Hello friends! Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
As we mentioned in our previous newsletter a couple of weeks back, the doors have officially opened to us in Japan, and we have received our visas, so most of the bureaucratic hurdles have been passed.
Since that time, we have passed several other hurdles. First, we have officially purchased our plane tickets! We will be leaving the Saturday after Thanksgiving, November 28th, and arriving in Japan on Sunday, November 29th. This allows us to have one more Thanksgiving here in the states and enjoy that holiday with family but also gives us plenty of time to get ready in Japan so the kids can enjoy some of the Christmas season in a meaningful way.
Another big hurdle that has passed is packing up most of our belongings and having them sent off. We sent most of our items like books and kids’ toys and summer clothes through a Japanese company called Kuro Neko Yamato (Kuro Neko means “black cat” in Japanese, and Yamato is a family name – they are like UPS in Japan). These will all be going by boat, so it will take a couple of months to get there. We still have a few more boxes to send that we want more quickly which will be sent through USPS. We sent 26 boxes total in this shipment, and all are now on their way to our new home.
Speaking of our new home, we are excited to share that we officially have a house ready for us to move into when we get to Japan. We still have a little paperwork to do, so we won’t be able to go directly to the house when we land, but we expect we’ll be able to move in within a day or two of arrival, so most of our quarantine can be carried out at home. This new house is much larger than the old apartment where we lived in Matsudo previously. Our old apartment was about 700 square feet, which was fine when we had two small children, but with our family larger now both in number and physical size (height, not width … well, maybe width for some of us, too 😅), more space is very helpful. On top of being larger, the new house is located directly across the street from a playground and is on a quiet, residential road that should be much safer than the roads around our previous apartment. If that wasn’t enough, it’s only about a 10-12 minute walk to the church building, so we still get to live nearby. We are incredibly grateful that God has provided for us, as he always does, and pray that we will be able to use this house to bear fruit for his glory. Please be praying that on our behalf, as well.
While we have certainly passed a lot of important hurdles (by God’s grace!), there are still some hurdles to be overcome which we would love to have you praying about. One such hurdle is getting our COVID tests before we depart from the U.S. We have to get our tests taken and the results back within 72 hours of our departure, and we need to have a special document filled out and signed as well. That is a bit of a challenge, but we believe we have a testing provider who will be able to make this happen. It’s going to be expensive – >$200 per test – but we are grateful we can get it either way. Of course, it is necessary that the results for all five of us are negative, so please be praying that the results go as they need for our departure.
Once we land in Japan, we will receive another test at the airport. Our plan right now is to then stay the night at an airport hotel, get picked up first thing Monday morning, and then continue the 2-week quarantine in Matsudo. However, while we are required to quarantine, we are allowed to do things that are necessary like paperwork, so we will probably have a few things to keep us busy that first day at least. Please be praying that everything goes smoothly so we can have a peaceful quarantine. We are eager to begin work once we are free!
This will likely be our last newsletter before we leave, but we look forward to updating you from quarantine once we arrive. Please be in prayer for us as we begin our journey and mission! Please pray that we will bear much fruit for Jesus, and make a lasting impact for his Kingdom in Japan.