Greetings from Japan!
Updated: Apr 5
Konnichiwa (こんにちは) from Japan! It feels really good to be able to say that. After taking our first vision trip to Japan 5 years ago, then getting appointed as missionaries with WorldVenture 4 years ago, we've spent 3 years raising support and 1 more year of transition as we awaited the opening of the borders. And now we can finally say: we are in Japan! This would not be possible without all of your prayers and support, so we are so thankful to each of you!
What a journey we've been on the past couple of weeks. We departed Seattle for Tokyo on March 22nd, and arrived 10 hours later on March 23rd in Japan. After some long walks through the airport, taking our COVID tests and waiting for the results, then going through immigration and customs, about 4 hours had elapsed. But we made it! We were greeted at the airport by our teammates Gary, Addison, and Abigail, who had made the long trek to Narita to pick us up in 2 vans (besides our family of 4, we had 14 checked bags, 4 carry on bags, and 4 personal bags--whew!).
We are now into our 2nd week in Japan. We've adjusted to the time zone (with an assist from melatonin) and have settled into our Airbnb as much as one can (we've already switched Airbnb's once due to availability). We're having a great time getting to know our new teammates, exploring Tokyo, Kawasaki, and Yokohama, and learning the train system. We're in the thick of searching for our new home, which will also determine which Japanese public school Mason and Kaili attend. On the horizon, we are looking at deciding which Japanese language school for Jeff and Malia to attend, beginning in the coming months once we are more adjusted.
We are ecstatic to finally be in Japan where God has called us! And on top of everything, the country looks incredible with cherry blossoms in full bloom! All the Japanese people we've met so far have been so nice and helpful, and we're excited to continue to learn the language, meet new people, and deepen relationships!
Praise God that we are in Japan! He is faithful and good!
Praise God for great teammates! We've enjoyed getting to know the Lavermans, Mitchells, Changs, and Zodys, as well as fellow new arrivals the Follmers and Alissa! Plus all of the friendly and helpful HQ office staff!
Praise God that even though we had to switch Airbnb's on Friday, He answered our prayers with an early check in. This meant that instead of us being "homeless" for 6 hours, we could move in right away!
Praise God for two more financial supporters!
Praise God that everything with our HOA back in Seattle was ironed out! We are able to rent out our home immediately.
Please pray for our housing search. This time of year is the busiest moving season in Japan, and it's been difficult to find a home that fits all of our needs: budget, location, and space.
Please continue to pray for our transition to life in a new culture, including wisdom for choices in picking a language school for Jeff and Malia and for schooling options for Mason and Kaili.
It looks like potential renters have already been found for our home in the States! Please pray everything works out smoothly for lease signing and moving in soon.
Please pray for our continued partnership development. We are $64/month short of our budget.
Our commissioning at Lighthouse // Saying farewell at Sea-Tac airport
Team photo in the park after climbing the Tokyo Tower // Visiting the Tokyo Tower!
Ice cream treats at Asakusa // Attending Sunday service at Denen Grace Chapel in Mizonokuchi // Touring JVENTURE headquarters in Higashikurume
Excitement abounds in the Pokemon Center in Yokohama // Such beautiful cherry blossoms!
We would love to hear from you, whether it be to share your prayer requests or to simply catch up. Please know that we think of you and pray for you often.
Thanks and blessings,
Jeff, Malia, Mason & Kaili