We had a chance near the end of October to spend 5 days in Washington D.C.  We were there primarily for a missions’ conference at Fourth Presbyterian Church, which is no small deal!  While the idea of conferences conjures up images of lots of programs, what was such a joy for us was that it was all about people and relationships. (Below – sharing at Fourth’s family mission fair in our “Japan room.”  Eric made the blossoming cherry tree in the corner).  We loved working with Yumiko Chapin and Susan Tanigawa!


We loved the chance both at the church, and at different occasions, to connect and reconnect with old and new friends.  As our children have the chance to get to know our good friends from this area, too, we realize that these friendships are the greatest souvenir from such visits.  (Below, visiting with our friend Joan in Williamsburg, VA;  with my Aunt Carol; with the Lamberts).


Our whole family had a BLAST with the Bond family, where we stayed during our time there.  Annie got it right when she called Phil, “Mr. Bomb.”   The whole Bond family — they  are the Bomb!


It also served, personally, to remind me of our calling and the mission that God has given us in Japan.  Being here in the US it is easy to separate “Japan life” from “US life.”  The reality is that they are very much inter-related, and our time in DC was a great reminder of what we are all about.  We loved how much people really cared about what God is doing there.

And the last souvenir we came home with?  Bronchitis!  Annie and Olivia both were hit with it the first couple of days when we came back.  The bronchitis, though, went away; but the great memories and the friendships are what will stay.



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