Babienco Missions

Stories and Updates from Michael and Caitlyn's mission service in Japan

A Divine Appointment

It was Sabbath morning in Tennessee. Caitlyn and I had been visiting the Collegedale area for her younger sister’s high-school graduation. We had decided to go to the South Bay SDA church that week. Originally, Caitlyn’s parents planned to stay home and rest after the busy week, but at the last minute decided to join us.
South Bay’s church building was still under construction, so Sabbath School and church were out in a large tent where you could see all the other classes going on. Caitlyn and I attended one class, while Caitlyn’s parents attended another. After Sabbath School, we saw Caitlyn’s dad beckoning us from the other side of the tent. He introduced us to the young lady standing next to him: “This is Sarah*. She’s from Japan. I will let you talk about the rest.”
Caitlyn and I introduced ourselves to Sarah and told her we had signed up as career missionaries to Japan. “Oh, praise God,” Sarah exclaimed. “We really need missionaries!” Within minutes, Sarah was sharing cultural tidbits and evangelism ideas and had volunteered to help us learn the Japanese language. Before too long, church was starting, and we had to take a break in our conversation. Caitlyn and I found seats and tried to grapple with what an incredible blessing had just been given to us. But we still did not know just how incredible meeting Sarah really was.
After church, we went back to Sarah to talk with her more. She shared with us how she ended up at South Bay that day:
  1. She just happened to go to a vespers she doesn’t normally attend.
  2. Then she just happened to sit with friends she normally doesn’t sit with.
  3. One of those friends invited Sarah to the South Bay SDA church. Normally, Sarah is very busy with her obligations at her own church, but this week she just happened to have none.
  4. She just happened to sit in the same Sabbath School class as Caitlyn’s parents, who just happened to decide not to stay home.
  5. She just happened to share during Sabbath School that she was from Japan.
  6. All of which happened the one week Caitlyn and I just happened to be in Tennessee.
For Caitlyn and me, that is too many “just happened” occurrences to be a coincidence. Clearly, God had orchestrated our meeting Sarah in Tennessee. We exchanged contact information and said we would keep in touch.

Last week, Caitlyn and I were down in Tennessee again, so we decided to meet up with Sarah. We talked with her for several hours about Japanese culture, the Bible, and life in general. It was really helpful, and our brains were full to bursting when we left. God has blessed us not only with a valuable source of knowledge as we prepare for Japan but with a new friend. We look forward to seeing Sarah more whenever we are down in Tennessee!
Myself, Caitlyn, and Sarah after our meetup in Tennessee
Upcoming Speaking Appointments
  • We will be speaking for the church service at the Worthington SDA Church in Ohio on August 27.
  • View a previous livestream of our sermon on Japan at Buchanan SDA Church by clicking here.
Would you like us to come to speak for your church or vespers and share about missions, tell mission stories, and talk about the needs of the unreached? Please let us know!
Praises & Prayer Requests
  • I will head to a Japanese SDA camp meeting in California in early August. Please pray that travel and lodging plans will all work out.
  • Caitlyn and I took a last-minute trip to the GC Session in St. Louis a few weeks ago and were able to meet with the Japan Union president. The meeting went very well, and we are excited to partner with the wider SDA body in Japan for our future time there.
  • Please continue to join us in praying for God’s wisdom and guidance as we seek to make connections, plan, and learn about the people we will serve.
We would love to hear back from you. Always feel free to reach out and send us an email. You can also give us a call or text at ***.***.****. We would be happy to pray for any prayer requests you might have.

Thanks so much for your support!
Michael & Caitlyn Babienco
Volunteer Missionary Candidates
Adventist Frontier Missions