And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
It is finally Spring… minus some snow here and there. There are few things to report since February. (Please note, there was a problem with the hosting service recently so I am not able to include pictures this time).
One of the bigger personal updates is regarding Hannah. April is the start of a new year for the Japanese, educationally and business-wise. After praying and considering the option for some time, we decided to send Hannah to 幼稚園 (Yochien) – which is basically kindergarten. The Japanese are so focused on work and education that they start schooling within only a few months from birth. It was beginning to become slightly imperative for us to make a decision on schooling. One of the surprising things that helped us make the decision was that the school is actually run by a church. It is, in principle, a Christian school. That being said, there is a strange phenomenon here. Parents are increasingly interested in sending their children to a Christian kindergarten. Meanwhile, a couple of Christian colleges also exist in Japan though there are no Christian schools between those age demographics. It further makes me think that the current generational change is leading many to consider things beside their empty religion.
At either rate, Hannah has begun attending the kindergarten, though there have been some problems. For the first full three days that she began attending she has come home with some sort of injury – some very minor, but some more serious. On day three I received a phone-call from the school saying that Hannah was hurt, but they think she is okay. However it turns out that she wasn’t so fine. To summarize, she fell (uumped?) and hit a railing, but landed on her mouth. Hannah had been in a lot of pain for a while and there were many sleepless nights, so we saw an emergency dentist (long story). She had an infection in one of her front teeth and the nerves have died, so we have been taking her to a specialist and has to have treatment for an unknown amount of times. As many of you can relate, being the parent in the situation is very difficult, but I am reminded to “in everything give thanks”, and that we are called as Christians for the trials in life. Despite our initial impressions of her teacher, I have been able to interact with her a lot during this time, and it has provided for interesting spiritual connections, including being able to be a witness to her daughter (who speaks rather-good English). Please be in prayer about this situation, for both the decisions about Hannah’s health, as well as however God wants us to react to this for his glory.
On a different matter- as I mentioned in the last post, ministry has picked-up again, though work hadn’t slowed-down as slowly as it was supposed to, so it’s been a bit difficult, but we are finally pulling out of it now. Mia and I were even able to attend a marriage conference together, which was very good… and intensive. The couple who taught it are Malaysian, who normally give the conference in Chinese, but this time gave it for the first time in English, to a group of mostly Japanese via an interpreter…. it was interesting for sure. Unfortunately, because it was an exhaustive four day course it was just that: exhausting. Certainly worth it, though.
There are other things that have taken place recently, including both city and church Easter ministries. We ask for your prayers for two people in specific : Mr. Takai and Ms. Kay. We ran into Takai-san “by chance” one day, and he is currently looking-into Christianity, he explained. We were able to get connected with him and I hope to be able to follow-up with him shortly. I also met Kay-san per chance one morning. She has come to our Monday ministry and wanted to keep coming. When she came we spent the entire two hours talking about the gospel and reading the Bible. She has yet to meet Mia, but wants to. She also has expressed interest in coming to church when her and her husband are free. She said that it is very difficult, as, I believe, her husband is away for six days out of the week working, and so they only have the one day to do whatever they need, like shopping or being together (they also have a toddler). This is the typical situation for most here, so extracurricular activities outside of work must be extremely compelling for them to go. Please pray for them, as well as for one more person named Mr. Kimura. I substituted for an unexpected class of a Christian friend and was able to witness to him – he was quite open.
In closing, I am lately grateful that our Lord is the God of all comfort, and that he understands our loneliness and times of struggle. We look forward to seeing how, yet again, God will work through our times of weakness, and I thank you for your ever continuing support and prayers for the effort in Japan.