Dear partners in the Gospel,


Osaka Life

Osaka was hit by a big typhoon in September forcing our airport, KIX, to be closed. It was expected to be reopened within months. Nathan, who extended his stay in Australia for two more weeks, could not return to Osaka via the airport. His ticket was rearranged to fly to Narita (near Tokyo) and he stayed at my youngest sister’s home for the night.


One of our relatives has chestnut trees in her back yard. By the middle of September, chestnuts were in season. Almost all Japanese children experience collecting chestnuts on their Autumn excursions from their kindy or primary schools. My family had never collected them so I took the offer of my relative to help her collect them. My aunt told me that the chestnuts were affected by the unusually hot summer and the typhoon this year so they did not grow as well as usual. We still harvested a lot and took them home with us. I divided them into some bags to share them in my neighbourhood and our neighbours were very happy to receive them. (Although this practice is common among neighbours who live in houses, many families living in units tend not to participate.)

A couple from St Columba Presbyterian Church visited Osaka Presbyterian on Sunday in early October during their trip to Japan. Unfortunately I was sick so I missed them. (Sorry, Herman and Jenny.) I hope they enjoyed the fellowship.


Why, ‘Go Osaka’?

This newsletter has been named ‘Go Osaka!’ Why is that?

In Japanese, the short-form word for Australia sounds like our English word ‘go’. Japanese are as fond of a good pun as many Aussies so we decided to create a bilingual pun!

There is, however, a deeper meaning. Our ministry in Japan depends on building partnership between our Aussie supporters and the Osaka Christian Church. It is, therefore, an ‘Australia–Osaka’ partnership (which is the meaning of the Japanese writing in our masthead.)


School Life

Before the arrival of Autumn, the second term had begun for Natan’el and Setsuli. It is the longest term from the end of August until Christmas. There were excursions and sports day. Setsuli experienced her first overnight school trip in October and enjoyed it. 

When Nathan was in his college, he was using bible verses in his homework. He was sowing seeds to his teachers who mark his homework. 

Natan’el was missing Australia even more than before he visited Australia in August. After I spoke to his teacher, Natan’el joined the soccer club within his school. His teacher understands that Natan’el has commitments on Sundays and summer holidays in July and August. Natan'el has been much happier and made more friends through the club. He also began learning how to play the guitar. He enjoys learning things outside his classroom. 


Natan’el has been struggling to read sentences in Japanese, therefore, he cannot answer many questions in exams before the time runs out. Many people find it difficult to teach their own family members — I am one of those so I struggle to teach Natan’el. I was looking for a third person to help him with his study. I found a volunteer group in October and the representative lady, Mrs S, is very experienced with teaching foreigners. Natan’el learned well from her on his first day and I was very impressed with how much he could focus on Japanese! The power of the third person! Mrs S told us that Natan’el has the ability of devising strategies to learn after he makes mistakes. I wish I had found this helpful group two years ago when we arrived in Japan, however, we know about the group now. It is available on Saturdays  during school terms. It takes about forty minutes by bicycle one way but it is worth going to receive the help. Since I cannot teach my own son (because of lack of patience with him) and he cannot receive my teaching (because of impatience towards me), I decided to teach someone else while Natan’el is taught by Mrs S.


Church Life

Our Crayon lesson in September, attended by three children, was  “Jesus is the light of the world.” They wrote, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life,” on wall decorations. October’s lesson, “Jesus heals the Blind”, from Luke 18:35 was heard by two children.

In October, Teen’s Time’s Theme was “What is Christian-Repentance”. Teenagers learned about putting Jesus first before our will and ambitions. 

Osaka Presbyterian organised a barbecue event held in  the last week of September. My mother, her two sisters, my uncle, my nephew, my friend and four more people joined us. In total eighteen people had fun together. Please pray that those nine non believers will be connected to our church.

The church also organised an outreach Sunday service and my mother and her two sisters attended. Nathan was given an offering prayer duty on the day. They heard his Japanese prayer as the fruit of his study. Some years ago the church sent an invitation to my mother for an outreach Sunday service, when we were still in Australia. She never came. Now she knows not only us but also some of the church people. It is much more effective when the invitation is personal.

Our fellow church, Kashiba Grace Presbyterian Church, where Mr Park and his wife with two children serve, organised a cafe for lunch to invite non-Christians in their neighbourhood. In June, I invited one of my friends who lives only fifteen minutes away (by car) from the church. She is very interested in the Korean culture, food and language so it is perfect to lead her to that church. The food was delicious! I met a non-Christian mother, Mrs Y, who lives very close to the church. In September, my friend could not come but I saw Mrs Y at the cafe again and became her friend. Mr Park and his wife were busy serving food so I was glad to be there to talk to the non-Christians. Building friendships with non-Christinas is the key but we do not have enough workers to do it. 

Yours in Christ Jesus,

Tomoko Stewart,



  • Nine non-Christians joined us for the barbecue event and three relatives for the outreach Sunday service.

  • Many non-Christians attended Kashiba Megumi Pressie Cafe.

  • Natan’el has been much happier since joining the soccer club and taking guitar lessons.

  • Tomoko found a very helpful volunteer group for Natan’el to help him with study.



  • that Nathan’s neck will continue to improve. 

  • that the Australian Dollar exchange rate that has fallen recently will rise against the Japanese Yen

  • that Natan’el’s Japanese reading skills will improve


PDF available for printing

Go Osaka! is available for download in printer-friendly portable document format from our website. If you would like to print copies for distribution please download and print the PDF.


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