Saturday, February 22, 2014

a peek at the ongoing "settling"

Last Monday was President's Day -- a holiday here in the US -- and so I decided to spend a little time unpacking.  I meant to only do one box, but then I decided to look for my napkin (serviette) holder--which I'm pretty sure was packed in Japan but hasn't shown up here yet.  So in a quest to find it, I ended up unpacking 12 boxes... It was encouraging to reduce the number of boxes in the house, and put things away somewhat.

I never did find the napkin holder, though...

Then Friday we got a call that the couch had arrived at the furniture outlet and Stan headed over there to pick it up.  So we now have a "living room" that looks more and more like a living room.

There are a few things that make this home... the carpet for one.

We are enjoying the "great room" or open arrangement. We have a large clock that Stan rescued from a mill in Rhode Island years before we were married that will eventually sit on the mantle. We haven't decided what else to put above it--and we certainly aren't sure what, if anything, we'll put in the top alcoves.

And here is the view from the living room into the kitchen and breakfast room.  Below the counter you can see our pictures still wrapped up--collected from my parent's home, gifted to us on home assignment, and brought from Japan with us. We're still a little while away from getting those put up.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

A reminder

“If you are ever inclined to pray for a missionary, do it at once, wherever you are. Perhaps he may be in great peril at the moment.” - Amy Carmichael


The longer I've been in my position, the more I realize how much you are an important part of the equation in world evangelization.  Your prayers can make a difference in the life of a missionary, their family, their national partners, their ministry, the salvation of people, the political situation in their host country. 

Not just "God bless the missionary" once in a while.

But listening to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, telling you to start interceding NOW.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

A special day -- on the other side of the ocean

It was nearly 10 years ago, when Ken stopped by our church office on a Japanese National Holiday saying he knew he needed to deal with the sinfulness in his life.  Kind of an unusual thing for a Japanese to do.  

Over these ten years, the Lord has done great things for him and in him:  salvation, growth in Christ, ministries with youth, gifted in evangelism, received input, nurturing and ministry opportunities from multiple expatriates and nationals, a Bible School degree, and front-line ministry in the aftermath of the triple disaster.  Yesterday, he was married (on the snowiest day in Japan in 45 years!)

Ken with his bride, Seiko and the pastor of the church where they serve, Mori-sensei.

It was amazing to see the many photos that are coming through Facebook of this event celebrated by so many friends. For example...Ken's parents are divorced, his father remarried. But they both were at the ceremony, and his father spoke.  His mom has attended various events at our church in Japan over the years and we've asked some of you to pray for her.

One of the hardest parts of being here is to have missed being there for this momentous day. And we were blessed that so many from our church (which Ken calls his home church) were there to celebrate, even though they didn't make it back home until 3:30 a.m. because of snowy road conditions! Above is Weng Kong, a missionary and also from our church, who has been one of those who poured time, love and discipleship into Ken.

Ken shares a bit of his story in this video.

Ken Nishiono - THE4POINTS from 7MEDIA on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Order, how I crave it!

We have been enjoying our new home -- we finally started sleeping here a week ago. The next day we had a bit of snow and the roads were icy, so rather than head off to do something else, we started unpacking some of our boxes.  

We were able to get our kitchen boxes open and unpacked quickly, having it basically set up before the end of that day.  I'm sure we'll do some readjusting as we figure out the best traffic flow, but we are fully functional there, so that is encouraging.

We did a bit more unpacking but then had to get back to work. This weekend I rearranged some of the boxes, and unpacked more. When I got back from the office on Monday, Stan had gone through more. We have boxes from Japan, from California, and from both our parents' homes.

We are reaching the point where we don't currently have places to put things. (Stacked up on the side of the kitchen counter are photos and paintings that will be put up when we are ready to make those decisions, but beyond it these are boxes of knick knacks, Japanese decorations, and what our movers labeled "ornaments" (whatever that means). All this leaves me feeling a bit unsettled. Cognitively I know we're making progress. Emotionally I crave order.

We plan on doing some furniture shopping later this week, and keep plugging away at getting things unboxed and away.  I know that we probably aren't that far from getting "settled" and will always have a few things in boxes in closets somewhere. But for the time being, I am having to practice thankfulness and joy.  

So here are some sights that were beautiful and brought joy to my heart:

We are amazed at the sky and had a beautiful view of the sunrise over a neighborhood home from our dining room the other morning.  We haven't gotten photos of it, but there should be a beautiful view of sunsets from our back deck, too.

The view from our front porch the first night we slept here. As the snow came down, everything seemed so quiet.