Mustard Seed Faith
As summer draws to a close, and still in the thick of COVID social distancing, our family took a trip to the Washington coast. We climbed the tallest lighthouse in Washington, and ate some delicious seafood. Kaili got stung by a bee, but was so tough and brave and had almost forgotten it had happened by that evening!
It was a special time together as family to rest and recharge as we prepare for not only the upcoming school year, but our continued support raising journey toward Japan. There have been many moments of doubt along the way, many centered on the enormity of the task of raising support. When will we finally get to Japan? Will we get to Japan? Some weeks it feels like we are taking as many steps backward as we are forward. I find oftentimes my prayer to God is for Him to increase my faith. I was reading Luke 17 recently and read this passage:
“The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you."
Luke 17:5-6 (NIV)
So God reminds me that I don't need faith the size of a mountain in order to move mountains. I need only to have faith the size of the lowly mustard seed. Which is a relief, because there are times I feel that I don't even have that. But God is always faithful, and I believe He will bring us to Japan in His timing. And we believe that timing is approaching!
Update: The new school year is upon us. And it looks different from even what the end of last school year looked like (that is, there's more structure this time). Mason has started 2nd grade this week. Before the school year started, we had been praying about whether to have Mason go to in-person instruction versus online school. Our prayer was answered definitively when the school district cancelled in-person plans and went to a fully remote model to start the school year. The duration of remote instruction is indefinite at this point. In light of this, we made the difficult decision to withdraw Kaili from her preschool, so she is home too.
Praise: Praise God that He has continued to connect us with several new supporters, as well as a new supporting church! We also want to recognize and praise our supporters who continue to encourage and support us even during COVID. For this we are so grateful and humbled. We wouldn't be on this journey without you standing with us.
Prayer: Despite our new supporters, we are still short of reaching our end-of-summer goal for our monthly support to be 70% raised. Please pray that we will continue to be connected with people interested in God's work in Japan, and for us to be able to reach our 70% support goal in a couple months so we can begin the visa application process soon (an exciting next step!). We hope to begin applications for our "certificate of eligibility" for a Japanese visa by November, with an eye to moving to Japan in 2021. Please also pray for discernment for Jeff to know when the time is right to step away from his pharmacist job completely so he can focus solely on partnership development.
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