Fall is upon us! School is in full swing, and we continue to live life in the States as await Japan's borders opening. In order to prepare ourselves for a smoother adjustment to living in Japan, we've been studying Japanese more lately, and it's been going well. It's a tough language, but 頑張ります (ganbari masu) is our mantra, which means we're "doing our best!"
On September 30, Japan ended its state of emergency! The COVID situation is steadily improving. About 60% of the population is now fully vaccinated and 70% have gotten at least 1 dose administered. These numbers are surpassing the U.S.! A new prime minister, Fumio Kishida, took office on October 4. He and the Japanese government are carefully easing pandemic restrictions in a phased approach. However, currently we are still not permitted to enter the country. When will the travel ban on new visas be lifted? It's still possible this could happen this calendar year. We continue to wait on the Lord and trust in His perfect timing.
We are now fully financially supported! We've hovered around 100% support since about May, but with some loss of support and a budget increase, we were still short. But thanks to a new supporter we are officially at full support! Praise the Lord! We want to give our heartfelt thanks to our team of 121 financial partners, which includes 83 partners who have committed to supporting our ministry on a regular basis (6 partner churches and 77 individuals/families). We could not be doing this without your support!
We are also incredibly blessed and thankful for our 300+ prayer partners who are vital to this ministry. Thank you for lifting us and the country of Japan up in prayer!
Our trip to visit one of our supporting churches in-person in Oregon for the first time went wonderfully! It was a great time together praying and sharing our mutual heart for Japan. We look forward to a continued partnership in reaching the Japanese people.
Jeff's brother got married a couple weeks ago. Back in the spring, we didn't know if we'd still be in the States for his wedding. But this was one of the events God wanted us in the States for while we await our move to Japan. We're very thankful that our whole family got to attend and celebrate this special occasion with them!
Even though we've hit 100% support, we aim to continue partnership development. This is in the hopes of having enough support in place that we can weather potential budget increases and supporter attrition to avoid dipping below 100% in the future. Please pray for our continued partnership development.
Please continue to pray for God's provident timing with regards to the opening of Japan's borders, especially with the state of emergency now lifted. We pray for wisdom for the new prime minister and the other leaders in the Japanese government. Please pray for the entry ban to be lifted soon so we (and our other teammates waiting) can move to Japan. There are 3 other "units" fully supported like us waiting to move to Japan when the borders open.
Please pray for us to be appreciative of the precious time we have here in the States. Please pray for our language studies to continue to improve during this time.
Malia's fall family photoshoot // Our awesome soccer players! // Mason as ringbearer and Kaili as flower girl at Jeff's brother's wedding // Jeff and Malia at Jeff's brother's wedding reception
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.
Thanks and blessings,
Jeff, Malia, Mason & Kaili