Countdown

Posted: Monday, 17th September, 2018 in missions

Summer is now officially finished for the year which means fall will be taking its place. Even though you might not be feeling like it’s the start of another season, we can see the signs written plainly all around us. The clouds are changing shape, summer nights have been replaced with crisp cold, and the telltale trees of autumn have already begun to yellow. Two trees in our backyard park are the barometer for the changing scene about to unfold.

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Baby Time

Since we have been so discreet about the new addition to our family, you may not have even been aware that we are expecting baby #2! We are literally waiting for baby to arrive any day since the due date is this week. Time has surely flown by since we first heard the good news, and we are anxiously anticipating the family addition.

Michie began work leave at the end of August to finish preparing house, home, and herself for all the changes to come. Although she passed on all of the major components of her work, she has been trying to wrap up some final “details”. Since she has been the brains of the office for over 10 years now, we too easily bother her with all kinds of questions. This will be a good learning opportunity for everyone else since they can’t rely on her for help for the time being!

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Mirja is also getting herself ready to be the big sister. We have been reading stories together about a new baby on the way and stopping by the nursery during hospital checkups. She has been preparing by learning to change her own baby’s diapers and giving her regular baths. I even see her checking her dolls for a fever every once in a while, so we already have another nurse in the making.

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We will share updates about the new baby once we are off to the hospital!

Stateside Trip

Although planning for a new family member has taken up the majority of our spare time, we are also trying to plan for an extended trip to the States from November. Some elements of the planning have to wait until the baby actually arrives. Once we have birth certificate in hand, we will once again make the two week advanced notice journey to the embassy in Tokyo.  Once applications and requests have all been completed, we just need to wait for the rest of the documentation we will need to enter America. I think we need more registered documents for a newborn baby than I can remember having myself as a teenager!

Lord-willing, we hope to join family by Thanksgiving to enjoy the holiday season together. Since we will be carrying a newborn, we don’t plan to stray too far from South Dakota until after the new years. Thereafter, we hope to spend time visiting as many friends as we can until April 1st.

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One can never start too soon!

We would like to be back in Japan for the start of the new school year which begins on April 3rd. Mirja will then start her third year of pre-school in Kiro-gumi [Yellow Class]. Michie will take some responsibilities on the parent teacher association next year, so we would like to be back to join events that open the new year.

While in the States, we would love to share what the Lord has been doing in our lives and through the ministry God has given us in Japan. We currently have an open calendar, so we hope to start filling in dates as we get closer to the trip. If you would like to hear stories from our latest season of ministry, please get in touch with us as soon as possible. We have many things to praise God for while at the same time look forward to a  new season of ministry and life.

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To Be Done

In the meantime, we have a full fall schedule of ministry ahead. Outside of the ordinary day-to-day, Brad is still helping to plan for the winter programs, find and appoint new staff, and train others to take over on-the-ground responsibilities. It is a good opportunity to teach and enable new leaders to take the reins which may in turn open new doors to minister.

The Lord has been so kind in preparing many things for us in our anticipated absence over the winter. God has already connected us with new faces for the winter season staff, provided a new assistant chef, and is leading others to help in unique ways. We have begun to widen the field of leadership based on spiritual gifting in the local church. This has paved the way to share responsibilities for teaching, music, and other church activities to a larger number of people. On top of all these great things, Brad has had meetings nearly once a week for future exploratory ministry opportunities!

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Pre-summer outreach in our village through a skit and family carnival.

Just this week he will be discussing topics such as Japanese returnee ministry [Japanese who have become Christians while living abroad but have since returned to Japan] with Encompass staff partners and the continuation of a now yearly pre-summer outreach. These are just some of the wonderful connections and possibilities for the next season of labor. God’s hand is clearly visible in developing partnerships and ways to meaningfully share His message with Japan.

Please Pray:
  • Healthy delivery of the new baby and Michie’s recovery
  • Discernment and wisdom for long-term ministry decisions
  • To use Biblical leadership and to be a Christ-like model with staff and others
  • Contacts and opportunities to share while in the U.S.

We will be in touch again soon! Thank you for your prayers and loving support for our family and all that God allows us to do through Him.

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