We welcomed our teammates & friends, Chad & Hiroko Farmer, to Japan last month! Their arrival was greatly anticipated & we are so thankful that they are finally here!! They live in our building just a few floors below us!! This is a huge answer to prayer & it is such a blessing for our family to serve with them here in Japan!!
Here's a little peek into our lives via pictures...
We still can't get over the amazing sunsets that we get to witness every night from our 17th floor balcony!
Elsa is not only popular in America- she's become a "goddess" in Japan. The girls love their dresses they received from their Nanna- and I do not love vacuuming glitter from every surface of our home after they are finished wearing them!
Getting to know Mitt & enjoying his amazing coffee stand has been a gift from God!
As was finding Dr Pepper in the vending machine near Abigail's school!
We also discovered a "Seattle inspired-American style" breakfast joint called Earlybirds! They serve breakfast tacos & chicken biscuits with gravy. Need we say more?!? Such an awesome restaurant!
The view of downtown Nagoya from Nagoya TV Tower (featured below)...
The girls have become very close to our neighbors & Abigail's classmates, Misato & Akiho. They're absolutely adorable & their mother, Tamaki, has become a good friend to Katharine too!
Many of the neighborhood kids stop by in the afternoon to play with the kids. Josiah is enjoying a romp through Princess Candyland. The girls were not amused!
Josiah is growing so fast!! And so is his hair!! He is such a sweetheart & he hates getting his hair cut but it was time...
Hannah received a bicycle from her grandparents for her birthday. After weeks & weeks of teaching her, Matt can finally say that he has taught his firstborn child to ride a bike!!! She still has lots of practicing to do before she can bike behind Katharine around our neighborhood but we are just so proud that she can finally ride with no fear!!!
Love JapanFirst, our ministry, CBI (Christ Bible Institute) planned and hosted a large conference called LOVE Japan. The conference was held simultaneously across 3 cities: Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka. Matt led and MC'ed at the Nagoya site. The event was a huge success, with over a thousand in attendance for the weekend! We were so blessed to have John Piper, Don Carson, and Michael Oh speak at the event. With them, there were pastors from Korea, China, and Japan that also spoke. Thank you so much for your prayers! God gave our team strength in the weeks leading up to the event, and then God used the event to impact many people in Japan. We are eager to continue ministering and following up from LOVE Japan.
***John Piper wrote an amazing article after his trip to Japan, writing particularly about the need in Japan. You can read it here.
The Village Church Team
To help with LOVE Japan, a team from The Village Church came out and they were a huge blessing to us. They served our team in amazing ways. It was so good to have familiar faces alongside us, experiencing so many of the things that we experience on a daily basis.
Matt's Language School
During the same week as Love Japan, Matt began a full time language program at a location very close to our apartment. The school is a rigorous 18 month program that is Monday- Friday, 9:00-3:00. This is a VERY difficult language to learn! Please pray for Matt as he does the difficult work of learning Japanese full time. Pray for perseverance and strength for Matt to work hard every day. We know that this will allow us to do so much more ministry and connect with Japanese at a deeper level in the long run. We cannot wait to share about the love of Jesus in Japanese!!
Goodbye Makiko (& Kyuma)
Katharine formed a close bond with a friend named Makiko. We were sad and cried as Makiko moved with her husband and children to a different part of Japan. Please pray for Katharine as she is so sad to lose her first and closest Japanese friend, and pray also for Makiko, that the Lord would continue to bring Christians into her life.
Josiah will miss his buddy Kyuma. They formed a sweet little friendship. It was really hard to explain to Josiah that Kyuma was moving away. He asks for him everyday.
Welcome to Japan GrandDaddy!!
In mid October we welcomed Katharine's dad, Tom, to our new home. We packed his 4 day trip full with sight seeing, bike riding, lots of Japanese food, & tons of hugs!! He had a wonderful time...
Visiting Tsuruma Park- the trees were just beginning to change colors & the weather was amazing!
We tried McDonald's "Squid Ink" Halloween burger. It was pretty weird but Hannah loved it!
We went on the Nagoya Ferris Wheel to get a good glimpse of our amazing new city! It stretches as far as you can see in all directions!
We also took GrandDaddy to Nagoya Port Aquarium... It's quite an experience!
Tom's cousin, Mike McFall, just happened to be visiting Nagoya at the same time so we gathered for dinner at Toyo's beautiful home. Toyo is Mike's best friend, he quickly befriended us when we arrived in Japan & has taken good care of our family. He & his wife, Hiroko, take hospitality very seriously and it was a wonderful way to complete his time in Japan.
Saying Goodbye- it's the worst!Saying goodbye (again) was so difficult. Abigail & I were both doing the "ugly cry" in the airport. Being so far away from family is the most difficult part of this life we have been called to live. Sharing our new world with family was so fun & an amazing experience. GrandDaddy's first international trip was a huge success & we are so thankful that we got to be apart of it!
Halloween- New Traditions
Last of all, we celebrated Halloween with beautiful costumes that Katharine's mom mailed in an awesome care package! Although dressing up is popular, trick or treating is not. So, we started a new tradition by dressing the kids up & taking them to the mall to pass out candy to everyone! It was so much fun! People stopped us & took their pictures with the kids- it was quite an experience!
Hannah as Tinkerbell!
Abigail as the Pirate Fairy!
Josiah as a train driver :)
Thank you, friends & family, for your support, encouragement, & prayers for our family as we embrace the call of God to go to the unreached. It's not easy & there are huge sacrifices but... He is enough & He is worth it all!! What a wonderful month!!! It was the beginning of what has become our transition into "laying roots" here in our new home, Nagoya.