We’ve been so busy sightseeing and taking in all Japan has to offer that I’ve completely forgotten to update all of our wonderful, faithful supporters back home! You were probably wondering if we fell off the face of the planet on the looooooong flight over here. 🙂 But praise the Lord we did make it safe and sound, and miraculously we did not even suffer from jet lag! God is good!
We are currently staying in the church building until we move in to our rental home on April 7. Sofia and Grandma and Grandpa (Baba and Jiji respectively in Japanese) are sure enjoying lots of time together! We are working hard on our Japanese, reading and writing (or drawing I should say) the alphabets and kanji (characters that represent words). Please pray that the Lord will give us a supernatural grace to learn quickly! Meanwhile we have been traveling around, mainly by train, taking in Japan’s beautiful mountainous scenery, as well as the majesty of downtown Tokyo with its skyscrapers and vibrant night lights.
As we were walking the streets in Tokyo, Josiah and I both thought of what a stark contrast it was to living on a boat on the Tapajós River, and how amazing it is that God takes us to places we never imagined and that only He can equip us with what we need to live in each of those cultures. I feel very at-home here, even without speaking the language fluently. And I actually crave sushi almost everyday! 🙂 Sofia is adjusting perfectly. She loves the food, the stores, the church and all the people! Josiah of course is adjusting well, there isn’t ever any question of that! 🙂
When thinking of what to write for this first update from Japan, I was reminded of my experience upon first arriving in Brazil. I had been afraid to fly there, and when we finally landed, I suddenly felt like I couldn’t possibly live there, but I also couldn’t get back on a plane to go home. I felt trapped with no way out. I suffered with culture shock for a few months before really feeling at home in Brazil. Of course I grew to love Santarém, the rivers, and the Brazilian people so much that it was difficult to leave. But I am amazed at the contrast in how I felt arriving in Brazil and how hard it was to adjust, and how quickly and painlessly I find myself falling in love with Japan. As a small-town girl from Louisiana, all of this world-travel is not normal for a person like me, yet God has constantly shown His infinite care and His fatherly yearning to give us our heart’s desire. Whenever God asks us to move, to give something up, or to start all over again, He gives us more than we could ever imagine when we obey. And that is just what I am experiencing here in Japan. Comparing my first couple weeks in Brazil to my first couple weeks in Japan is like comparing night and day. And I believe that He can and will use us in an even more powerful way here, and I am excited to see His will and purpose come to fruition in our lives.
We appreciate your faithful prayers and support. While visiting friends and family in the United States earlier this year, we realized how many hearts beat for the lost and how many partners we have in God’s work. Thank you for standing by us in our transition to God’s newest adventure for us. Together we will win Japan for Jesus!
Jennifer, also for Josiah and Sofia