Catch Up & Changes…Like the Leaves in SLC

A lot has happened since our last update 2 months ago! We hope to fill you in on all that God has done. Instead of boring you with a lot of words, I am throwing in pics to keep your attention and to keep you reading!! On the front end, I am so thankful to the Lord for his continual care and love for us. We have seen and experienced His love in unbelievable ways. I am also thankful for my wife and her willingness to be a pilgrim and to serve our Lord and our family day in and day out. She is a wonderful blessing to me.

Here is a quick CATCH UP with all the changes that have taken place in the last 3 months. On September 19th, we drove to Front Range Baptist Church in Fort Collins, CO. I have been to this church a few times, and it was a privilege to bring my family to their Missions Conference. Pastor Jeff Redlin and his wife are dear friends and I enjoyed having my family with me. Pastor loved on my kiddos and made this first official week of deputation very special for my family.

We want to thank Pastor Redlin and Front Range Baptist Church for their warm hospitality and their support for us as we begin this journey. Since leaving CO, Front Range has voted and are currently supporting us monthly. What a huge answer to prayer and blessing this is to us. We have grown to love this ministry and are so excited to be able to partner together for the Gospel. Thank you for your support of the Inafuku family.

Yes, we experienced a drastic change in weather along with the leaves changing colors and falling to the ground. What fun for the kiddos, but then there’s the raking and picking up of all the leaves as well! After a month up in the Avenues in SLC, we were finally able to rent and settle in to Will and Christy Galkin’s home in Murray, UT. What a huge help this has been to our family. We hit up Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace to find the best deals on furniture so that we could make this our home.

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God has been so good to us in providing all that we need and beyond. We are so thankful to many friends and “new friends” here in the Valley who have helped us and supported us. After settling in to the Galkin’s home, we started synching up with our new Riverton Team.

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God has brought together 2 new families who have joined our Riverton team. Matt and Colleen Parker and Daniel and Kellie Kaminski. We thank the Lord for this team and we are excited to see how God will use us for the Gospel and His glory. We had our first planning meeting and established roles, worked through our Core Values and Documents, and started planning for our Launch Sunday (Palm Sunday of 2018). This was a huge meeting, as now it is starting to feel like we are hitting the ground and doing what God has called us here to do. Praise God for not only providing financially, but also for a team. This isn’t a normal way that teams come together, but we have seen God bring 4 families together each with different gifts and abilities to form a great team. Right now, we are gearing up for our launch Sunday, March 25th. Lots of planning and prep as we are excited about reaching Riverton and the surrounding areas for the Gospel. Please pray with us as the church still needs to vote on January 14th to accept this revitalization and our team. Pray also for the 50,000 plus people in Riverton. This area is 80-90% LDS and are in desperate need of hope and peace!

My family is so thankful for our Harvest family in Guam. We have been encouraged by so many through emails, letters and texts, but what has been really special are the short visits that we have received. Pastor Ken Keith, Cindy Johnson and Jeanne Moeller visited us in September and we loved the short weekend visit. Of course they came bearing gifts for the kiddos.

Shortly after their visit, I had a week of deputation in West Virginia for a Missions Conference at Faith Baptist Church with Pastor Treg Spicer and Lucas Vanderwarker. What a great week with a sweet church and a strategic opportunity to reach thousands of people right there at West Virginia University. Praise the Lord for new friends in the ministry and also able to reconnect with Tim Lovegrove and his wife from California.

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Dr. Dave Doran from Inter-City Baptist Church in Detroit invited me to attend their E3 Conference for Pastors towards the end of that week. What a privilege it was to meet many pastors and share what God is doing out here in SLC. I really appreciate Dr. Doran’s encouragement and support as he shared with the men and his church about what God is doing. Here are a few pics from the conference. It was so good to see Duffee & Susanne Brooks from Guam and to reconnect with my family from college, Dr. and Mrs. Compton.

Leaving Detroit, I flew down to Grace Baptist Church in Wilmington, NC and was able to preach in the morning service and share about what God is doing and how He is teaching us to live by faith. That evening they asked me to do a concert and I had the privilege of leading the church in worship through the Psalms. Many faithful folks there, but was really thankful to meet up with Monty Kauffman and his dear wife who used to babysit Misty years ago! I was really thankful to meet Pastor and Mrs. Jay Knolls. What an opportunity God is providing there to share the Gospel with many folks through their church and academy. I also enjoyed getting together with the Martindales and the Rickards who are faithfully serving there at Grace. I left early the Monday morning and arrived back in SLC to have yet another visitor from Guam! My family was so happy to see Uncle JJ! The kids enjoyed showing him around the valley and their school! Yes, we had to do one late night BBQ for old times!

