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There was a huge announcement in our staff meeting at the end of May when Paul and Melissa Ewing shared that God had led them to not return back to Japan as missionaries. It was a shock to hear this, but at the same there was an overwhelming peace that could only be explained as the peace that comes from the leading of the Spirit. My word of the year is TRUST. I had wondered why this would be my theme this year, and now I know why! God had been preparing me for this news through the precious times of prayer and solitude taken in intentional retreats since the beginning of this year. I believe the guiding hand of the Lord was at work, both in the Ewing family and also in Shan Reed’s life as we processed this news. I am so thankful that God knew I would need His reassuring presence through this new reality. Though we are entering a period of unknowns, it is a period of trust and waiting upon the Lord.
Paul and Melissa have had a wonderful ministry here in Japan of over 22 years. Since I came as a career missionary 13 years ago, they have been serving as Field Director to me and have faithfully given leadership to the mission. They have been good ambassadors of Christ’s love over the years, and many people shared their love and appreciation for them when they came back for one month in July to pack up their things. It is with mixed feelings of sadness, yet excitement for them for the new path that God is opening up. They will be missed! July 23 was their last worship service at Komyo Christian Church, which they had planted with Shan Reed many years ago.
Please pray for wisdom and discernment regarding next steps and responsibilities that need to be taken care of in light of a much smaller missionary team. Prayerful discussions are taking place under the leadership of the International Office as we discern God’s direction in the months ahead. Please pray with us as we continue to trust in His good and perfect will.
There were huge answers to prayer over these past months as we were able to have Ladies’ Seminars in several churches that had never experienced them before. One of the major goals for this year was to be able to reach all the JBC churches with the seminars, and I am so thankful that we were able to! We had good attendance at most of them, and so far the feedback has been positive.
Now that all the JBC churches have experienced the seminars, we are praying that they will continue to enjoy coming together to study God’s Word in community as sisters in Christ.
Thank you for praying and partnering with us for the ministry in Japan.