Friends, it’s been 3 months since our last update! WOW! Where has the time gone?!
Well, I will do my best to catch you up to speed on our lives: bullet points on top, and details further down. I’ll try to keep it as brief as possible, but this will be a big update.
We’ve been busy! :)
Here’s a snapshot glimpse of some of the goings on since our last update:
3 day retreat on mainland Japan for a gathering of all of the workers from our company! We led the program for the youth, which was a BLAST! We played a TON of silly games, and talked about building our lives on the a FIRM FOUNDATION.
Melissa took over the head administrative position at the church, as we bid farewell to a much-loved family, who moved to another military duty station.
Jeremy drafted a 16-page ministry proposal for an English Language School, which will function as an outreach ministry of the church. Plans for the opening of an NPO have been put on hold.
Our church’s Japanese Ministry held their first worship service, and have continued to meet monthly. It has been a tremendous joy and privilege to be a part of this amazing group of Christ-followers.
Jeremy joined the worship team, and is overseeing the audio technicians. He has also been leading discussions for the monthly men’s group as we go through, “More Than a Carpenter”.
Melissa had an amazing opportunity to partner with an English Teaching Camp Outreach on one of the remote islands near Okinawa.
In preparation for our Pastor’s upcoming itineration, Jeremy and four other men from the body have become the “Neighborhood Church Okinawa Teaching Team”, who will be sharing the preaching and teaching responsibilities for at least 6 months, starting in the Spring of 2019.
Jeremy began leading early morning prayer at the church, four days a week, from 6 to 7 am.
And we have been up to so much more! We’re continuing to take classes towards our AG credentials, continuing in our Japanese language studies, attending our children’s school events, and developing relationships with the amazing people God has put in our lives.
Although life has been so rich and full, the photos belie the daily struggle. There’s no way to communicate in a short letter the amount of transformation and change we’ve been constantly undergoing, for what feels like years and years.
To quote a good friend’s recent email, “I finally feel like my life is in a place where nothing makes sense without Jesus... it feels crazy. But I think I want to stay here; stay where I’m completely and truly dependent on him all the time.“
I feel like this captures the reality of stepping out and following Christ in a very real way. He doesn’t let you stay safe. He leads you to move to places which only make sense by faith.
It was September 2011 when we said our first “yes” to full-time overseas ministry. Since then, it feels like we have learned the same lesson over and over again:
God leads us into dangerous waters.
We shakily follow him, falling down and getting up over and over.
We see His faithfulness, as doors open, provision comes, relationships develop, we grow in new incredible ways, and fruit is borne.
I wish I could say it has been getting easier, but I’m not really sure. Growth hurts!
What I am sure of is this: We are more confident in the rock-steady faithfulness of our God than we were. We are more in love with Him than we were. We are more able to believe that His plans are better than ours, even if we can’t see what the future holds.
I’m not sure if it will get easier. But I know it’s worth it, and I agree with my friend: “I think I want to stay here.”
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We value your prayers:
for our Teaching Team, 3 of who are working full-time in the military, as we grow in and prepare for this tremendous responsibility
for clear Holy Spirit guidance regarding the English School Proposal, which is currently delayed until some concerns are addressed
for open staff positions to be filled by those with passion and calling
for our Pastors as they navigate preparations for their upcoming itineration, and many other concerns
We value you far more than we can say.
Thank you for your continued faithfulness. If you are reading this, praying for us, or financially supporting us, we are an extension of you, and by the grace of God, you are having a real impact in Okinawa, Japan.
We would love to hear from you, email you, call you, or video chat. Please send us a note at email@example.com