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Yokosuka Baptist Church.” The last time I visited him in the States, we knocked on
doors in their neighborhood and led a soul to Christ. One day I received an email
from him that said, “Pastor Navato, I just want you to know that I will preach until
I die!” What a blessing!
Brother Aland and Ms. Berty came to visit Yokosuka Baptist Church on a Sunday.
They walked with their baby from the base to find our church. They did not
find our church right away and came during the altar invitation. The couple was
not saved that Sunday. Aland and Ms. Berty were religious folks from Haiti but
did not know Christ. We visited them in their home, and in their living room
Aland and Berty knelt and prayed to receive Christ as their personal Savior! They
now faithfully attend and serve in Yokosuka Baptist Church. Aland became the
coordinator of the shuttle van ministry. He oversees giving people rides from the
base to our church. Many visitors were saved because of Brother Aland and Ms.
Berty. Ms. Berty serves faithfully in the nursery.
Brother Rafael and Ms. Yolanda are from the Dominican Republic and joined by baptism. Yolanda is a beautician and brought many of
her clients to church. She faithfully attends the church soul winning ministries. Many souls trusted Christ because of them.
I had the privilege of ordaining Brother Kaz to the Deacon Ministry. Brother Kaz and Ms. Ruby have been members of Yokosuka
Baptist Church for many years now. Brother Kaz was saved in Yokosuka Baptist Church. He is a blessing because he is also bilingual.
He interpreted my English-preaching messages to the Japanese, and he leads many Japanese souls to Christ. Ms. Ruby, his wife, was
our church clerk, treasurer, Sunday school teacher, nursery worker, etc. She was a tremendous deacon’s wife and soul winner. She leads
souls to Christ in Japan, in the Philippines, and in the airports, and she has led many souls to Christ at church. She also serves well in
the church administration and treasury offices.
The Lord called me to Maranatha Baptist Church Okinawa in August 2017. My wife and I arrived in Okinawa on 30 September 2017.
We were former members of Maranatha Baptist Church from 1999 through 2002, shortly before I retired from active duty in the
Marines. Brother Steve Nutt was our pastor. Through his mentoring and discipleship, he licensed me to preach and then ordained me
to the Gospel Ministry. I surrendered to US Military Missions in 2001 and became a missionary under BIMI.
While we were on deputation in the States for two and a half years raising our financial support, the Lord led us back to Maranatha
Baptist Church as missionary interns with Brother Nutt in 2005. I was one of the assistant pastors, serving with Brother Al Allshouse,
Ministries Director and in charge of the treasury, and Brother Paul Fischer in charge of the Japanese and bus ministries. I had the
privilege of serving in different ministries, such as Director of Soul Winning and Visitation. We saw God provide over 100 members
participating in Thursday evening soul winning and visitation. Due to the distance, it was challenging for our Sailors and Marines
in Camp Hansen and Camp Schwab to drive to Maranatha Baptist Church on Wednesdays. Brother Nutt asked me to preach a
Wednesday night service at Camp Hansen and Camp Schwab. The Lord used a born again chaplain there to allow us to use one of the
base chapels for the Wednesday services. Two families, the Antonios and the Reyes, came to help us pick up the Sailors and Marines,
set up the chapel, and feed our military after the services.
Maranatha Baptist Church is home to Maranatha Baptist Academy (MBA) with 55 students in grades K-4 through 12th grade. Brother
Warren Allshouse is a BIMI missionary who is currently the assistant pastor, treasurer, and ministries director of Maranatha Baptist
Church, and he serves as the principal of MBA. God has called over 400 members of Maranatha Baptist Church into full-time Christian
service. Many are currently serving as missionaries. My daughter Lynne Pilalas and Jeremy Benbrooks, along with other MBA graduates,
were called to serve in missions. Lynne is serving alongside her husband, Jesse, as BIMI missionaries to the US Military at Faith
Baptist Church Misawa. Brother Benbrooks and
his wife, Mattie, are BIMI missionaries to the
Caribbean island of Martinique.
Another ministry is Faith Bible Institute, which
offers Bible college degrees. We have Sunday
school classes for all ages. We have many
different ministries, including the GI ministry
that reaches out to all single service members
and those who are unaccompanied. The Lord
has truly blessed Maranatha Baptist Church and
the other BIMI military churches in Japan.
Praise the Lord for the thousands of US military
personnel who have been influenced by these
local New Testament churches in Japan! Please
keep in your prayers these military churches in
Japan that are the “oasis in the desert of life” for