02 August, 2018

Meet the missionary FAQs

I really want to write something other than "we're struggling to settle", but I'm struggling to say anything else. I could write about my kids and the challenge we've had parenting them these last weeks, but I'm not sure they'd appreciate that exposure. So, what can I write about?

I was "dumping" on a friend last night about parenting as well as the no-so-much-joys of deputation. One thing she suggested was writing a FAQ to give people. I don't think it would work, because the questions people ask at the starts of conversations are the small-talk that gives some solid ground for further conversation. However, I can entertain you with some FAQs! Here are questions we're answering often:

How long are you in Australia for?
Six months, returning to Japan early January.

How long have you been in Japan?
Since December 2000, coming up on 18 years.

Where are you living while you're here?
In Ipswich, in a rented house.

Where are your kids going to school?
Our youngest is at a local Christian school, our middle son is doing online schooling at home using an American curriculum. Our eldest is at university studying maths and science.

Is your eldest living with you?
No, he's stayed at the house he's been living in since February.

Are your kids fluent in Japanese?
No, not really. Once they were, but now they're not. Maybe they will be again sometime in the future, if they choose to go that direction.

Are you fluent in Japanese?
Not as much as you might think. We both work in English environments, but we get by in Japanese and continue to learn it as much as we can amidst our work and life responsibilities.

Where do you live in Japan?
In Tokyo, about 25km west-north-west of the main city centre.

How long will you keep doing this missionary work?
As long as God continues to call us to Japan, maybe until we retire.

How much travelling will you do this home assignment?
We're visiting 16 different churches on Sundays and a number of other groups also. We're going to visit a church in Canberra, and also several in Perth. The rest are in south-east Queensland. Wendy's also attending a conference in Singapore for a week. We'll be visiting family in Toowoomba (about an hour from here) and also central Queensland (about 800km from where we're based).

What do you do during the week?
We are both still doing small amounts of work from our roles in Japan, all computer-based. Other than that we have various mid-week and weekend meetings that we're speaking at as well as the preparation for them. We also spend time with supporters, as well as catching up with friends and family. We're also spending as much time as we can with our sending/home church. It's surprising how much our kids need us during this time, Australia is a foreign land to them and so we spend what time we need to help them make it through. One of the goals of home assignment is renewal, so we take time for relaxation, as well as spiritual feeding (for example I'm going to a Theological College's Women Enrichment Day tomorrow).

What do you do in Japan?
David is a teacher at a school for missionary kids, he teaches maths and science in English as well as being the Director for Teaching and Learning. Wendy is an editor who works with a magazine for and by missionaries as well as in social media with OMF.

What do you think? Any other "meet a new missionary" questions you can think of that I could include?

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