I know from frequent updates from various friends and family on Facebook and emails that we aren’t the only ones dealing with winter sickness. Last week Eric and Owen had fevers and colds; just as they were recovering Annie and Ian came down with the flu (Influenza A), and a day later Olivia. So I have been home a lot the past few days with sick kids; all of us in one room that we are heating… we eat, study, play, and hang out here, so its fairly inevitable that the germs will get passed on. I am headed to bed soon with a sore throat and runny nose – oh no! am I next?
We have been thankful for the great work being done on our new home- the carpenters have been doing an amazing job – the walls are in and up – the outside siding and roof are finished… our friend George from Sanda is blessing us so much and is supplying all of the flooring for both homes going in from his company. Today some of it is being delivered. In two weeks our friend Mike P. and his son Michael will be coming from New Jersey to put in the flooring – woohoo! We can’t wait!
We reeived really disappointing news last week, though – a call to confirm the timing on the water and sewer told us that it wouldn’t be ready until late March. I am still praying that somehow this can change – and maybe I don’t want to know if this isn’t true. We have several friends from Sanda coming in late February to help us move… I know God will give us grace if we can’t move until the end of March but right now it feels very hard to deal with. So please pray, if you would. The winter days have been particularly challenging in this home for a number of reasons. We’ve loved the unusual amount of snowfall for this area but it has meant every morning leaving our home really early to commute our kids to their school bus stops – the normal fifteen minutes is more like thirty with bad roads.
Probably of much more importance than the challenges mentioned above has been the impression that God has been putting on our hearts of His special spiritual and eternal purposes for us being here right now. Not just us, but the special collection of Christians whom he has gathered a) of Asian Access missionaries in the Tohoku region– there are twelve adults who in the past year have all moved into the greater Sendai region! and b) the various lot of missionaries and long term volunteer/development workers who are in the greater Ishinomaki region. At recent (separate) gatherings with both these groups, we focused on praying to understand and help fulfill God’s special purposes in bringing so many believers with united hearts to this location. It is an amazing privilege to be here; we do not want to miss any of His intentions. Our focus on united prayer and drawing into God’s heart feels so crucial.
Last Friday, our Asian Access Tohoku team gathered and focused on praying for God’s purposes not just in our individual placements, but as a team – what are the unique purposes to which He has called us as a larger body of missionaries sold out for Him? This is the largest team since our 1990 Tokyo years that A2 has ever had all living in one region. This is exciting but as I have been reflecting on our group times together, I feel strongly that He has special purposes beyond fellowship and encouragement. I want us to be alert to all that God has.
I was not able to participate, but last night Eric with Be One and the other Christians in our community gathered for a monthly prayer and praise time. The group of 25 or so brainstormed different strongholds/obstacles particular to this area (fear, suicide, alcoholism, other addictions) and praying against these things. It was a powerful time of seeking to bring more of God’s Kingdom to a place that desperately needs it. We are excited about all that God wants to do here!
For updates on the Nozomi Project, please click here to see our first two blog entries on the Nozomi website with photos and updates of what has been happening. Yesterday eight from our Nozomi team attended a local gathering of social enterprises. It was great to be a team and see the pride in what our staff are making.