Last week marked the 3-year anniversary of our family’s move to Tokyo. I can hardly believe that much time has already passed… God has been faithful to us each step of the way, and I want to take a moment to recount some of the highlights from the last three years. We’re so grateful for every prayer that people have prayed on our behalf as well. Thank you!
We thank God regularly for our home church, Redeeming Grace Church in Fairfax, VA, for their incredible support and care for our family and their commitment to praying for the gospel advancement in Tokyo & beyond. I just watched some parts of the video from our send-off Sunday, and tears are welling up with gratefulness as I remember them and their love for Jesus and for us… They have also sent Vince & Bonnie Hinders and Mark & Lesley Mullery, RGC pastors & their wives and dear friends we love and trust, at different times to be with us – Expressions of God’s goodness and love for us!
My family hosted our family of 6 for the first few weeks while we searched for an apartment in Toyosu. It has been great to be able to see them from time to time and for them to be a part of our and our kids’ lives.
God has graciously provided a great apartment for us to live in Toyosu. We have been able to use this place to host many parties, dinners, Bible studies, meetings, etc. over the last three years. It was supposed to be a 3-year contract, but the owner offered to extend it for another 2 years!
We looked like this three year ago…
And now we look like this. Each child has now had three birthdays in Tokyo! Peter has lived in Japan longer than he lived in America… All the kids have been attending the local Japanese public school, and each of them, to varying degrees, is becoming more proficient in understanding/speaking Japanese. We are grateful to God for His grace for them to be able to adapt and learn. He has also provided a good special education class with wonderful teachers at the school for Kaiya. He is faithful!
Two years ago on Easter Sunday, Grace Harbor Church started its weekly worship service. Every week since then, we have been able to gather as God’s people to worship Him and to proclaim the gospel in a place where there was no worship. Praise God for His faithfulness! This picture was taken on Christmas Day 2016.
Emma has hosted/led a ladies Bible study for some months now. She has done a great job building friendship with these ladies and loving them by serving them in different ways and sharing the good news of Jesus with them. We’re grateful to God for the work that He is doing in their lives.
Our teammates/fellow missionaries. God has been gracious to us in connecting us with these wonderful people and their organization, Mission to the World. Even though we are not part of the organization, they have welcomed us and helped and blessed us in countless ways. Their kingdom-minded partnership has been exemplary, and we hope to continue our friendship and partnership as we move forward with the new church planting work.
God has allowed us to become good friends with many people in our community who are not yet believers of Jesus. We have laughed, eaten, cried, celebrated, played, discussed together with them. They have become dear to us, and they are the main reason we believe God is calling us to plant a new church in Toyosu.
There had been a few baptisms at Grace Harbor Church. One of the highlights for me was to see Yukari get baptized last Christmas. She has been playing the piano for us at GHC since the beginning and a dear friend to many of the people at the church. We recently sang a song she wrote in our worship service. Praise God for His saving work!
This is our neighborhood. We are grateful to God for placing us here. We believe He is calling us to start a new church here, to be a blessing to our city, to love them in word and deed, to proclaim the good news of Jesus. We thank God for calling us here.