Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. Luke 14:23
Gospel-Centered Church Planting to reach the unchurched 99% in Japan.

Summer Visits

I thought I posted awhile back, but it was stuck in a draft folder, so forgive me for the long break in posts. Summer came! And then left! Today was the first time I was outside in months where I felt cool, it was very nice. Summers here are much more muggy than California, and while we might not get the high end temperature heat that we sometimes get in California, daily sweating through shirts is pretty common. Tmi? Anyway…

It was great seeing lots of old friends over the summer! We visited Iwate prefecture, where Maki’s parents and my brother/Maki’s sister (who are married to each other) live. It was great for the kids to enjoy their favorite ‘baba’s house park’, and meet some new MK friends, oh and also go ocean swimming. Something I enjoyed a lot growing up.

We also were able to reconnect with old friends from my first term of ministry in Japan, when I interned at Tama Plaza Church in 2009-10. Many of the churchgoers are still there, and it was fun to see everyone (except the pastor and his wife who were on vacation, hence the opportunity to preach there). Also, a man whose job sent him up to Iwate for work a few years back, and attended Minami Church with us for a few years, attends Tama Plaza church with his family when he is in town, so it was fun seeing him again, even though it’s in a different part of Japan than usual for us 🙂

Finally, it was also great catching up with a friend who came to Japan as a short-termer about 6 years ago, and is currently living in Okinawa as a tent-maker missionary. He and his wife and little girl were able to swing by on their way to visit relatives in America, and it was an encouraging time as their hearts for the gospel are so apparent.

It has also been great to fellowship with other Japan Baptist Fellowship missionaries and JEMS missionaries, some on our local church planting team, and some working on other projects, and in a few weeks we’re planning to have a barbecue with JEMS missionaries in the prefecture. Great encouragement!

Visiting Tama Plaza Church, where I interned 10 years ago! Another funny thing about this is the gentleman on the far right works in Iwate, but comes home to Kanagawa about once a month. We used to serve at the church he attends in Iwate, so it was great to see him also at the other church I used to serve at!
Pastor Sakuma was on vacation at Tama Plaza Church, so even though I interned there 10 years ago, this is the first time I’ve had the privilege of preaching on a Sunday morning!
Good being with old friends
Also good being with new friends! Over Summer break we visited family in Iwate, and this family is a new missionary family that has become close with Maki’s parents and my brother’s family.
We stayed at my brother (and Maki’s sister)’s home and the double cousins had a blast. This is how breakfasts usually looked.
An old friend who helped out our first VBS in Iwate…5 years ago? 6 years ago? Visited over the summer, here we are with our daughters who are like a day apart.
great catching up while Aki is apparently shooting fish with his umbrella.

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