A life and ministry update:

« The Year's End 2021 »

The End of 2021

Can anyone actually believe that it is already 2022. As we shared briefly in our (very late!) Christmas card, we have been learning and appreciating just how much we are not in control of our lives, and how much we must surrender to the Lord in order to serve Him in peace and joy. The Psalmists words still apply to us today: the Lord is truly our Shepherd. 

While the pessimist in me wants to look back at the destruction that the corona virus has cast on the year, I want to instead acknowledge that God brought us in this life to this specific time, and covid will not set Him back or deter His plans. I pray that we remain present and grateful for every challenge and opportunity in 2022 and beyond.
As I said in our last newsletter, Fall was a very busy season for us with teaching schedules, school schedules, ministry opportunities and regular life with three little ones. We were so happy and relieved to begin winter break for Naomi's kindergarten, and to have lighter teaching schedules during the holidays. It has felt like coming up for air. While we did have extra activities and outreaches with the holidays, it also felt like we had more margin to attend to those extra activities, and enjoy our church and community. 
This year, we had Christmas Eve and Christmas Sunday services both at the church building. It is a wonderful way to end each year celebrating the hope of the Savior born as Emmanuel, God with us. We had regular attendees and some guests from the community for these services. Please pray for those non-Christians who came, that they would be encouraged by what they heard, and come to follow Christ.  
Our church staff, Haruka Otsuka,Tim and Lisa Turner and their oldest daughter Sarah, in town for Christmas.   
Our church staff team had our year end meeting, and we all expressed the desire to have more of a community outreach for the neighborhood. We have been brainstorming ways we can work to use our church building to facilitate some sort of community center for people to come together, and to share Christ's message with them. This will be an ambitious endeavor, but we are now in the planning phase, as we look forward to the corona virus becoming an endemic, when we can more freely gather and fellowship. Please pray with us as we pursue this opportunity and follow God's leading in this prospect.
As far as family updates, one thing we'd like to share that has given us considerably more convenience in life is that we bought a car! For almost seven years we have lived in Japan car free, and it was a blessing. We didn't have a car or insurance payment to consider in our budget, we became very familiar with public transit, (which is still sometimes the better way to get around due to traffic etc), and we had built in daily activity walking and biking wherever we went.

This fall, several events prompted us to begin searching for a car: Travis' scooter broke down, going from two to three kids, and selecting a kindergarten for Maye that is not at a convenient walking distance, among other things.  While previously we imagined we would have to do specific fundraising before we could buy a car, in the midst of tough times around the world, we have been provided for over abundantly! We had enough to buy a used car outright and afford the cost of living increase that comes with owning a car. Thank you for your faithful support of our family needs. God answered our needs with your generosity before we knew what was happening! 
After purchasing the car we have been able to go visit an older member of our congregation who has been house bound since the beginning of the Corona outbreak. As her house is not conveniently located for public transit, we weren't able to go visit her as a family, but we have had several opportunities around the holidays to go visit with her and give her company. She was very glad to meet Daniel for the first time!
Along with buying a car, I (Becky), got my license transferred to a Japanese license, so now I can drive the car we own! I have been trying to pass the driving exam portion since August, and just two weeks after we bought our car, on my third attempt (they are very strict), I passed the driving test! We got to celebrate by driving our own car to meet our dear friends and fellow missionaries in Japan, the Glossons. I drove our family all the way home after our visit!
The Kilson kids are growing, learning, changing, and challenging us every step of the way. I read somewhere that if you question your ability and parenting method, then you are a good parent. If that is the case, we must be VERY good parents. Everyday we see our inadequacies, but we take those reminders as opportunity to rely on the Lord and trust our children to Him, and not to our imperfect, ever-changing parenting attempts. 
Naomi will finish Obirin Kindergarten (like American preschool), and begin home school next spring. We are looking forward to the opportunities and challenges that will bring. Please pray for us as we consider curriculum options, community groups and clubs that she can take part for her home schooling education. We are also working to build better connections with her school friends to be able to continue those relationships even after kindergarten is over. Please pray for us as we try to connect during a time when many are hesitant to go out and gather due to Corona.
As Naomi finishes Kindergarten we will be getting Maye ready to begin Kindergarten in April at Saffron Kindergarten. She is both looking forward to and apprehensive about the coming changes. Please pray with us as we guide her through this process. Pray for her to adjust easily, to be able to communicate with teachers and friends and to be able to make friends and memories along the way. 
Daniel James is a handful and a half! He had his ten month checkup last month, and he's growing and developing right on schedule. He weighs over nine kilograms, (over twenty pounds), and he LOVES to scoot around the house and put anything he can reach in his mouth. He has begun crawling, although our floor is slippery so he often prefers to army crawl as it is quicker and easier for him right now. He has also started pulling himself up to a kneeling and standing positions. Although he is still very tipsy! His one year birthday is just around the corner, and we can't believe how fast that year went! 
We mentioned in our last newsletter that we are planning to visit the states in the fall. Believe it or not, planning for that trip will begin in the next few months. Please pray for us as we plan and coordinate our visit. We hope to be able to connect with many of you as well as making new connections as we continue our work here in Machida, Japan. We have already had some special donations designated to be used for travel funds. Looking just at ticket expenses, flights look to be $2,000 plus, per person, which would be times four for our family.  If you want to make donations for our trip cost, you may indicate in your online donation or check memo for the funds to be used for travel.
As we wrote above were have been so faithfully supported in this very uncertain time. Your support has not wavered, but only increased. Thank you all so much! We hope that this lengthy update finds you doing well. We pray blessings for all of you our friends and family as we head into this new year. 

Love from the Kilsons
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