On the Move
Hello again! It's officially fall, and temps are finally starting to cool off here in Kanagawa. Since our last update, a lot has been on the move! In late July, Lighthouse’s short-term missions team came to Japan for the first time in 4 years. We saw the Spirit on the move in the lives of the more than 50 kids (and their parents!) who attended the VBS programs in the small town in Ibaraki prefecture. They played games, learned English words, sang songs, and learned about Jesus. A couple families even attended church the following Sunday! The team plans to return next summer, and in addition to the church in Ibaraki, we're exploring what it could look like in our area of Kanagawa. Exciting!
After a surprisingly short turn-around, we've moved homes! More details to come on this move but in short, after over a year of living in our apartment in Kawasaki, we moved to a standalone home in inland Yokohama! It’s only about a 30-minute drive from our old place, but we now have more space and are much closer to the kids’ school. We are still serving with the same church-planting project, but our focus will shift to the church plant by Azamino station.
Leading up to the move in late August was a whirlwind, right up until the day after when we left for Hawaii on a trip to see family. But by God’s grace, it all worked out in His timing. Besides getting sick at the beginning of the trip, we had a relaxing time visiting family on our first family trip back Stateside since moving to Japan (and Elijah's first time in America!). Malia also worked in a physical therapy clinic to get some needed hours for her license. It was strange being back in America, though we never lived in Hawaii, so it wasn't like returning to Seattle.
Returning to Japan felt more like coming back "home." The kids have gone back to school, and they love the shorter commute! Jeff and Malia continue in their language studies and serving at Denen Grace. We're exploring new ministry opportunities at the Azamino Chapel too, and we look forward to what God has in store for us!
Thank you so much to all of our partners in ministry. Your prayer and financial support is always an encouragement to us. For several reasons, we are in high need for additional financial support. Monthly (ongoing):
In July, our monthly budget was underfunded by $1300/month due to lost support and increased budgetary needs. Thank you and praise God for those who responded and helped us narrow the gap.
We moved! For our new home, we need to raise an additional $190 per month for rent, bringing our monthly shortfall to about $1500/month
One-time moving-related costs (expensive in Japan) - about $10,000
We are attending WorldVenture's All-Asia Gathering (including a First-Termer Debrief) in Indonesia in October - about $2500
If you are a prayer partner, please prayerfully consider if God might be calling you to give financially to support our ministry here in Japan. If you already give financially, thank you! Please prayerfully consider if God might be calling you to increase your regular commitment, or to give a one-time gift on top of your commitment to help cover our one-time expenses. Thank you! One-time gifts and ongoing commitments can be received online through WorldVenture's Giving Portal. If you have any questions or thoughts, please reach out to us at jm.walker (at) worldventure (dot) com.
Updates & Praise:
We’ve moved! We’ve gotten to meet a handful of our new neighbors, and we’re excited to get to know them better and have Spirit-led conversations!
Malia has a new role on the Cross Project team! She’s been invited to serve the leadership team in an advisory role as Team Development Consultant with a plan to move to a full leadership role early 2024.
Next month, we are traveling to Indonesia for 1 week for WorldVenture’s All-Asia Gathering. This includes a first-termer’s debrief by WorldVenture’s member care team. This gathering of WorldVenture’s missionaries from all over Asia usually happens about every 3 years, but this is the first such gathering since the pandemic.
Our new home’s rent is about $190/month higher, and as such we need to raise more ongoing support. We also have one-time moving expenses to cover. Please prayerfully consider if you feel called to start or increase an ongoing commitment, or make a one-time donation.
Please pray for the kids and their families who attended the VBS programs at Saiwaicho Christ Church in Ibaraki. Pray that they would feel drawn toward Jesus, that the seeds planted during this time would grow and flourish, and that Saiwaicho would continue to be a beacon of God's light.
Some of our teammates recently made the difficult decision to return to the States for medical reasons. Please pray for them and their transition, as well as for the Cross Project team in Kanagawa.
Denen Grace Church members and missionaries at the August retreat
Elijah is 10 months old! // Spending sweet time with family in Hawaii // Malia leading part of our team meeting...with Elijah in tow
The short-term missions team from Lighthouse that served in Ibaraki // Kids gathered for VBS in Ibaraki // Meeting new neighbors at the neighborhood's annual emergency preparedness gathering
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, and Elijah