July 2020

Time off from school turned into an opportunity for the girls to serve the community and to raise funds for Compassion International. Zoe and Matti began a biweekly Gazette for our neighbors and Zoe sewed eye-glasses or pencil bags. She’d prayed that God would help her sell them and in just one day at church, He raised over $50!

And as our time in Japan closes, we’ve been exploring even more: One rainy Saturday found us at Round 1, a three-floor indoor playground, arcade and sports park complete with restaurant and massage chairs for the adults. The girls loved the "bubbles" and the electric scooters best. Following that wonderful weekend was one that involved a canceled overnight at a beachfront resort and four new tires, but resulted in a much better and safer ride in our primary vehicle. As usual, we experienced God’s protection and provision far more during a challenged time. We even checked off our list the restaurant where little electric trains bring your order to your table – it was across the street from the auto repair shop. Who says God is not in the minute details of our lives?

Having moved a few times in the military, we recognize our departure’s approach. The relationships Slick’s been pouring into are coming to a close as those folks’ lives move on. The online journey through the Bible that Donna’s been leading is also ending. Meanwhile, Slick’s involvement in the Lander, WY church has been increasing and God’s been moving both men and women toward intentional discipleship with us using a program called Radical Mentorship.

Also, in preparation for Slick’s pastoring in Lander, we’ve also been able to close uneventfully on a home there (a huge praise in itself!). We’ve noticed in our travels that houses offer tremendous opportunities for blessing. In this case, closing months before we arrive not only simplifies our move, but also opened the door to providing housing for a family in temporary need of it…who are also fixing some minor issues with the house. Thank God for His working in the details – yet again!

As you join us in thanking God for all these things, and asking for His continued superintendence over this move, please let us know how we can be representing you also before the throne.

The coast of Kitayamazaki

Matti in one of the "bubbles" at Round 1 in Morioka.

In direct response to your prayers of last month, the spitballs ceased and blessings began. When Slick coordinated for the truck to be registered, he sent countless emails and phone calls but never seemed able to answer all their questions. Finally he thought he had the temporary registration on its way to Atlanta to meet up with the truck. When it arrived, however, it turns out they sent regular tags and a discounted full year of registration! Continuing in the auto vein, he took his car here in Japan to a shabby-looking body shop. But when they returned it to him, not only was the crack on his bumper expertly fixed, but the check engine light which had been plaguing us for months was off!

Meanwhile, on the home front, despite the cast on her arm, Matti found a way to bike with us when we drop Gwen off at her Japanese preschool: she squished onto Gwen’s old bike attached via Trail Gator to mine. Consequently, us four girls have enjoyed many cool spring mornings together on two wheels each, meandering along the streets’ wide shoulders. On the very first of those days, her first day back after two months off, Gwen bumped into a friend as we arrived and the two of them ran hand-in-hand, giggling up the school’s walkway. It warmed and comforted her mother’s heart.

If that weren’t enough, Slick has received the call to pastor a church in Wyoming! He’s been able to Zoom, FaceTime and Skype with many of the church folks to get know them from 14,000 miles away. He even “v-preached” (preaching via virtual means) the Sunday on which we had hoped to candidate. God is not only good, He is also a Wiz with technology!

While we are grateful to know the next step, we would love for you to join us in praising God for the clarity and direction He’s given and in asking Him to reveal to us the timing of the many details that still need to happen between now and our arrival in back in the States. Lots of moving parts and lots to consider.

And just as important, please let us know, too, how we can stand beside you before the King!

So now that we are moving, we’ve been looking at houses…

And seeing some sights. These are the Hotokegaura Cliffs on the Shimokita Penninsula, aka, "the Hatchet."