A life and ministry update:

« Spring 2021 »

Four to Five

Hello! What a whirlwind the start of the year has been for us. The biggest and most joyful event of course was the birth of our son, adding another birthday to celebrate in the month of February. This year, exactly one week after Travis celebrated his birthday, our son Daniel James was born. On February 24th at 11:37am weighing 7 pounds 4 ounces, and 20 inches long we welcomed our son into the world. We had a very smooth Cesarean delivery for Mom, actually the easiest procedure of the three. We are so thankful for that fact after the trouble that Becky has had previously.

As some of you may know, after Daniel was born he had impaired lung function, a complication that can occur with babies delivered via C-section. We had our first experience of having a child hospitalized, and it was a difficult and scary time. Due to Covid restrictions, Becky was by herself to receive the news as Travis had already been sent home. She had just been wheeled to her room post-op and immobile from the epidural, language barriers deal with, trying to grapple with the news about Daniels condition and get the necessary information correct. It was a lot!
We praise God for Daniel's life, we are so blessed to have him. Praise God that He sees us through when we don't know how it will turn out. Praise God that Daniel never had any set backs, but regained his lung function and was discharged from the NICU to Becky's room halfway through her hospital stay. Praise God for all of you who were praying for us at that time, it was such a comfort to us.
Daniel is now two months old, time flies! He is growing (almost not fitting 0-3 month clothes), healthy, and so loved. He is sleeping through the night for us too, which is just the cherry on top! His sisters still can't get enough of him. They love to hold him and talk to him and he is beginning to talk back now. He is also a smiley little guy. He loves to see our faces up close and he will give a wide smile when he recognizes us, such a sweet boy! He passed his one month check up with flying colors, but he still has some inflammation in his kidneys which the doctors have been monitoring since he was born. Half the cases of this kidney condition are resolved without any treatment, so we are hoping this will be the case for Daniel. We have another checkup at the end on the month, so we're praying it will have cleared up by then.
The new school year started at the beginning of last month in Japan. Naomi began her final year of kindergarten (its usually ages three to five here), and Travis began his second year teaching English at Izumi Junior College. Although there are different measures taken for Covid, their schools have not yet been cancelled or transitioned to online although the case numbers are on the rise again, so we will have to wait and see how things go. Naomi still loves kindergarten, and she is leaps and bounds past Travis and I in Japanese speaking skills. We are so happy that she enjoys school and has benefited so well from the experience so far.
Maye is growing both physically and mentally, especially in her language skills in both English and Japanese. We hope she will continue to learn Japanese this year as next year she will be old enough to start Japanese Kindergarten. Right now she is enjoying her time at home while sister is at school, but she loves it when big sister comes home to play. She is our little ham, she loves to make us laugh, and she is very good at it with her silly antics. She has also begun to be more adventurous in trying hard new things like riding her bike, or using the swings at the park by herself without sitting on Daddy's lap. Of all the ways our kids grow and learn, we pray that we can guide them to know and love the Lord, and follow His leading for their lives.
After Daniel was born we have had many appointments with doctors, at the American Embassy, and city offices. In between that flurry of errands and appointments and along with our regular church and school engagements, we have had some family vacation time during spring break. We went downtown for some sightseeing when our appointments took us to that area of town. We also got to enjoy warmer spring weather and cherry blossom season with walks, picnics, playing at parks etc. It was a wonderful way to spend our first season as a family of five!
We have loved our family time, but this season has not been what we expected. Church services continue to be limited for number capacity as well as social interaction, but we continue to teach and preach any opportunity we get. Also we had hoped to have Becky's parents here after Daniel was born to help with the transition, but due to Covid, no tourists are permitted to enter the country even still today. Our church family at Machida really stepped up to help us when we needed time to adjust and time for Becky to heal and get back on her feet. We had at least six families provide meals for us. Travis didn't use any of the freezer meals that Becky prepared before going to the hospital, and Becky didn't have to cook for two weeks after returning home from the hospital. We also had several occasions when people offered to take our girls for a few hours so we could get some extra rest. We were overwhelmed by their kindness and so grateful! 

We are waiting as many are for life to shift back to a more normal routine. We can't wait until we can fellowship more freely and reach out more effectively to our community. Please pray for us to be patient and wait upon the Lord, but also to see the opportunities that are in front of us, despite the pandemic. We love and appreciate you all, and thank you for your continued support!
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