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A life and ministry update:

« Year End Update 2020 »

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Kilsons!

Hello friends and family! What a bizarre, difficult, and heart-rending year it has been. Although many of our plans for the year have fallen through or been postponed, we take comfort that God's plans will never be foiled. One of the things I (Becky), cherish that really resonated with me from this year is that knowledge of God's control, and my own insufficiency; putting away the delusion of having control over life can give comfort when we know the One who holds us in His hands!

Although all of our holiday gatherings were scaled down this year, we were still so blessed with the company we did get to meet, and the family time that we got to enjoy. We celebrated Thanksgiving with a few friends. We had a quiet, reflective Candlelight service on Christmas Eve, which was attended by some acquaintances who are not Christian and don't attend for Sunday services. We pray the story of Christmas, and the message they heard would take root in their hearts.
The highlight of the year for Machida Church of Christ (MCC) was a combined Christmas Sunday service that we held at a local auditorium we rented for the morning. We haven't gathered the whole congregation together since March, and it was a blessing to be able to find a space big enough to do so for that special Sunday. We had a Christmas message for both the kids and adults, and we enjoyed a video performance of a local gospel singer singing Christmas songs for us. After the service was done, we played some Christmas games like, "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Christmas Edition". Although it was not our "normal", it was still a special way to celebrate the birth of our Savior, and to worship together.
Through this first year, Naomi has continued to enjoy Kindergarten. When it came time for winter break, she was not fond of the idea of not seeing her teacher and friends everyday. This Friday will be her first day back, and she cannot wait. She is still doing beautifully in developing her Japanese. Travis and I are both jealous of the ease with which she both speaks and understands the language. She is learning the hiragana alphabet at school, and has it mostly memorized which means she can now read Japanese.

The alphabet in Japanese is different than the English alphabet in that every letter is read as it is named. Therefore reading for beginners using this alphabet (before learning the Japanese Kanji characters) is much easier than learning to read English. She is ever our curious learner. Travis has been studying Hebrew in a small group via Zoom, and Naomi wants to learn with him. She's lately taken to learning the Spanish alphabet with kinetic learning song videos on YouTube. We love her curiosity and try to encourage her however we are able.
Our little Maye is not so little anymore. She is getting ready to be a big sister and can't wait to hold baby brother. We'll see how long that lasts! She is talking a mile a minute in English, and is very eager to try speaking Japanese as big sister does, although many of her "words" aren't really Japanese at all. Naomi started out the same, so we are confident that she will pass us up soon enough. Maye will not turn three before the cutoff for Kindergarten/preschool to start this spring, so she will have another year at home with us before she begins school.

We received news last fall from Naomi's kindergarten that they will stop admitting students after Spring 2021 because of new construction projects and revitalizing the kindergarten program, to reopen at some unknown time in the future. This means we will have to find another Kindergarten in the area for Maye to attend. Please pray with us as we consider options, and visit new locations to find the right fit for our family and especially for Maye. 
Becky had her 31 week appointment this week. Baby boy continues to grow and develop and both Mom and baby have ticked all the "healthy" development check boxes at every appointment. We are so grateful for a smooth, complication free pregnancy thus far. We request prayer for the upcoming delivery of our baby boy at (37 or 38 weeks), who we are SO excited to meet.

While we are very excited, there are things that we are also concerned about, many of them due to Corona restrictions. There will be no visitors in the hospital for our week long stay after baby boy is born, not even for Travis. We still do not know if Travis will be allowed to attend the birth because of the recent spike in Corona cases, which is a very discouraging and heart-breaking thought. Finally, both previous caesarean procedures, the doctors had a very difficult time finding the correct injection point for the necessary epidural before the caesarean can be performed. This was both worrying and very painful, so we pray that they will not have the same struggle this time. Please pray for Becky's anxiety, and that we will trust God in His power and protection.
Another person we would like to pray over is for a Mom of two girls who has been attending MCC since we moved here, we'll call her T. She has been talking about making a commitment to Christ and expressed a desire to be baptized, but she is so shy and reserved, she's been very hesitant about taking those next steps. Please pray with us as T considers, that God would lead her to salvation in Christ and that she would be a witness to the rest of her family who are not Christians.

We can be nothing but grateful for you all this past year. Through your generosity, God has seen to it that we have never been without, we have been supported not only financially, but in prayer and partnership through those of you reaching out to check on us and encourage us from afar. The outpouring we received has been such a blessing and encouragement to us through this difficult year, and this past holiday season. We have never had to ask for the extra that came in when we needed it for medical expenses, increased living costs with growing kids, or new school expenses. I know we say it every newsletter update, but we are so grateful for each of you and your faithful giving and support of our family. We pray that God would bless you and yours, that you would feel His care and love in this new year and know the peace that only He can give. 

Blessings dear friends!

The Kilsons
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