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A life and ministry update:

« May and June 2021 »

Our May and June...

Hello and thank you for stopping by to read another update from the Kilson family! We have been keeping on these last few months, busy with kid appointments and preschool and English teaching schedules. Our ministry efforts are still limited with Covid restrictions, but we are encouraged as we see things sliding back to normal in the U.S. The number of sick had spiked again in May prompting another "state of emergency" declaration from the government, which was then extended into the end of June. The numbers had again fallen back down again, but with the Olympics and summer holidays coming, the government issued another state of emergency to try to discourage people from travelling and going out too much. We pray that this fall numbers will go down and we can get out from under the oppression of the limited Covid lifestyle.

A glimpse of the state of our house every time I turn around (this is a mild representation): pillows and blankets constantly flung all over and toys sprinkled throughout. Life with three kids five and under, phew.
The borders are still closed for tourists to come to Japan, only Japanese citizens and foreign residents are permitted to enter as of now. Although they have gone ahead with the 2020 Olympics, they are only allowing the athletes to enter the country. They will not however be able to travel freely throughout the country, and there will be limited or no spectators admitted to the games. We are hopeful that this small opening for visitors will go well and not raise the number of Covid cases, and possibly prompt the borders to begin reopening. We are not only anxious to meet family especially after Daniel was born, but we also have had several applications for the Macedonian Project Japan from students interested in ministry internships in Japan who have been unable to come to us to take part in the program because of the closed borders.
Although we haven't been able to do many outreach events, we still continue to build relationships with those in our community. We have been making connections with more people in the neighborhood, who live and work in our area. We've also invited some who were interested in studying English to attend the Wednesday morning English Bible Study. Travis and Tim continue to study each week with this group of non-Christians, and share the truth through reading scripture, by sharing the foundation of Christ as our Rock, and the community of the Church body. Along with Travis' regular preaching once a month at Machida Church of Christ, he has also been doing some supply preaching around the Tokyo area, some regularly every month and some irregularly, as they request. He is glad to be able to supply preach to help churches without a preaching minister, or to relieve the preachers who regularly teach at these congregations.
Besides ministry outside the home, we are the busiest shepherding and discipling our own little flock of three at home. Naomi and Maye, five and three years old respectively, are two peas in a pod, until they are not. They are both aware of their own wants and they squabble at each other often, and two minutes later, are best buddies again. It is a joy and challenge to teach them to love and consider others in their everyday interactions. We are grateful for the lessons we can teach at home that come about so organically. We are also painfully aware of where we fall short in parenting, and how much we all need grace as we strive to love like Jesus. I think parenting is the most soul-shaping experience we have ever had, even beyond moving onto the mission field!
Last month Maye turned three years old, and we had a fun time celebrating her as a family. We did a treasure hunt with her, with a map created by big sister Naomi, which ended at their favorite sushi restaurant. In the month of May we also toured a new Christian kindergarten that we are interested in sending her to next year since Naomi's kindergarten will be closed to rebuild the school. After touring the school we started attending a weekly play class with other two and three year olds in order to familiarize Maye with the school before she begins attending next spring. The most pronounced difference between Naomi and Maye is that Naomi is an extrovert an Maye is an introvert. Where Naomi could not wait to attend school and make friends, Maye is very reserved and doesn't like to go anywhere without Mommy, Daddy, or her big sister. We pray that she will become accustomed to the school this year, as well as improve her Japanese so that she will not struggle too much when school begins.  
Last month Daniel turned 4 months old. He is such a chunky little guy, and he has lots of smiles to give out to anyone who will smile back at him. I (Becky) took him back to the hospital in Shibuya where he was born to have another scan of his kidneys to check if there was still inflammation. His scan at one month showed no change, but this last scan at three months old showed that he only had inflammation on his left kidney, and his right had healed. Praise God! We will go for another check at the end of August and we pray that he will be completely healed by then. He still does not require any treatment for the condition, and he is happy and sleeping through the night, and eating well. If they had not found the inflammation in the NICU when he was born, we would not even know he had this condition! We are grateful that it does not ail him.
This spring God has drawn some back to Machida church that have not been connected with the congregation for years. One gentlemen, we'll call him Mr. H, began attending Sunday services again, and expressed a desire to return to church and recommit to following Christ after he had fallen way for several years. Another young man Mr. T who years ago attended kids English classes came to Sunday service and shared that he has been struggling with depression. As his therapist encouraged him to get out and connect with people to help him in his depression, he thought of the Machida church, and has begun attending services. Please pray for both of these men, that we can encourage them and come alongside them, and that they would see Christ's transformative power in their lives.
We always want to end our newsletters by expressing our gratitude to you all for your support for our family and the ministry here in Tokyo. As our family grows, our need increases, but thanks to God's provision, and our faithful donors who partner with us each month, we have never been without! We are truly grateful. Thank you for continuing to support and pray for our family.

God Bless,

The Kilsons
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