Peace Be With You
We pray that this update finds you safe and well in this "new normal." Like you, we are adjusting to how to live life during this unprecedented time. In fact, we find ourselves saying some variation of the phrase "during this time" so often now. It really is a crazy time in the world for everyone. It's easy to get overwhelmed and anxious about the health and well-being for family and friends, and how long these restrictions on our lives will continue. However, we take comfort and hold tight to the fact that none of this is a surprise to God. In fact He remains in complete control, and is taking what appears at face value to be such a negative thing and is using it for good and His glory. We continue to find inspiration from this verse:
“Look at the nations and watch—
and be utterly amazed.
For I am going to do something in your days
that you would not believe,
even if you were told."
Habakkuk 1:5 (NIV)
Update: Here in Washington state, we were the site of the first cases and deaths in the United States from coronavirus. Many things have changed in our lives since then, as well as in the rest of the world. Lighthouse's VBS mission trip to Japan this summer was cancelled. Church is now live-streamed. Even the 2020 Tokyo Olympics were postponed until next year. Mason and Kaili have been home from school since early March, with Malia taking on the role of teacher for homeschooling. Jeff stepped down to part-time work as a pharmacist back in February, and those hours are now worked almost exclusively from home. We are thankful that he has a job that is able to be worked remotely. There is a lot of uncertainty with how to move forward with partnership development at this time, which has impacted our timeline for moving to Japan. However, we acknowledge it's God's timing--not our own--that matters. And we couldn't be in better hands!
Praise: We couldn't be on this journey without all of our supporters, both for prayer and finances. We recognize that many people are going through trying times right now, including financially. It does not go unnoticed that we are continuing to receive support and we are so very grateful. We even have gained new supporters during this time, bringing us to 53% of our needed monthly support. We praise God! However, we also understand that you may be going through financial hardships at this time. We completely understand if God is calling you to alter your commitment, even if temporarily. We want you to know there is no pressure from us. Our financial support is between you and God.
Another praise is we recently were able to join our fellow missionaries in Japan on a Zoom call that had 60 people on it! It was a wonderful time to reconnect with some that we've already met, to meet other teammates, and to simply have time of sweet fellowship and prayer. With all the time at home, we have enjoyed being able to more closely disciple our kiddos as well. This brings us such joy, as guiding our kids on their walk with Jesus is our highest calling as parents.
Prayer: Our prayer requests include continued deepening of our relationship with our current supporters, as well as forging new partnerships as we continue to raise support. We'd love to catch up and pray for you, so let us know if you want to Zoom call sometime! We ask for prayer for peace and trust in God's timing for our move to Japan, as COVID-19 has in all likelihood pushed back our timeline. We pray that God will continue to use this time of quarantine and social distancing for His glory, that people would be drawn toward Him and be more receptive to the gospel of Jesus. We also ask for prayer for Malia as she continues to home school Mason and Kaili, which takes a lot of energy and preparation.
Thanks and blessings,
Jeff, Malia, Mason & Kaili