15 December, 2009

Ninth anniversary

Yesterday we noted it was nine years since the day we landed in Japan as missionaries. Amazing. We've packed a lot into nine years. That day nine years ago involved four airports and three planes. All with a 20 month old. We began the day in steamy Singapore and ended it about 40 degrees cooler in Sapporo, with snow on the ground and below zero temperatures. Looking back it is actually amazing we survived our first winter in Japan. We were in a tiny, freezing apartment. We had no car, no TV or video player. Very few toys and limited personal space. To buy groceries, I had to trudge for about 15 minutes through snow on foot, carefully select our groceries (without much Japanese language), pack them in my backpack and plastic sled and carry/pull them all the way home. Since then we've lived nearly eight years in Japan. Most of them with a car! We've moved twice within Japan and moved back to Australia twice for home assignment. We've had two more children, one of them born in Japan. We spent more than two years in full-time (or nearly full-time in my case) language study, 15 months in a church planting team and four years with my husband teaching at the Christian Academy in Japan, a school for missionary kids. We've had our children hospitalised three times in total (in Japan), not counting the Japanese birth experience. The lessons we've learned in most/all areas of our lives would take more than this post to list. But here are a few that come to mind:
  • It is a privilege to serve our Lord in this way.
  • Dependency on God is a great way to live. Lots of surprises!
  • Life is less predictable that you think.
  • It is not necessary to own a house.
  • "No debt" is a great place to be.
  • International moves are tough.
  • Raising children away from your home culture is very difficult.
  • Missionary is not a synonym for evangelist.
  • We don't have to be like other people - God values us as the individuals he made us to be.
I think we are in a better place than we were nine years ago. I certainly feel more settled with who I am and why I'm here.


-J said...

Great lessons! Thanks for sharing them.

KKCambLogos said...

Go Wendy! Amazing how He uses us and moulds us to be the people He wants us to be.

Tim and Susan said...

It IS always exciting to hit those anniversaries. At the beginning, they were real mile stones fo us..."yea, we made it___ years at least" kind of thing.

Praising God for HIS faithfulness.