Happy New Year!
Happy New Year, everyone! We pray you had a blessed time this Christmas encountering Jesus but staying safe. As mentioned previously, we will have a 10 Days of Prayer campaign for Japan starting next week on the 11th and running through the 20th. A new topic of prayer will be emailed out each day. Please join us! 2020 - Hidden Blessings Where to even begin? What a year we all had last year. Yes, the pandemic put many aspects of our life on hold, and there were lots to adjust to. But we also saw God clearly working amidst it all. Our plans for Japan were delayed but never derailed. After we got our quarantine legs under us, we actually picked up much momentum in partnership development, including a new supporting church. While Zoom fatigue is an issue, this technology has been a blessing to us for connecting with lots of new people in 2020. Our team in Japan also launched two church plants this year during COVID. Jeff closed the year by officially stepping away from his pharmacist position, and will only remain in a per diem role for the next few months as we work to wrap up raising our support. 2021 - A Look Ahead As we begin the new year, our monthly support now officially sits at 69.6%. Coupled with verbal commitments we've received, that number is unofficially at 72.4%. Praise God! This means we are able to begin the Certificate of Eligibility application process for our visas! This has been a huge answered prayer of ours. The whole application process generally takes 4-12 weeks till approval (at least it did pre-COVID), and then you have 90 days to move. While we acknowledge that our timeline is ultimately in God's hands, it's shaping up for a Spring or Summer 2021 move to Japan for our family!
Praise: Jeff's root canal is done! It went as well as could be expected, and his tooth is feeling great. Thank you for your prayers! Malia may have a path to getting her necessary 200 hours of physical therapy work practiced in the next few months, which is another answered prayer. 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: While we can begin to fill out of visa application now that we've reached at least 70% support, we currently cannot submit it to the Japanese government since Japan recently re-closed its borders to foreigners on December 28th. Japan plans to begin processing visas again in February, but how the country handles surges in COVID cases between now and then will determine if this gets delayed or not. Japan just declared a state of emergency in the Tokyo area. Our (admittedly huge) prayer request is for COVID to be contained and stopped, for smooth vaccine distribution, and for this global pandemic to come to a close. We believe in a mighty God, and know for Him all things are possible. Our prayer is that we'll be able to submit our visa application in February as planned. We also request prayer for continued connections with potential partners in ministry. We are so thankful for referrals! Jeff would also appreciate prayers as he prepares to undergo LASIK surgery next week (January 11th).
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