Later that week, we finished out our volleyball season for Intermountain Christian School at the Utah State Tournament. We praise the Lord for an awesome year and we saw some tremendous improvement and even made a good run in the tourney. I can’t forget our awesome fans: Mylia, Aryia and Misaki were loyal fans throughout this season! I am so thankful for a faithful wife who held down the fort during my trip on deputation and during volleyball season. God allowed the girls to go to school this year through this coaching opportunity. We are so thankful to the Administration and family at ICS.

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I’ll finish up with just a quick catch up on what the Lord has done so far in November. We are praising the Lord for His continual leading in our Riverton team. God is drawing us closer together as well as ordering our steps in this revitalization effort. I am so thankful for the humility of Danny Brooks and Lloyd Larkin. Both of these men are patient and wise and I am thankful for how God is using them together for His kingdom. Lloyd started the church their in Riverton and was the one who approached us about this revitalization. Please pray for the small church there as they pray and vote. We are working together with Plant4thegospel and Gospel Grace Church to be a family of churches here in the valley. Lord willing, we would love to see more churches planted and revitalized for the Gospel. Gospel Grace Church and the pastors have been so open handed in their resources towards us. We are thankful for these men who walk in humility and wisdom. God is doing a work through them here in the city. November 26, our Riverton team has the privilege of casting the vision and burden to the Gospel Grace family. Pastor Lukus Counterman is challenging the whole church to pray about going to be a part of the launch team or core team. What a testimony of their philosophy! They are committed to being a church planting church and I am deeply moved by their desire to see Gospel churches planted in SLC and out west to Hawaii!

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Just a few more pics to wrap this up of Misty’s parents being able to visit for a few days. Of course this was a huge time for us. Having spent the last 15 years together, these holidays ahead will be different and hard, no doubt. We are thankful for the wisdom and prayers of Marty and Tami Herron and the huge support of Harvest Baptist Church. God allowed me to cut my teeth in ministry there at Harvest and it was a privilege and a blessing for me to be a part of such an awesome place. We love you Harvest!

Prayer Requests:

  1. National club volleyball team that I will be coaching starting in January. Pray for opportunities to invest and impact lives and families for the Gospel.
  2. Home to buy in Riverton, UT. Right now, no-one lives in that area. We really believe that if we are to be effective, we need to be right there building relationships and investing in the community.
  3. Finances! We are at 45% and praying that the Lord would continue to provide for our needs.
  4. Riverton Revitalization Team - Pray that God would grow us in His Word and together as a team.
  5. Misty - God is using her in such a great way. I praise the Lord for her heart for Him and others. Pray for her especially during the holidays!
  6. Kiddos - Pray that God would work in their hearts to know their need for Jesus and to be saved.
  7. We have been praying about the possibility of going to Hawaii for Christmas to spend the holidays with the Inafuku family. It has been 20 years since I have been home and my family has never been to Hawaii for Christmas. We are praying that if the Lord wants us to be there before we start ramping things up here in Riverton, that He would provide for us!

Praises:

  1. Front Range Baptist Church and Pastor Redlin committed to supporting us monthly! We praise the Lord for their partnership with us for the Gospel.
  2. Maili Bible Church and Pastor Jeff White in Hawaii (my home church where I grew up) committed to supporting us monthly!! What a huge blessing and encouragement this was to me!

Update On Our Travels!


My family and I have had the privilege of traveling to many different churches over the last month.  What a crazy time as my children have never experienced driving in a car for more than 30 minutes:).  Our first stop was in Kentucky at a great church, Immanuel Baptist Church with Pastor Jeff Fain.  Pastor Jeff taught Bible at Harvest in Guam and he and his wife, Charle Fain were huge mentors and disciplers to my wife Misty.  We were so thankful to have had this special time with them.  They took care of us as we were able to enjoy the Ark Encounter as well as the Science Museum.  This was an incredible start to our month long trip to many churches.  We are so thankful for this family and church and their encouragement to us.  We are praying that we will be able to partner with them for the Gospel here in Riverton and Hawaii.  

We left Kentucky and drove to Muncie, Indiana to spend time with Misty's grandfather and mother.  We were able to sing as a family and share briefly about our church plant at Grace Baptist Church.  We were able to enjoy time with Misty's grandfather at his home there in Muncie.  

