We’re so thankful for our partnership with Holland Road these last 30 years in Japan! Here is a little of what is happening with us recently.
As we write, Sarah Aiko is returning from her YWAM Introduction to Primary Health Care outreach in Zimbabwe and Rhonda is preparing to fly to England to attend her graduation. By the time you read this, they will have moved Sarah Aiko’s things from King’s Lodge to Brighton where she will begin her university preparatory studies this fall!
Mary will move to Brighton to join Sarah Aiko this summer! She is nanny to our elder son David and his wife Tamara’s daughters, aged 3 and 1; also running a weekly programme for them and a friend’s two preschool daughters. She loves working with preschool children!
This September David, Tamara , Hannah and Amy will welcome “number 3”! Before then they will have moved in March into their very own house in Machida, Tokyo which will be closer to David’s company after it moves in June. We, too, will be moving – in May! Our mutual landlord has asked us to move into the house where David and his family have lived so that they may develop the house where we have been living as a chemist attached to their clinic.
Our second son, Jonathan, and his wife Kelly continue to enjoy their church involvement in Vancouver. They are thankful to receive mentoring in leadership by their small group leaders and hope to begin a new small group for the church this coming year.
Bob and I met with the Missions Pastor from Tokyo Baptist Church and shared information on the maiden voyage of the M/V Pacific Hope. There are possibilities for the church to partner with outreaches in Vanuatu in the summer. It is exciting to be building partnerships with local churches and involving them in the medical ministry of the YWAM ships. Visit www.marinereach.com for more details.
We are excited to be planning a Japanese-English DTS to commence on the 22nd of this September. In addition to our core team of four, four more staff have joined us, and we are beginning to contact the list of speakers for the lecture phase. The web page will be updated soon, along with a brochure printed in Japanese, and then applications will begin. visit www.ywamtokyo.org for more details.
This last September I attended an important meeting called by YWAM international leadership to discuss some major changes to how YWAM operates. Our local YWAM area eldership sought to implement some of these through changing the format of our area staff meetings, and were happy that our first in January seemed to be successful!
At this time we are looking forward to our YWAM National Conference in March, where John Dawson of YWAM’s Global Leadership Forum will help us discover more of the implications of these changes.
Hokkaido is the island furthest north in Japan. Since 2006 we have been praying towards seeing YWAM work begin there. YWAM Tokyo DTS leaders Greg and Rachel have amazing testimonies as to how the Lord called them separately to Hokkaido before they met and married. Greg and I went to Hokkaido for the second time in early February, attending positive meetings with several Christian leaders there in order to explore these possibilities together.
I travelled up earlier than Greg to spend over a week with a young Japanese man whom I met at a friend’s church gathering in 2013. He was struggling with fear and depression but visited us last spring in Tokyo and was baptized at TBC. He did not do well on his return. The time I spent with him, though, was really encouraging as he was able to renew his church attendance there, begin treatment at a dentist, visit several doctors and also attend a local public gym’s training programme.
Our family has been blessed by the Christian Academy in Japan, which was established in 1950 for the education of missionary children. Rhonda has been able to teach there these last three years and also write curriculum according to the school’s curriculum writing method, teaching to secular standards using secular textbooks but through a Biblical perspective. It was an exciting challenge and good to have finished compiling and recording it.
Well, thank you for reading along! If you would like to keep up to date with our doings, please visit our family blog at www.somers-harris.com!