Sunday, February 26, 2012

Where do you put it all? And how do you keep it up?

Survival kit.
Photo: Global X
We are within a couple of weeks of marking the first anniversary of the March 11 Triple Disaster here in Japan.   There continue to be aftershocks, some of which are unsettling.  And there have been news stories recently that are less than assuring involving predictions for the next "big one" in Tokyo...

I have begun to recognize when our three story house is creaking because of an earthquake, a strong wind, or a teenage boy bounding up the stairs.  And there are enough opportunities to hear the difference.  

I'm still doing the regular inventory--do I have a mostly full tank of gas in the van?  Do we have adequate bottled water, rice, TP?  We picked up a lantern, and a box of batteries sitting in the entry way.  What canned goods do I have on  hand?

The other day Stan and I met with some friends to talk about disaster preparedness.  We had looked over a list of supplies that are recommended for us to have on hand in case of another earthquake.  Some things we hadn't thought about it. Other things weren't on the list that we thought should have been.  When we first came to Japan, we were given huge backpacks -- our "earthquake kit" -- that were filled with some of the things we needed, but honestly, I am glad I have never had to depend on those! 

Here's a problem...one backpack can't begin to hold the things on the lists we've been given.  And even if one backpack per person would be adequate, where in our Japanese houses can we store them?  So I'd like to hear from anyone who has a system  for maintaining your "earthquake kit" in Japan. And if anyone has a system for rotating food for emergency purposes (along with telling us where you store it) please share it!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Keeping the plates spinning...

This is typically a very busy time of year, but this year it seems we have a little more going on.  I am trying to manage those plates...

  • Our oldest moves from Japan to England in seven days.  This isn't like leaving for college.  She's moving--as in getting married, immigrating, moving out... 
  • We have taxes to do for two countries...
  • I have a final project due for my CIU class the first week of March (which I am supposed to be working on as I blog...a little avoidance?)
  • The developing partnership between Asian Access and SIM is coming to a point where we need to nail down the financial pieces for current missionaries transitioning, and new missionaries being brought in from the SIM mobilization process. We have one new family ready to begin fundraising in March.
  • I'm coordinating our mission retreat this year--which begins in mid-March. We will be having three SIM administrators join us to lead some training sessions and meet personally with the missionaries making the transition.
  • I need to schedule a one-day personal day to complete a Personal Development Review before the Spring Retreat.
  • Oh yes, we have a wedding in May we're helping plan from the other side of the world...


Sunday, February 05, 2012

A little glimpse of the great cloud of witnesses

Today I ran across a blog written by my coworker relating to a historical document we saw in the archives at SIM last month This is one of the last pages of the original journal written by one of the founders of SIM, 26-year old Walter Gowan.  He and two others went to Sub-Saharan Africa in 1893. Two of them, including Gowan, died of malaria within that first year.  Please read Sue's blog for more insights and some transcription of this letter to his mother, written into the journal.


Friday, February 03, 2012

The wind-up...

February:
Our first Christmas with our oldest daughter...
We just celebrated the birthday of our oldest, who is preparing to move to England later this month in anticipation of her wedding in May.  As she says her farewells, goes through her belongings and prepares for the move, we are sure she would appreciate your prayers!

March:
Asian Access will have its annual "Spring Retreat" March 15-19 in Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture. I am the Retreat Coordinator this year. (The nomenclature always amuses me--we are usually dealing with snow and cold, or mud and a little less cold when we get up to the retreat center--not my definition of spring...)

We will be having several administrators from SIM USA joining us to meet our missionary staff and talk through details of our Strategic Partnership.We are also looking forward to the team coming from Kings Harbor Church in Torrence, California who will  provide a children's ministry program and lead us in worship, as well as to Asian Access Board member, David Bennett, who will be sharing the Word with us.  Looking at the schedule, it seems we will have a lot going on!

For several of our missionary families, this retreat comes as they are preparing to move to Tohoku, the region affected by the earthquake and tsunami last year.  As a matter of fact, the one-year anniversary will have just passed--and we will remember it as a mission as we sit in the chapel where we were on March 11, 2011 when we together experienced the earthquake that "rocked our world." Please remember these families who are saying goodbye to places where their children call home, and where the parents have made deep friendships. Also, at least one family is moving into an area where there is presently no housing on the rental market due to the tsunami--so pray especially for God's provision, and faith in the waiting!

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A number of us at Asian Access are reading Henry Cloud's Necessary Endings. We've received recommendations for this book from a variety of sources. One thing we know--being a missionary has lots of "endings" and sometimes we need help knowing how to negotiate them.