On Thursday of that week, we piled in to a mini van and drove down to South Carolina.  Misty's uncle, Andrew Haney asked us to come to be a part of his installation service at Calvary Baptist Church of Simpsonville, SC.  I was able to share in a combined adult Sunday school class our video and a message out of Hebrews 11.  I had the privilege to be a part of the worship service as well, singing with the choir and a few specials.  What a great time to see how the Lord provided a pastor for the sweet people there at Calvary.  I was able to reconnect with some friends from college and Guam!  We had a great reunion and our hearts were encouraged more than anything.  We left the time there in SC with joy in our hearts.  On the way out, we were able to meet up with one of my best friends and missionaries, John Zimmer...another gift from the Lord.  We had the privilege also to meet a guy who had been supporting us and we had never met.  Can you believe that?  God burdens His people to give to His work and he and his wife have been giving to us over the last few months.  God allowed a sweet time of fellowship and prayer at a local Starbucks.  I was encouraged in the Lord by this man of God.  I am thankful and amazed at His universal church and the people God uses to help us along the way.

We travelled back up to Indiana and had the opportunity to visit Misty's uncle and aunt in Lafayette, IN.  Dave and Barb Herron were the first to support us when we started this journey.  What a great ministry there at Faith in Lafayette.  Our children were also able to meet cousins they had never met before.  Trent and Erin Herron work there at Faith as well and we enjoyed catching up and hearing how God is working there in Lafayette.

We then went on up to Milwaukee, WI to be with a church that we have had the privilege of partnering with over the years with Harvest Baptist Church.  I was able to preach in the Spanish church and then lead and minister during the worship both Sunday morning and Sunday evening.  Thank you to Pastor Ken Keltner and his wonderful staff for having us and the encouragement they were to us both financially and relationally.  An added bonus was that we were able to stay with Misty's sister and her family.  This was a good time for our children to enjoy a special time with their cousins.  

We travelled back down to Indiana to be at Burge Terrace Baptist Church.  Thank you to Ryan and Alicia Estes for letting us stay with them.  These were friends from college that we were able to reconnect with at Plant Camp in SLC.  They our youth sponsors and were able to bring their youth group out to SLC and God opened up the door for us to be here at their church.  What a wonderful time with Pastor Curtis and his family as well.  We were grateful for the time and opportunity to share what God was doing in our lives and what He has called us to here in Riverton.  

Our last church we drove to was in Burley, Idaho.  We were able to be with some dear folks who used to be members of Harvest Baptist Church on Guam.  Pastor Robert and Becky Humphries have faithfully served at Faith Baptist Church for the last 8 years.  We walked away humbled and thankful for their example of living by faith.  Our children enjoyed the farm and garden and especially the kittens!!  I was able to preach in Sunday School and church.  My family sang and we enjoyed the fellowship of the folks there in Burley.  

My family and I want to thank all of you for your prayers.  We have experienced God's protection, grace and encouragement while we were traveling.  God is so kind to allow us to be with family and friends.  Although we may not have had a lot of financial support come in, we were definitely supported spiritually and emotionally.  God gave us a month to transition and to ramp up to this awesome opportunity that God has given to share the Gospel in a very needy place.  God is ramping things up in Riverton.  This coming Sunday, Danny Brooks and family along with the Inafukus will be worshipping and serving at Trinity Baptist.  We are praying for God's people to partner together for the Gospel in this strategic place in the valley. 

I will close with volleyball!  God opened up the door to serve as Head coach at ICS.  We have had many successes and I have seen the team improve, grow, and excel in the game and in life.  I am thankful for this wonderful opportunity.  Pray that God would continue to use this awesome sport as an inroad with many islanders and people here in SLC.  

Sorry for the long update, but we wanted to keep our family and friends updated on what we have been doing.  We are staying for a month in the Avenues here in the city and God has opened up doors for the Gospel with our neighbors here.  People are open and curious and we have the best gift of all...Christ in us, the hope of glory.  I hope today that you take advantage of all the opportunities in front of you to share this gift with others!

We love you and we covet your prayers!

If you would like to find out more information on how you can help or stay connected, please see the link below:

Settling…Growing…Travelling!

Thank you to many of you for your messages, emails, and phone calls letting us know of your prayers for us.  God has been so kind as we are settling here in SLC.  No we don’t have a home yet, but we are thankful for the 5th wheel trailer that the Galkins have allowed us to stay in.  We were able to purchase a vehicle last week and we thank the Lord for providing the right one at the right time.  

