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A life and ministry update:

« August & September 2019 »

Drum roll please.....

Hello friends. It was very satisfying, (and challenging!), to take a break from our email updates and send out a bona fide letter to you all last month. We expressed our desire to take a trip back to the U.S. this November to reconnect and make new connections. We asked you all to give, and we are overjoyed to say that as of today, we are $600 over-funded for our trip this fall! We can't tell you what a blessing it is to see how the Lord continues to provide for us, over and above what we ask. THANK YOU for being a part in His provision for us. We will be using the extra funds received to pay for Naomi's kindergarten tuition which will begin next year.

August was, as it ever is, a busy month. The month of August is summer vacation for Japan's school schedule, so the church takes a break from the regular studies and classes that we usually run, and instead, we take part in summer travel and events. 

This summer our congregation decided to do a three day kids VBS-like program instead of going to camp this year. We were hoping that hosting at the church instead of far away at the Bible camp would enable more kids from the congregation and community to participate. We had many church families as well as English and Piano students attend the event. We enjoyed stories and activities revolving around Paul's journeys, while incorporating a nautical theme. We had so many volunteer and work together to put on the event. It was a nice change to focus our energy solely on the kids and the event, and not getting to the event destination. 

A few highlights: I loved watching our intern Anna worshiping with the Kids; working past the language barrier, though they couldn't understand some of the songs, she still communicated love and joy in praising Jesus. Another favorite was seeing the kids remember and share in small groups at the last session. You could hear the connections they made with the Bible stories that they heard that weekend. It was like seeing all the little seeds that were planted in their hearts. 
We had such fun getting to know our summer intern Anna. She was often gone throughout the summer, visiting other ministries and missionaries, but when she was "home" in Machida, we loved to include her in our family and spend time with her. We went to a neighborhood Matsuri (summer festival), took her to the owl cafe, shared many meals, and my favorite was spending a stormy day together at our house shut in with another family from church. We ate and did puzzles, and crafts and enjoyed one another's company while a typhoon raged outside. Anna was so generous with her time here in Japan, eager and willing to serve. She spent part of her week off helping me learn to alter my clothes, and even babysat for us several times so we could have kid free dates. What a luxury! 
At the end of August we and the Machida church staff including Anna went up to Akita prefecture for the National Church of Christ convention. You may remember that we had asked for prayers for this event as Travis had been asked to be one of the main speakers and I (Becky) was helping with the kids program. We had a bumpy run up to the convention, it was unclear if the girls and I would get to go attend the convention. Read about that here in our new blog! The trip was a challenge, but helped stretch us and remind us that "man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps". 

We enjoyed many many hours in the car with Haruka and Tim, some time at the beach, and time fellowshipping with Christians from around the country  We were honored to have been asked to serve, and glad to have such wonderful company to travel with.
This girl right here, Naomi Grace, turned four at the end of August. We can hardly believe it! She is our imaginative, energetic, outgoing, princess dress loving, girly girl. She has a look, a posture that she takes on when she is transported to her own pretend world. I don't have to see her face to know that she is imagining to be someone else. Every day it's someone different. Her daily question that makes her introverted parents sigh is, "Where are we going today?" We are so blessed to have her as a daughter, as she challenges us, and points us to rely on the Lord as we strive to disciple her young beautiful soul. We thank God for her everyday!
We are enjoying our transition to fall, the cooler temperatures, and getting back to our normal weekly classes and routines. We have lots to get done here before we leave for the U.S. in 4 weeks! Please be praying for us as we wrap up things here. Please pray for us as we go through the application process for the kindergarten we hope Naomi will be accepted to attend. Please also pray for God's direction as we make our itinerary to connect with churches and individuals to share our ministry.

To you, our faithful partners in ministry, thanks for being here. Thank you for investing in us. Thank you for being our people and our support. We cherish each of you and the commitment you've shown as our friends, family and brothers and sisters in Christ.

We pray blessings to you all!

Becky
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