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December 2016

Life & Ministry Update


Early this December Haruka and I braved IKEA once again to buy real bonafide Christmas trees. Growing up in Anchorage, I was used to home and garden stores stocking trees, and roadside stands popping up to sell Minnesota's finest (or so they told us). Here in Tokyo, your best bet for a real tree is the one weekend a year when IKEA sells a somewhat smaller version of evergreen trees.

I LOVE the smell of evergreen trees. And I love the fact that I don't have to store a fake Christmas tree all year in our tiny apartment. So we went and joined the seemingly thousands of others lined up to get a tree. We got our tree home and set it up, on top of a table, of course, because we have a curious little one-year-old toddling about the place now. Then nestled up under the tree among some green garland, I placed our nativity scene.

I like our little nativity; it is a small, simple white ceramic set that was given to me years ago by my then future mother-in-law to put up in my college dorm to decorate for Christmas, and have used every year since then. After I had all the figures in place, I stepped back and was struck by the contrast: our glittering sparkling tree verses the simple white nativity scene.

At first I felt a little guilty that the tree was so much more prominent on the table verses the little nativity figures. I'm supposed to be a missionary, right? Shouldn't the nativity be the most important Christmas decoration? But then I thought how maybe our modest little figurines can hearken back to the original place of Jesus' nativity. Jesus' nativity is the picture of humility: God born as fragile human out in a barn alongside of livestock.

While our figures are probably quite a bit cleaner than the original scene, it was a good reminder to me of what Jesus did, and the humble example He set in His life from the time of His birth. I thank God for the Christmas season: for the practice of giving to one another, for the fancy decorations that make Christmas the most special season to me, and mostly for the time to celebrate Jesus' birth. This year our gift to Naomi was her very own plush nativity set. I look forward to getting out her special set every year so she can grow up knowing that Jesus' birth is the special event we celebrate. 

I pray that you all had a blessed Christmas season, and had a chance to slow down and reflect on the miracle of the very first nativity.  

Wishing you all a belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,


Christmas Celebrations

Christmas Nativity play put on by my English students
We had a wonderful Christmas season, with many celebrations. We had the opportunity to attend an International Christmas Service at the Yokosuka American Navy base. Mid-December we helped with the annual Kids Christmas party at church. We had kids from church as well as some kids from the church English classes held at the church in attendance. 

I was also treated to attend the rehearsal for my kindergarten English students' Christmas recital. It was such a wonderful surprise blessing to watch my kids perform the Christmas story, in Japanese, knowing that they could all understand the story of Jesus' birth. 
Merry Christmas from the Kilsons!

End of Quarter Party

Travis has been on break for the last several weeks, but before break began we were able to attend an "end of the quarter" party put on by one of Travis' classmates. It was so nice to finally meet many of Travis' classmates.

It was such a diverse gathering, with students from all other the globe. And although there are tensions between the U.S. and many of the countries represented at the party, there was no enmity in the room that evening. What an eye opening and delightful experience.  
Naomi dancing with the hostess Gulmaryam and her son.

Prayer Points

Language Study - Please continue to pray for us as we study Japanese. The magnitude of this undertaking hits us almost daily, and it can be overwhelming to say the least! 

2017 - Many things known and unknown await us this coming year, please remember our family in your prayers for this new year.
Giving Information

Thank you to all our faithful supporters!

If you aren't already, please consider supporting us financially in this ministry. We couldn't be here if it wasn't for all of the generous donations by people like you!
Give Online - Go to and following the prompts.

Give by Check - Please include “Kilsons #308″ on the memo line and mail to:

World Outreach Ministries
PO Box B
Marietta, GA 30061
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