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Dear Friends and Family,
Count your blessings. There are times that the draw back to North America and family is stronger than others. I have recently lost my Aunt and it was hard to not be home to celebrate the life she lived and to not be alongside Noah for his first funeral experience. Yet, I count my blessings. I am thankful and blessed to have had an Aunt who loved Jesus, her family, and was an example to me of living a life of excellence. I look forward to joining her in Heaven’s choir, singing alto together. I count my blessings that Noah was surrounded by family and was able to be a witness to the beautiful life that my Aunt lived. I count my blessings that so many of the members of my family know Jesus, love him and we are connected by the Spirit. I count my blessings.
Since school started we have been adjusting, planning, working, and moving forward. Each day has a different schedule, whether teaching English to a class or privately, or traveling to KCS to lead or help out with the PTA. Each day I consult my calendar to see what’s on for the day.
At the start of October, we held a “Family Festa” at Komyo Church. Within our small church space, we had various games for kids to play, crafts, and snacks, with the spotlight on two ventriloquists—our own Yuri Nakano and a good pastor friend, Takei Sensei. We were blessed by the event, not only did Yuri and Takei Sensei do a great job; we had a handful of families come from the neighborhood. One family has also asked for a kids’ English class. We are excited to continue putting the church’s name out into the community as a safe, fun place for families.
Being faithful with our message of hope to our community takes time and commitment. That is why with each event prayers and 10,000 fliers are passed out. We want to share with our community that we follow through and are committed to serving them. We don’t want them to forget that we are here and that all are welcomed.
We also spent a Saturday afternoon folding origami with the residents of the Komyo Nursing Home. Every other month we spend just a few hours with these residents folding and talking and doing lots of laughing. We pray that we bring the love and joy of Jesus to them.
Paul traveled to Vancouver, Canada, this month to participate in the “Blue Ocean” meetings, led by Cam Roxburgh and Kent Carlson. It was a wonderful time of connecting not only with others but refreshment from the Spirit. Praise God! Then Paul quickly hopped on four legs of airplane travel to meet up with NAB’s Executive Director, Dr. Dan Hamil. As some might have read, the bridge to our airport here in Osaka was damaged by an oil tanker in one of the larger typhoons that came through in September. With half the bridge out of service, this means only public bus transportation to and from the airport. So, Paul arrived five hours ahead of Dr. Hamil and waited to escort him back to our house for the next 5 days.
Dr. Hamil’s visit was packed with events for each day. Our desire was to get Dr. Hamil to meet various JBC pastors and get a sense of the work we are doing here in Japan. As plans were made, we knew God was involved and Dr. Hamil was able to fellowship with various JBC pastors and hear their hearts but also see the emptiness of spiritual life here by visiting various shrines and temples. We are thankful for the time that Dr. Hamil was able to give to our field and to hear our hearts as missionaries.
Mixed in-between the fellowship and travel, ministry continued; we began helping Jonah to apply to various colleges and tried to watch a soccer game or two of Noah’s on the internet.
Life is busy, but the blessings are there. Some days it takes a moment to stop, breathe, and remember the love of the Father and His desire to fellowship with us.
This season of harvest and remembering all the things that our Father does for us, may you find the blessings even among the trials of this life.
Paul and Melissa
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