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I arrived safely at Narita Airport on October 4 and was greeted by my coworkers, Paul and Melissa Ewing, who had generously given up a day to make the round trip from Osaka to Tokyo and back. The protocols here include a 14-day quarantine upon arrival. I was not allowed to take public transportation, thus the long trip for my coworkers. I was grateful for friends who went grocery shopping for me and for a few days to rest up before jumping into ministry. Thank you for your prayers for safe and smooth travels. Everything went well.
There are many wonderful things about being a missionary and many challenging things. One of the challenging things is saying goodbye. When I was younger, it was not as difficult for me. My parents were young and healthy. My sister and I were young and healthy. I would see them again in a few years, and we would talk on the phone or over Skype often. My dad would often comment on the joy he saw on my face as I said goodbye, knowing it was the joy of returning to Japan not leaving them! As the years have passed, it has become more challenging for me to say goodbye even though it has become easier to travel back and forth and to communicate quickly and easily. This time was especially difficult.
I am thankful for the example of Jesus as he lived on this earth. He was not afraid to show his emotions. As I grieve the loss of my mother and all the things that go along with that loss, I am aware of Jesus sitting with me in the grief. Thank you for praying with me and my family.
I have been encouraged by my friends, English students, Bible students, and church members in our reunions. The kindness of each one has brought joy to my heart. I look forward to continuing to build relationships with each one God has placed in my life.
In mid-September, Komyo Christian Church began to meet in person again for worship services, Bible studies, and English classes. What a joy to be together again! As with the rest of the world, we are praying about how to live and minister in the new normal. Please pray with us as we consider how to minister and reach out to the community, especially during the upcoming Christmas season.
The last Monday of October was the Japan Baptist Conference’s Ladies Workers Retreat on Zoom. We had a wonderful day of fellowship, study, and prayer. Yuri Nakano led a study from the book of Ruth on the theme of spiritual friendships. We were grateful that even through Zoom we could have deep and encouraging conversations. Most of the ladies had not experienced the ladies’ seminars that Yuri and I have been leading at Komyo Christian Church, so it was just a little taste for them. Everyone seemed to appreciate the day together. We are praying about how God will lead in the area of women’s ministry in the future.
Those of you in the US will be celebrating Thanksgiving soon. As I look through my gratitude list, Jesus, family, and each one of you are high on my list. Thank you for being part of what God is doing locally and around the world. May your hearts also be filled with gratitude as you consider the kindness and love of our Savior.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Ibukino 3 Chome 14-9-903, Izumi Shi, Osaka Fu 594-0041 Japan
7701 S TOWNSLEY AVE #212, SIOUX FALLS, SD 57018 USA
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