January 2020

As if after a long summer hike through a dusty desert, a young gal sat at the library table with me, tangibly thirsty for God’s Word. Not for a book that talked about the Bible, but for Scripture itself. It made my spine tingle! Please pray for K as we meet weekly now. We are beginning a 6-week journey through the entire Bible – and she has some great insights and questions. So encouraging to witness God’s work in a heart!

We’d love to report that all of life is so inspiring, but as is usually the case, while a "high" unfolds, a "low" parallels it on the railroad tracks of life. Sadly the women’s ministry here has all but ceased due to a complicated situation. Please pray with us for clear guidance for the chaplains as well as the balance God desires for us between truth and grace.

Back on the other rail, Slick’s instruction and professionalism has received high praise from all levels of the Japanese Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) with whom he works. While he’s deeply grateful to be enabled to do all as unto Christ, we continue to pray for opportunities to shine the light of the Gospel into this very polite but dark country.

It almost seems a reward for excelling at work, but God has afforded Slick some unexpected free time to finish his dissertation, pending final reviews. Now we simply ask that he’d be able to defend it later this year and officially become a Dr.

On the lighter side, we thank God for our family reaching a long-time goal. With Gwen able to get on and off ski lifts with either parent and roughly keeping up with everyone else, it is a frivolous but welcome blessing to be able to enjoy skiing together at last. We are also thankful for a bit more clarity on direction for us, though continued prayer on that front is always appreciated!

Please let us know how we can be lifting you up before Him who sits on the Throne.

Taking advantage of roads closed due to snow. Believe it or not, there is very little snow this year compared to normal! And yes, Zoe is pulling the stroller and all three munkins are cross country skiing!

Happy New Year!

One night as the girls and I thanked God for things that happened that day, Gwen’s rambled, "And please help me to be a good mom when I grow up." So precious! And Gwen certainly is growing up. Not so much we have to pay for her skiing yet. No, she is skiing free, both monetarily and from Mom’s help, very carefully back and forth like a pro. She’ll even sneak into the forest sometimes and glide back out onto the run giggling with glee.

She’s not the only natural, either. We put Zoe on skate skis and away she went, happily chattering away as she (mostly) gracefully slid along. Matti was not to be outdone either, eagerly joining a spontaneous mom-daughter outing on her little cross country skis. We glided up the same beautiful, snowy trails where Grandma and Aunt Ginni (Donna’s family) had snowshoed just a few days before. Truly a blessing to enjoy holidays with family that we get to see so rarely and to do so in so amazingly peaceful and picturesque a place as Whitefish, MT where we have been cozily ensconced for the last two weeks.

Truly a blessing also to look back on God’s clear work in us and through us this month, with the successful end of the fall semester for the women’s group and many positive comments from folks who attended a marriage retreat we got to lead. As a result of Slick’s excellent work and favor with the Japanese, they are looking to hire more instructors like him. We simply hope and ask that his professional competence opens a door for the Gospel.

Looking forward to the coming days, weeks and months, we do covet your prayers for clear guidance on several fronts – camp for the Donna and the girls and work for Slick, as well as many more minor decisions that hinge on those two. Please also help us cover with prayer some tough conversations that are likely to occur soon after our return to Japan. If only we could skip out on the hard parts of the Bible!

Please let us know how we can be in prayer beside you. And a very Happy New Year and New Decade!

Our first day out, at the top of the Whitefish Ski Resort – the only day of sun so far! But the snow is good 🙂 Glacier NP and Canada are in the background.