Hello. Thank you for visiting our website. We are Matt (Daddy), Katharine (Mommy), Hannah (6), Abigail (4), and Josiah (1). Together we form the Elkins family. We love to laugh, play, sing, dance, read, go on adventures, and learn new things together. We are a unit. But, the most important thing you need to know about us is that we love Jesus. We often make mistakes, but we are ones marked by the love and grace of God. We have been blessed, and we want to be a blessing to others.
The passage of scripture that we have decided to make the theme and mission of our family is Isaiah 55. That is the God we worship, serve, and want to make known all of over the world. In this passage, it says, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Wow, has this ever been true for our family. We have found out that God's way for us is not the one that we would have chosen. Our way is one of stability. Our way is one of security. Our way has us being around our family, friends, and a wonderful church. Our way has our kids staying in one school, and having the same friends through their childhood. But God's way for our family is not our way. It is clear that God has asked our little family to let go and embrace the call that God has given our family.
We are missionaries. We want to go where the gospel is not yet heard or believed and proclaim the good news. It has been good news for our family and we believe the gospel to be true. So, our desire is to move from Dallas, TX to Nagoya, Japan in the summer of 2014.
Japan has a population of 125 million. That is 100 million more than Texas (25 million) in half the land mass. There are a lot of people in Japan. Now, take a guess at what the percentage of those 125 million are Christian. It was alarming when I first heard this statistic. The Christian population of Japan is .25%. Yes, there is a decimal in front of that 25. That is a quarter of 1 percent.
Let's put this into perspective. The Christian population of the great state of Texas is about 32%, or 8 million. The estimated Christian population in Japan is 250,000. With 100 million more people.
Japan is a county of great spiritual need. We really believe that Jesus is the hope of the world. If we didn't believe that, then we would not go. But we do. We believe that Jesus lived a perfect life so we don't have to (Romans 5:17-18). We believe that Jesus died, receiving the punishment of our sin so that God can remain just and we can be found innocent (Romans 5:12-16). We believe that Jesus rose, conquering sin and death (Romans 6:5-12), and we believe that he will return restoring all things (Revelation 21).
We are moving to Japan because we believe Jesus is the hope of the world.
In the coming weeks, we will write about some of the evidences of the spiritual need in Japan (suicide, child pornography, family issues, etc). We will also write about the ministry that we will be joining, Christ Bible Institute (www.cbijapan.org), and the specific role that we will serve in that organization.
For now, we just wanted to introduce ourselves and make clear the reason that we are moving to Japan. If you would like to hear more about our family and ways you can help us get to Japan by summer of 2014, let us know. We would love to have you over for dinner or meet somewhere at your convenience. You can email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are grateful to God for such wonderful friends and family. Know that we are not able to do this alone. We would love to keep you updated and have you join us during this journey. We need you guys. We will regularly blog and update this website (www.mattelkinsfamily.com). Our family is now on twitter (@mattelkinsfam), and our Facebook page is MattKatharineElkins.
Thank you for reading our first blog! Many more to come...