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Lives Videos

Getting Going

We’re coming up on three weeks here in Japan, and it’s really amazing all that we accomplished with God’s help. Not only are we mostly settled-in to our place, but we have already done a week of language class. We can already tell that this new life is going to be an extremely busy one. Language classes in the morning while the girls go to preschool and Sarah stays with some short-term missionary friends from church, then homework (the girls and ours!) in the afternoon and church meetings and discipleships at night! Take a look at our new video blog to get a feel of what’s gone on here recently…

Please pray that we find just the right Japanese preschool for the girls (right now they are doing the English-speaking preschool at the church, but we want them not only to learn Japanese, but make Japanese friends). Pray that we can retain all the information we’re getting in class. The classes are very good, and all in Japanese, so there is a wash of new things to learn. We would need to study 3 hours a day to keep up, but as parents of 3 kids and a church to serve, we can’t quite do it all exactly as we’d like to. We need a multiplication of time, energy and efforts! Oh, and we need Sarah to be sleeping all night long.

Heading to church on Mother's Day
Heading to church on Mother’s Day

We are so very excited to be here. There is a sense in the church that God has big plans in store and we’re so excited to be here to serve in this part of the Church’s story in Japan. And as always, we want to thank you for all your love and support, without which we could not be serving the Lord in this way.

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Lives Videos

Moved to Japan

First Impressions on Japanese Life

First of all, thank you to all who have been thinking about us and praying for our transition — our first week in Japan was a success. We were able to furnish our house, register as foreigners here in Japan (which comes with a decent health care plan), get bank accounts, cell phones, go to church, go visit our first cell group, do leadership training and lose weight while doing so! All while dealing with major jet-lag!

The beautiful view out our balcony
The beautiful view out our balcony

The Japanese way of life is economical and practical. (Like my wonderful wife, Ruth) They walk, ride bikes and use trains to get around. They use minimum amount of lights and power at home to save money. When they do drive, they turn off their cars at stop lights — even the buses do this. When at home, we do not even hear our neighbors, but I’m sure they hear us! However, they will sacrifice efficiency for options. Options and functions and paperwork. Oh, how they love them! They pick up 4 different types of trash (bottles, plastic, paper, trash). Each remote has two layers of panels of buttons to push and options to choose. The remote for our air conditioner was so complicated that I was afraid I might launch a nuclear missile by pushing the wrong button. If you play by the rules, all is good and smooth, but color outside of the lines, and things will get complicated fast!

The girls head to their first day of school!
The girls head to their first day of school!

This Wednesday, we begin language school — yes, this Wednesday! They added a May session as there were so many people desiring classes, so instead of starting on July 1, we can start already. Praise God! There are some short-term missionaries here that will be a HUGE blessing to us as they will help watch Sarah so Ruth and I can go to school together. The girls just started an English-speaking preschool at the church and are loving it. We will be looking for a good Japanese-speaking preschool for them as soon as we can.

Ruth and Sarah enjoying the rain
Ruth and Sarah enjoying the rain

So, now we will be diving into everyday-foreigner-in-Japan life! The language is certainly a challenge and we look forward to making some sense of it. Just turning on a TV or trying to get your microwave to work can end in lots of guessing and exasperated failure. But the Japanese as a whole are very helpful and considerate, and with enough loud English, hand motions and pointing, you can usually communicate what it is you want.

Now, without further ado, check out our first video blog. The plan is to make several of these for you to accompany our missionary move to Japan. Enjoy!

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Lives Update Videos

Legacies of the Amazon

Twelve hours upriver from Santarém, on the clear waters of the Tapajós, is a most extraordinary place, unlike any other place I’ve ever been. Recently, fellow missionary John Eisenmann and I caught a line-boat to meet up with a team that was out starting a new work. What would ensue would be a very memorable experience.

Leaving Santarém
Leaving Santarém

We headed to our line boat Ana Carolina III at around 3 PM. It was set for departure on Wednesday, June 5 at 4 PM, and we had to secure our spot onboard. You claim your spot by hanging up your hammock and then promptly sitting in it, taking up as much space as possible. If you do not, you risk being crammed into a small area, hammocks hung all around you; hands, feet, and other body parts all too close for comfort. Another missionary, Pablo Fast, learned this the hard way when, on a line boat, a rather large woman hung her hammock above his and in the middle of the night it fell. Gravity took over and — well, let’s just say he had a “smashing” experience.

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Videos

A New Day

A new day has dawned and exciting new things are happening in the world of missions at Project AmaZon. A powerful fire started in the Amazon Basin 35 years ago is spreading not just across the Amazon, but the world.

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Lives Videos

Our Video Testimony

As hard as the transition to the mission-field was, it never prepared us for what we would go through after arriving. But how God moved through the tragedy gives hope to everyone experiencing hard times.