Starting Well

[by Jeremy] The rhythms of life have been set in place, and the days are starting to fly by…

Mondays and Wednesdays: hit the office in the mornings, Japanese language study in the afternoon

Tuesdays and Thursdays: Japanese class in the mornings, office in the afternoons

Fridays: Speaking practice in the mornings, and family time in the afternoons

Saturdays: Ministry outreaches to the orphanage, convalescent home, or the homeless shelter

Sundays and Wednesday evenings: Attending and serving at church.

 

 A special treat together with the little girl!

A special treat together with the little girl!

Aside from our language studies, Melissa has been training in the office to take over administratively after this summer. I (Jeremy), together with our wonderful Japanese Pastor couple, have been starting footwork for a new outreach ministry to the Japanese. In the meanwhile, we’ve both been set in charge of leading the VBS outreach for the church this summer – a major annual outreach to engage both American and Japanese children here in the community.

 

Riah is in day care, Ki is in preschool, and Phin is in the Japanese elementary school. They are each flourishing, and it is such a tremendous relief to see them doing so well.

 

 This one was taken with our language teacher -- Phin is a hit wherever she goes. Her light shines so bright!

This one was taken with our language teacher -- Phin is a hit wherever she goes. Her light shines so bright!

 

Life here feels like it is starting to move quickly. Newcomer’s jitters are sorting themselves out, as we find our roles and delve deeper into relationships with our leaders and coworkers.

 

Yet, that’s not to say there haven’t been bumps in the road.

 

From our time in Africa, we learned just how important intentional values are. Language learning, relationships, carefully discerning which roles to take on and which to set aside as we attempt focus. The actions we take on Day 1 will determine what happens on Day 100. If it is our goal to reach the unreached, we knew that it would require intentionality.

 

And so, from the moment we first set our hearts towards Okinawa, it was with the intention of taking what we learned in Africa and Starting Well.

 

 Photo from Melissa, taken while gathering shells for a fundraiser craft at the church. The beaches here are gorgeous!

Photo from Melissa, taken while gathering shells for a fundraiser craft at the church. The beaches here are gorgeous!

 

Yet, as it turns out, it has been trickier than we expected. For one, managing expectations is extremely important: If you can’t be flexible on the field, you can’t be on the field! As many young college students have found out, things aren’t always what you think they’ll be. Firsthand knowledge and experience is irreplaceable. We have been navigating changing plans with our budget, with our long-term language learning plans, with our roles at the church, etc.

 

I consider myself a very flexible person, but even I have experienced heart-squeezing anxiety and frustration at times. Yet, we know that God is faithful, and called us here for his purpose, and so we move forward, in faith.

 

And, as always, we see his faithfulness as issues resolve themselves, or turn out better than we could plan. We are so grateful to our amazing leaders, Pastor Chris and Leah, who have been instrumental in helping us navigate these issues. We prayed for the right couple who would be able to mentor and lead us, and God knew what he was doing when he placed us with them.

 

It is an unsettling feeling, that God has brought us here at this time and this place, for his purposes. Yet, the results are not my responsibility. Mine is to be faithful today, in this moment, and trust that he has the end in his hands. And that is where rest lies.

 

 Kuma (くま, or 'Bear' in Japanese), our newest addition, modeling rest for us.

Kuma (くま, or 'Bear' in Japanese), our newest addition, modeling rest for us.


Please pray for:

-Continued health for our family, as we have been almost constantly sick at times

-Favor as we trouble shoot budgeting issues

-Community involvement in our upcoming outreaches!

Thankful For:

-Our new healthy puppy!

-God's faithfulness as we are learning our roles here

-Our wonderful mentors and friends here at the church.

And, as always, we are so grateful to all of our FAITHFUL supporters. THANK YOU!


FROM SOCIAL MEDIA THIS MONTH

Click to see original post, including video of Riah and Kuma.

Side note: kainos, the name I selected for social media, means,"New" in Greek: "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation."


じゃあまたね!

jaa matane!

See you later!