I know... I know! I do pretty fair for a spell and then just disappear from the blog world. No long list of excuses, it just happens.
I do have lots of pictures of several different events to sort through and pick out some to share... and I will... I hope soon ;-}
Summer season always has a slow down in actual classes for John with all the family and school and work vacations, yet also seems to be a surge in activities for his students that we normally lead. And as you know if you keep up with us at all, any time we're not otherwise scheduled we're usually somewhere watching Zack play basketball. That schedule is crazy in the summer months!
We're all so thankful that Bo came home from Iraq safely. Though the reason for his early return is not a happy one. Bo's Dad is currently undergoing chemo therapy for stage 4 lymphoma. All prayers for their family are a blessing.
Our home churches in the states, Bethlehem UMC in MS. and St.John Lutheran in TX. have both had great cause for extra prayers for their pastors' families this month. First we heard that Pastor Schulte's wife in TX. had suffered a heart attack and was hospitalized. Praise God it was mild and after having stints put in place she was quickly back home and doing well. Next we learned that Bro. Jeff's daughter in MS. was in a car accident and hospitalized with multiple broken bones requiring surgeries. Again we praise our Lord that no one was critically injured to the point of threatening life. We know that both families have a wonderful faith and trust in God and multitudes praying with and for them.
We appreciate all of you that take the time and make the effort to pray for not only our family and needs, but also those we share with you.
On a personal note, I am feeling more and more that God wants to use me and some of my life experiences to help others understand the unmatched difference that knowing Him and having a personal relationship with Him makes in this life. I'm humbled and touched that I might be of service in such a way, yet I struggle with just what and how to share with whom. Yes, I know that is likely a common thread among Christians. I'm thankful to feel I may be in that fold. My additional struggle here is that most we relate to here on a daily basis are not exactly fluent in English - and I am most certainly not fluent in Japanese! So in general we communicate pretty well, but in matters of the heart and Spirit it's much more of a challenge to know how to share what I want to and have them understand what I think I'm saying...!
Marriage and family relationships in general in the Japanese culture are so very different than what I personally know. I'm not implying that it's all bad - just very different. We so often are told, " I wish my (wife, husband, child, mother, father...) and I had the closeness we see in your family." Yet when we encourage them to reach out and take the first step in implementing that closeness they freeze. There are many questions, we do our best to answer in all honesty and in way they can relate to. Most often it's like that old saying 'three steps forward, two steps backward'. So with that whiff of progress we press on.
I suppose I shared all that just to thank you and ask that you continue to keep us in your prayers in our life here, that we will continue to listen and hear how God is leading us in all we do.
May His grace and mercy be great in your lives!