A Socially Distant (But Spiritually Close) Christmas
Updated: Dec 11, 2020
We hope and pray you had a great Thanksgiving this year, despite it likely looking very different from the norm. As we prepare to celebrate Christmas with similar social distancing restrictions, we hold fast to the fact that God chose to draw intimately close to us when Jesus was born into this world. He was called "Immanuel," and this was truly "God with us" in the most beautiful and literal sense. All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
Matthew 1:22-23 (and Isaiah 7:14)
To so many Japanese people, they have only heard of the "Jesus of Christmas." We want Jesus to be personally known in Japan, for His love and His saving grace to be experienced. That is our hope and prayer this Christmas.
Update: Our monthly support now officially sits at 67.5%, which is a huge praise! With verbal commitments we've received, that number is unofficially at 68%. That means we are very close to reaching 70% support, which will allow us to begin the visa application process. Jeff formally gave notice that he is stepping away from his pharmacist job completely by year's end.
Praise: We're thankful that God has given Jeff clarity and peace about the decision to leave his pharmacist position by the end of this month. There has been a lot of prayer poured out regarding this. We also praise God for continued connections with individuals, including new supporters. We're also so thankful for our current ministry partners who have continued to support us during this whole journey. For this we are incredibly blessed.
Prayer: Our prayer request is for continued connections with potential partners in ministry. If you know someone (or your missions board) who might be interested, we would be so grateful if you could please connect us. These referrals are a big part of our partnership development! Please also pray for Jeff's transition away from his pharmacist job and into full-time partnership development. While he's at peace with the decision, it still won't be easy. Jeff would also appreciate prayers as he prepares to undergo a root canal and LASIK surgery in the next month (thankfully funds in his HRA will help with this).
Also, we mentioned in November we were planning to run a prayer campaign this month (similar to our 10 days of prayer for Japan at the end of last year). We still want to do this to lift up Japan in prayer. However, we are pushing this back to January. Since Jeff is in his last month at his pharmacy job, it's a little crazy. He will have more bandwidth to devote to this next month. More details to come. Please join us!
This is a free Christmas resource created by our sending organization, WorldVenture. Please click on the image to go to the website where you can download a PDF of the Simple Christmas devotional. Day 15 was written by a member of the Cross Project team of ours in Japan. Day 22 was also written by a fellow missionary in Japan.
We would love to hear from you, whether it be to share your prayer requests or to schedule a Zoom meeting so we can catch up and share more details of our plans with you. Please know that we think of you and pray for you often.
Jeff, Malia, Mason & Kaili