A life and ministry update:

« 2019 New Year's Letter »

Where God has brought us...

Hello friends and family! A belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all. This was our first year to witness Naomi hear and understand the nativity story and the real reason for Christmas; what a joy! For her second Christmas, we gave her a plush nativity set which we get out for her every year to play with and remember the Christmas story. It was such a blessing to see her learning the story as we read every night before bed, and retell the story to us with her little nativity set. My favorite quote, "...and they went to Beffel-ham and Mary had to ride on a donkey 'cause she couldn't walk, 'cause she had a baby in her tummy." Such a sweet story teller. I think she may be a writer someday!

The group from this year's Kid's Christmas party. We had our own church kids in attendance as well as some of our English students and friends they brought, and some Moms with their kids from our new adult English Bible study. We are excited to see new faces and reach further into our community with these types of events. 
We have had such a blessed year, as Ephesians says, "more than we could ask or imagine." We have two beautiful, healthy little gals who keep us busy, but also entertained, learning and growing together everyday. Maye came in as if we had never been without her in our little family. She is growing, (quicker than big sister did), she is on the verge of crawling, she is eating baby crackers and pureed vegetables, and letting Mommy sleep, waking only once in the night, sometimes not at all, yahoo! She positively delights in her big sister; no one can make her laugh and smile like Naomi. What a joy it is to watch them together! 
Next month will mark a year living in our new apartment. Just last Sunday I, Becky, remarked again to Travis, for the 100th time, how in awe I am of the home God has blessed us with. It is not only a wonderful space for us to raise our girls and host in, but it is also right at the heart of the community where we minister. It has enabled us to help with little things needed for church building use, it has lowered our travel expenses, and most of all, it has enabled us to commit to new outreaches this last year. It would have been a real struggle for us to begin and commit to these new English outreaches at the church building with an hour commute each way, and two little girls in tow. It would not have been impossible, but we are so glad that it isn't a hurdle we have to contend with when there are so many others which we struggle with in cross-cultural ministry! He is truly faithful to us, we could never say how much He has done to establish us here in Tokyo. We can say without a doubt that without His blessing and guidance, we would not have made it this far!
Becky's Mom and Dad came for a visit at the end of November and into December to meet Maye and visit with our family. We were so happy to have them here to get to know their new Grandbaby, spend time with Naomi and show them around our new neighborhood. 
Here are some pictures from Becky's third cooking class. We were blessed to have Becky's Mom here for the class in December to take part in the class as well as share small devotional through translation with everyone during teatime. The next class is the second week of February, please be praying for those who attend to be softened to receiving the gospel!
As we thank God for His provision in our lives, we are also daily reminded and thankful that He has brought all of you as faithful supporters to our family. You really can't know the blessings we receive, until you have experienced for yourself, the continued generosity given by churches, family and friends! We may not be rich by man's standard, but we are rich in blessings, and blessed by all of you!

We pray that you would remember us this year as we strive to continue following God's plans for our lives. We pray that we would not limit God, but embrace the opportunities that He brings our way, and we pray the same for you all as well.

The Kilsons: coming to a city near you...

This last year we spent in Japan growing our family and growing our ministry. This year we see the need and opportunity to travel back to the States to touch base with our supporters as well as make an effort to grow our support base and income. As our girls grow, so our income will need to increase to support them. Naomi's kindergarten is still something we are trying to fund by next spring, 2020. We've researched, and found that alongside some initial costs that vary between schools, the monthly tuition which looks to be around $300 per month. Would you consider if you can give to our family so that Naomi will be able to attend Kindergarten for the purpose of becoming proficient in Japanese at this optimal age.

Here are some other ways you can help as we look forward to this year: First, pray for us as we make plans and seek God's will. We have lots of wants and needs, but ultimately it is our desire to follow God's plan for our family. Second, spread the word! Last month, we gained a new supporter, simply from someone sharing our newsletter to their friends on Facebook. Tell your church, ask them if our mission is something they would like to come alongside. If you want us to come visit you, consider taking up a project with your church to raise funds for a portion of our travel back to the US, so that we can come visit and share what we've been up to. Third, as you consider your own budget for this year, consider adding us to your monthly giving, or increasing the faithful gift you've already been giving these past (almost) four years. 

I think we say this with every newsletter update, but we could not be here without all of your faithful support, both spiritually and financially. Missions is not a solo venture. Just take a look at the missions pioneer, Paul: sent (by the church at Antioch) and relying on the church congregation's support (like the Philippians) every step of the way! This is a joint effort; although we are here doing the work on the ground where they are in desperate need of the gospel, we also need those who will help in sending us, and support our family.

Thank you for being here, for taking an interest, for coming alongside us.

Blessings dear friends!

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