the Midwest. God has been faithful. The church here is strong as she is sustained by her King.

Right now, Sierah is working on a couple of certifications, one for TESOL and another for biblical counselling. If you have questions for her about that, please reach out! My focus of late has been on my masters degree as well as booking meetings with churches and pastors to discuss our ministry plans for Japan.

Question: What are our next steps?

Our primary goal right now is filling up our calendar for 2021. A daunting task! But many have done it before and many will do it after us. Second, we also are trying to establish ministry connections with those already in Japan. The more like-minded Christians we can partner with for Kingdom work in Japan, the better! If you know of any believers in Japan that we should meet, let us know! Third, we have a lot of Japanese language basics to get down before we move over there. Though we will be enrolled in language school when we arrive, the more we learn now, the better.

Question: How can you pray for us?

Pray that God would connect us with the right local churches in His providential timing as we seek to schedule out this next year. Pray that we would be faithful to the work we’ve been called to in this season. Wisdom is needed. Pray for Japan. As hard as it has been for local assemblies over here, it has been just as hard, or even harder, for many churches in Japan.

While this year has not gone exactly “according to plan,” we can rejoice on two accounts. First our faithful God has allowed us to already connect with so many wonderful brothers and sisters both stateside and in Japan! Second, as Peter goes on to remind us, we rejoice with all the members of the family of God this year because we know that we endure hardship for Christ now, we are partaking in his sufferings. And someday soon, we will see his glory revealed. This is our prayer and our hope for Tokyo.

Joe and Sierah Pliska

2020 Summer Update

2020 Summer Update 1980 1320 Joe Pliska

By God’s grace, this spring, we were able to spend about four weeks in Japan before having to come home early, due to the Covid-19 situation. While we were there much of Tokyo was in lockdown; but we were able to spend a tremendous amount of time with Steve and Bethany Carter, the missionaries we will be training under during our first term. They are a sweet and Godly couple, with much to offer the Japanese people in their church and community. And the way they have sought to build gospel relationships with the unsaved people around them is an excellent modeled for Christians both in a foreign context and here in the Sates. So needless to say, we are thrilled at the prospect of working with them when we arrive in Japan in the near future!

We also had brief opportunities to speak with some of the members at Akigawa Baptist Church, but because of the lockdowns in place in Japan at the time we could not meet with them, and no church outreach opportunities were possible. 

In other news, now that many churches have started opening back up here in the states, Sierah and I have officially begun deputation! For the next two years, we plan on traveling from church to church to raise the support we need to move over to Japan as full-time missionaries. 

Please pray for us for these next couple of years that we will raise all the support we need, not just to live on but to establish our own Japanese ministry when we get there. 

Japan Survey Trip

Japan Survey Trip 2560 2169 Joe Pliska

Dear Family and Friends, 

We trust that all is going well! We are writing this to share our big announcement with you! From the start of our relationship, we have discussed the possibility of full-time ministry, specifically in cross-cultural missions work. We both love the Lord and desire to see His name be made known among every people in every country! We’ve both taken several missions trips individually which have encouraged us in this direction. Now, as a married couple, we have prayed a lot about whether God would see fit to put us into the ministry together. Last October, we had the opportunity to go on a short trip to visit Steve and Bethany Carter, a missionary family from our church. They have been serving in Japan for over twenty years. While we were there, we got to know the missionaries better and quickly fell in love with both Japan and the people there. 

  We now have an exciting opportunity to go back to Japan for two months this upcoming spring, and our plan is to serve alongside Steve and Bethany in whatever way we can. While we are there we will be attending camp with the youth which will allow us to learn and understand more of what Christianity looks like for Japanese youth, as well as give us the opportunity to get to know other missionaries and teens. We will also be helping with church services, including Easter Sunday. This will teach us more about what conducting a church service in Japan looks like and will give us the privilege of helping in the areas of music, teaching English, working with youth, and more. Another area that we will have a part in is the annual church cookout. This is a huge outreach opportunity where we will be able to fellowship with the Japanese people for the purpose of presenting the Gospel!

Our goal is to serve the missionaries in order to gain a better understanding of what life on the mission field of Japan looks like, as well as what it would cost to live there.

As we make preparations for March, we are asking that you would partner with us in prayer. We are confident that the Lord hears and answers our prayers and we would count it a joy and help to know that you are praying for us.

We would also like to ask you to consider supporting us financially on this trip. We are aware that some of you receiving this letter have already graciously given us financial support. For that, we thank you greatly and simply want to send this letter so that you are more aware of how your gift will be used and so you can be better informed how to pray for us as we embark on this great adventure. We are seeking to raise $6,000 and have $2,000 raised so far! Whether it’s by prayer and/or financial support, we thank you for your investment!

Once we are back in the States, we will send another letter letting you know how the trip went and more about our future plans. In the meantime, if you would like regular updates on the progress of our trip and financial support, or would prefer contact by email instead of a letter, please email us (contact info provided below). Also, please feel free to reach out to us at any time with questions or encouragement. We would look forward to hearing from you while we are in Japan.