When we were preparing to leave for Japan a few weeks ago back in California, we were asked to give a short response at our commissioning service. Damon and I decided to think about what we wanted to say separately. After a couple of days, we compared notes…and we realized that wanted to say the exact same thing, and one word summarized it all: blessed.
We have been so blessed by God and through his people, our friends and family. In the past 11 years of living in California, through the several churches and cities in which we’ve lived, through every circumstance and each major life event – we have been tremendously blessed by the Lord, abundantly more than we deserve.
He has particularly blessed us through people, through relationships, in which we have received much more than we have given in return.
Now we are in Japan (it has been almost 2 weeks!), and the Lord continues to richly bless us. So many people have been helping us from the moment we landed at the airport. We are thankful for each person who has taken time out of their busy schedules to show us around, take us to places, translate, answer questions, etc. We are very thankful and pleased with our apartment, the convenience of its location near supermarkets and transportation, the people who are our neighbors, the city, the community we have joined to serve together in sharing the gospel to the souls in this city.
Don’t get me wrong, this first week hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows – we have had our challenges. But in light of God’s goodness and grace to us, they have been relatively minor. 🙂 God’s blessings have been clearly visible, and I’m grateful to have eyes to see them by the grace of God. I hope I will have eyes to see them in the days to come.
It’s so true, when I remember the goodness of God, and he blesses me with lenses to see them, there is happiness and peace. I have witnessed his abundant goodness, with which he has blessed us and continues to bless us more than we deserve. His vast goodness is for all his children, whom he blesses continuously.
Are your eyes open to his blessings in your life, in every and all situations? Often I am blinded to them. But let’s pray together that the Lord will give us the grace to see his wonderfully good hand in our lives. My hope is that He will use the blessings that we’ve received to bless those around us, to give the message of love, joy, and peace that is only found in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
(I’ll write more about our life here with photos next time! For now, check out my Facebook page for some recent pictures!)
Thanks for reading,
1. Settling in: we are in the process of furnishing our apartment and settling in – please pray for wisdom and guidance as we determine what is essential for now, how we spend our time, and what commitments we are making; for adjustment to culture; enjoying and making the most of the month of March before school starts for the girls, language school for YM, and work for Damon.
2. Girls’ school: we are most likely leaning towards one school. Aliya (because the school cut off date is April 1, and her birthday is April 28) will be in kindergarten (again!) as the oldest in her class. In Japan, children ages 3-5 go to a preschool/kindergarten, so this means that Mikayla (3) and Aliya (5) will be going to the same school starting in April (when the school year begins). This is actually a blessing because it gives Aliya a year to learn the language and culture. God is good! Please pray that the girls will adjust to a new culture and new language in a new school. I admit I’m anxious about their transition.
3. Increased faith and trust in God: we need faith and a proper, God-centered perspective each day during this transitional period. Please pray for our faith to increase, for our marriage to grow with good communication, and for our girls to see God’s hand in daily life. In parenting, we need constant grace and wisdom to seize gospel teaching moments with them, in the midst of our girls transitioning to a new place!