Over the last few weeks, God has helped to settle our hearts.  He brought some friends from Guam to encourage us and strengthen us.  We were so thankful to have had Dave and Amy Morgan along with their 3 boys to drive over for a couple days to see us.  God knew exactly that we would need their encouragement at this time.  It was helpful in the settling of our hearts also, to have Dad (Pastor Herron from Guam) stop through on his way back to Guam.   The kiddos sure enjoyed having Grandpa here!  Uprooting from Guam and ministering nonstop til the end and then landing in SLC was more difficult than we anticipated.  Difficult emotionally and spiritually.  However, the Lord has used these weeks to reaffirm His leading us to SLC and to church planting.  Many times we have thought, “We don’t know what we are doing!”  But that is exactly why we are here.  We are here to learn, to be challenged, and to see afresh a world that desperately needs Jesus.  This is where we are growing!  God has sovereignly led us to a place that doesn’t need the Inafuku’s, but actually the Inafuku’s need SLC.  We are growing in our burden for people.  We are growing as a family.  We are growing in the Word.  This time has been exactly what we needed.  As time moves along, we are excited for the awesome opportunities that God will bring our way as we are ready and willing to share the Gospel.  He has opened up an opportunity already for Kevin to coach high school volleyball at Intermountain Christian School.  After only a week of training and play, there has been great improvement.  We look forward to the many doors that will open through volleyball.  

Two Sundays ago, we were able to drive 3 hours north to Pocatello, ID.  God allowed us to minister there at Pocatello Baptist Church.  We had a great time with Pastor Brian and his lovely wife.  This was our first official church to present the ministry to and we enjoyed the time there with these folks.  Last weekend, Kevin flew to Fort Collins, CO to be a part of a Bible Conference at Front Range Baptist Church.  Kevin led the worship and ministered in song the whole weekend.  We ar thankful for friends and partners in the Gospel.  On August 3rd, we will all be travelling out East.  We are thankful for those who are already supporting us, but we still have a ways to go.  We will be in 5 churches over the course of the next 3 weeks and are praying that God would burden the hearts of individuals and families to partner with us financially as we church plant here in Riverton, UT.  Please pray for us as we travel.  Pray for safety, good contacts for support and Gospel conversations along the way.  We have met many people who have some relative or friend who live here in SLC.  Pray that we would be able to reach out and see the Lord draw these and many to Himself.  

Thank you again for your part in this journey.  We love you and appreciate you!  

Here are some pictures of the last few weeks!

THE LAST TIME…

Hafa Adai! 

As we close out a chapter here on the beautiful island of Guam, we have been experiencing many “last things.”  Fact is, we have found ourselves saying, “This is the last time we will eat this, or swim here, or be together…”  Often times, we have been overcome with tears and sadness.  But through it all, we have been able to reflect on the goodness and kindness of God.  He has used Guam and Harvest Baptist Church to shape both Misty and I as we have served here.  What an awesome and unique ministry that reaches so many cultures and people groups.  Over the years, God has used many people to proclaim His truth and declare His praises, and He will continue to do so moving forward. 

We wanted to take some time to thank all the people of Harvest and Guam for loving our family.  We have been overwhelmed with cards and food and hugs.  These are things we will treasure in our hearts for years to come. 

As I think of “the last time,” June 11th was the last time I led worship at Harvest.  It has been a joy and a privilege to do so all these years.  One day, we will worship together around the throne of our King.  I look forward to that day! 

Although this is our “last time on Guam”, we are beginning our “first time” experiences here in Salt Lake City and on to Hawaii.  Some of our “firsts” have been longer drives in the car, a different kind of heat (dry), traffic, seeing so many people…people who need to hear and know Jesus as their Savior. 

We ask specifically that you would pray for our transition.  Leaving behind an unbelievable community and heading in to church planting can create a big hole, but we know that Christ will fill that with Himself and we are looking forward to see how He grows us and causes us to lean more on Him.  Pray for our children that they would adjust and adapt quickly.  Pray for Misty as she leaves an island home that she has known for 17 years.  Pray that God would open up doors during this time of transition that we would be able to show Christ and share Christ with others.  Lastly, we ask that you pray for the Lord to continue to provide for us.  We are praying specifically for God’s people to be burdened to support us on a monthly basis.  The quicker we can be fully supported, the quicker we can jump 100% in to the church plant.  We haven’t been able to spend a lot of time raising support as we have been ministering right up until our move.  We do appreciate your prayers!  Thank you for partnering with us 4 the Gospel!

A COMMITTED TEAM

Danny and Kristin Brooks and Travis and Melanie Fleshman are prayerfully seeking to raise individual monthly support to serve along side us. In the summer of 2017, our families will strategically relocate into the southwest corner of Salt Lake City, Utah in order to pursue church planting ministry together.

Brooks Family

Fleshman Family

In addition to normal giving, each family is contributing 5% of their monthly support to ministry expenses. If we are to do this, we need your help! In order to dedicate ourselves fully to this work, we need $6,000 a month for the next 5 years. We are asking individuals and churches to partner with us to see a healthy church plant in SLC and then as we strategically plant in Hawaii.

If you are interested in helping in any way visit our GET INVOLVED page.