Jeff and Malia Walker
We continue to watch the situation in Japan and do our best to prepare for moving overseas. Japan's last state of emergency ended on June 20, but a "quasi-state of emergency" remained in place. What's more, Japan just announced that it will start a fourth full state of emergency from July 12 through at least August 22 due to rising cases. This will encompass the entirety of the Tokyo Olympics (which runs from July 23 to August 8), and will end right before the Paralympics start on August 24. This just highlights the dichotomy of the current state of the pandemic in the U.S. and Japan. As Washington State and the U.S. begin to open up and return to a semblance of normalcy, Japan enters a new state of emergency. Sometimes it really does feel like we're going in opposite directions. Ultimately, this means we will be waiting in the United States until after the Olympics before we can move to Japan. We do not know when the entry ban will be lifted, which makes trying to predict when we will be able to move quite difficult. While it is disappointing that we must continue to wait, we also continue to pray and trust in God's timing, not our own. God is good! He is preparing a place for us in Japan, it's just not ready yet.
As we wait, we've needed to figure out where we're going to live since we already rented out our house back in April in anticipation of leaving soon. However, we recently found out our renters needed to break the lease so they could urgently move out of the country. This left us with needing to find new renters. After much prayer around this topic, it became evident to us that God was providing a place for us to live for however long we need--our own home again. As such, we will be moving back to our old house in August as we wait for the borders in Japan to open. Once we know when we'll be moving abroad, we'll rent it out again. It will be a blessing to have our own space and for Mason and Kaili to be near their neighborhood friends again, at least for a little while.
We are almost fully supported! With some new supporters, we reached 100% of our previous budget. However, for the first time since joining WorldVenture there was a slight increase to one of our budget's line items in July. This leaves us with about $60/month of our monthly budget left to raise.
Praise God for friends and family that have housed us temporarily since April when we rented out our house. We're also thankful that God provided an avenue for us to move back to our house again in August until we make the move to Japan.
Malia has been teaching Mason and Kaili and their neighborhood friends how to swim this summer in a local swimming pool. They've made great progress!
Even as we wait to move, we're thankful we have been able to join our teammates in Japan via Zoom for some gatherings. A taste of what's to come!
We also praise God for continued connections with individuals and churches. 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.
Please continue to pray for God's provident timing. We await the opening of Japan's borders so we can get our visas approved and buy plane tickets.
Please pray for COVID cases to come down in Japan, for vaccine administration to ramp up and go smoothly, and for the entry ban to be lifted.
We also request prayer for continued connections with potential partners in ministry. We are so thankful for referrals!
As we begin to safely gather in-person again, we enjoyed a wonderful time together with friends for a picnic in the park
Mason and Kaili playing at the local playground // The kiddos hiding in our friends' ottoman--the simple joys in life // Enjoying some outdoor time on the trails nearby // Malia teaching Mason how to swim at a local pool // Kaili chilling in the pool after her swim lesson with Momma // Relaxing in a hammock while camping by Hood Canal on the Olympic Peninsula
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