Bethel Fellowship International credentialed evangelistÂ STEVE WALLÂ recently sent photos of an annual event that he plans for the wedding venue where he works in Nagoya, JAPAN, a city with a population of about 2.3 million. For the past three years, he has been the Bridal Pastor of a company called â€œBRIDE TO BEâ€ and their AILE dâ€™ANGE Chapel located right in front of the Nagoya Japan Railway Station.
Steve blesses couples and their childrenÂ â€• â€œAlmost three years ago, God blessed me by being able to work with a wedding chapel whose owner takes the ministry aspects of weddings very seriously. Usually a week before the wedding ceremony, I meet with the couples for a time of orientation and, as God leads, a time of counseling. Once a year we have a baby dedication and blessing meeting. Couples I have marriedÂ that have had babies are invited to the chapel for that service,â€ Steve related.
Not all of the more than 100 couples Steve marries in a year are able to attend the special event, but as you can see, the ones who do attend certainly return home having been blessed.
Steve works at the chapel as the on-staff Pastor and finds himself often asked to pray for the entire staff before company meetings. In addition, he is sometimes asked to counsel various staff members as needed.
Steve and his family live in Seto City and are involved with, and support the Parkside Chapel on the east side of Nagoya. He and his wife,Â Noriko, are very committed to their daughtersâ€™ school, the International Christian Academy of Nagoya (I CAN). An important part of the schoolâ€™s curriculum is the themeÂ â€œI canÂ do all things through Christ who strengthens me.â€Â Steve and NorikoÂ support the expatriate teachers as they settle into their work in Japan. Steve also said, â€œIâ€™ve found myself to be the schoolâ€™s â€˜go-toâ€™ guy to fix and do various remodeling jobs as they arise.” Noriko works in the school office on a regular basis.
Sachiko, 17, holding the baby, has attended the BFI Youth Camp several times . . . and last year she brought along her younger sister,Â Natsumi, 16, left, for the first time. They are both fluent in English and Japanese. Sachiko is an avid golfer. Natsumi loves the country life. She often spends summer and sometimes even winter vacation in the country at her grandparentsâ€™ home on the island of Kyushu. Both girls have helped their Dad in his work at the wedding chapel.
Being a foreigner living in Japan can at times be frustrating, especially for a man when it comes to finding good Christian fellowship. Steve is one of three men who began a Menâ€™s Prayer and Fellowship Group. The men are truly committed to meeting and have recently begun their second year of weekly meetings in Nagoya.