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A life and ministry update:

« April & May 2020 »

Slowing Down

Hello friends and family! We hope this update finds you well and healthy. Since the end of February the pace of our lives has slowed considerably. For April and May we have continued to practice social distancing. We take it in turns going to the store so that we won't contribute to crowding the stores. We haven't ridden trains or buses in over two months now, which is very strange for us as it used to be a weekly occurrence. We stay home, and work on home projects or projects on our computers. We do crafts, or go for walks, or play in our backyard. We are daily thankful to God for providing us with a home that has a small green space of our own to play in, and enjoy the nice Spring days.

At the end of March, Machida Church of Christ suspended meeting together for Sunday services in response to the state of emergency issued by the Japanese government. Our church team has taken it in turns to post lessons, sermons and worship videos online to share with our congregation to learn together and encourage one another, even though we are apart. For a taste of what those are like, click here.
We spent Easter Sunday at home enjoying online services in English and Japanese, reading the Easter story with the girls, we hunted for eggs, and we even dressed up for family pictures.
We were hoping that we would be able to resume services beginning in early May, after the Golden Week holidays, but Prime Minister Abe extended the state of emergency until the end of the month, so we are still on hold. That includes suspension of public schools, (private schools have followed suit including Naomi's Kindergarten), gathering in groups, kids after-school clubs, excessive interaction out in public etc. Spring festivals have been cancelled, parks are roped off, and amusement parks are closed. Social distancing has never been mandatory, but strongly encouraged, and we try to do our part to acknowledge the government's request.
We are blessed that this social distancing has not been a time of hardship for our family. Although we miss seeing our friends and meeting with the church, with no kids in school, and our daily work other than meetings and Bible studies, usually done from home, our day to day has not suffered from the social restrictions. We have seen that social distancing has turned the world upside down for some, or is not even an option for others to stay home who must work to survive on a day by day basis. God has provided for us generously, and we have used the time to grow together as a family. It has been delightful to have more opportunity to practice being the church in our family, learning together, singing together, sharing communion together.
During social distancing, I (Becky), have taken the opportunity to establish a workout routine. I started it off with a challenge to move for at least 30 minutes per day for 100 days. The 100th day we hiked in a hilly park in town on a beautiful spring day. We brought my 100 Day chart to take a picture and celebrate!
We pray that the virus will soon fade and the state of emergency will lift. While we have enjoyed the time as a family, we have felt a loss for meeting as the church, and pursuing outreach opportunities. Please pray with us that the connections and relationships we were cultivating before the outbreak will not suffer from this long hiatus. We're thankful for each of you in your prayers and support of our ministry, especially in this unknown and difficult time.
We hope that you too have been able to find a silver lining and enjoy God's blessings even during this strange time. We're thankful for everyone of you, and for God's protection for you and your families,

The Kilsons,

Travis, Becky, Naomi and Maye
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