14 December, 2015

15 years ago today

Today is the 15th anniversary of David and I (with our eldest son) arriving in Japan. I wrote a bit about what happened on that day five years ago on our 10th anniversary here

We can hardly believe it's been 15 years that God's sustained us here, but a lot of water has surely flown under the bridge. Take a look at this:
We arrived in Japan fifteen years ago today to this. Sapporo
in winter. Permanent snow was already on the ground.
We didn't get this car until a year later. Our first winter
we did everything on foot: grocery shopping, commuting
to language school and pretty much everywhere else.

  • December 14, 2000 We landed in Japan with our 19 month old very active toddler and set up house in Sapporo.
  • The next week we started language school.
  • 2001 we studied Japanese full-time as well as had full-time care of our son.
  • Dec 2001 I became pregnant with our second child, that resulted in my studies for the 2002 being less than full-time as my pregnancies were very tiring affairs.
  • September 2002 I spent most of the month in hospital and finally was released at the end of the month with another bouncing baby boy.
  • March 2003 we graduated from language school and moved to the south of Sapporo to join a church planting team.
  • August 2004 we returned to Brisbane, Australia for our first home assignment.
  • April 2005 our youngest son was born.
  • July 2005 we flew to Tokyo and set up house with our three boys (3mths, 2¾ yrs, 6yrs). David began work at CAJ.
  • April 2006 our eldest began at Japanese elementary school and our middle son began Japanese kindergarten.
  • August 2007 our eldest switched to CAJ.
  • June 2009 we flew back to Australia for our second home assignment.
  • June 2010 we returned to Tokyo and a different house/suburb. David had the same job, but my job changed radically as all the boys were at school at CAJ. I began work with the magazine, but also took up various other small roles in my "spare" time.
  • June 2014 when we flew back to Brisbane yet again for our third home assignment.
  • But in the spring of that first year I 
    discovered the amazing joy of tulips after 
    a long, bleak winter. Wow!
  • June 2015 we returned to Tokyo: same suburb, same house, same jobs. Boys aged 10, 12 ¾, 16!
We're amazed at reaching a 15 year mark. Every year we say goodbye to missionaries leaving the field permanently for various reasons ranging from health, to education issues, or simply feeling that God's calling them to a different ministry in their passport country. We still feel that God's calling us to be here. Contrary to common perception, a missionary call isn't a one-off bolt from God. It is a constant presence in our lives. 

Our first Christmas in Tokyo, 2005.
We came back this year from Australia knowing that God still has work for us to do here. This is especially evident in that he has provided all we need: we have the finances to do so, we have the educational (and all the other) needs of our children met, we have meaningful work that we're gifted to do, we have the health to do it all, and there is nothing else that we see God leading us to do anywhere else at this time. Praise God.

David and I realised we'd hit this anniversary as we started our daily Bible and prayer reading time before breakfast this morning. The set reading was Psalm 150. What better way to celebrate such an anniversary but to read and meditate on those wonderful verses, for it is only by God's great power that we are still here doing what we do:

Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
    praise him in his mighty heavens!
 Praise him for his mighty deeds;
    praise him according to his excellent greatness!
 Praise him with trumpet sound;
    praise him with lute and harp!
Praise him with tambourine and dance;

    praise him with strings and pipe!
Praise him with sounding cymbals;

    praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord! (NIV)

1 comment:

MOM2_4 said...

This makes me smile. Thanks for sharing <3