It’s been a while since I shared what is happening with me and Anderson because 2017 has been busy and full of exciting things!
I shared with you on our last update that Anderson started studying Japanese at the University of the Ryukyus (Ryudai). Well, now he has completed two semesters of Japanese language study.
He took the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT), which is the equivalent of TOEFL for English. This test comes in levels N5 (being the lowest) to N1 (being the highest). Anderson took the N3 test on the first Sunday of July and we just got the result last week. Guess what the result was?
You guessed it right! He passed! So N3 is the test for Intermediate level. According to Wikipedia, Anderson is now able “to read and understand some written materials with specific contents concerning everyday topics. He is able to grasp summary information such as newspaper headlines and is able to read slightly difficult writings encountered in everyday situations and understand the main points of the content. He is also able to listen and comprehend coherent conversations in everyday situations, spoken at nearly natural speed, and is generally able to follow their contents as well as grasp the relationships among the people involved.” Simply said, he is getting better everyday!
He is about to start his second year this September and your prayers and support help us a lot as we respond to what God’s called us to do in Japan. Japanese is a really hard language but it is essential to us for making disciples in this nation. The language struggle is real, but God has been faithful!
I am really proud of him because he was also able to deliver his first sermon in Japanese when he was invited to speak in one of the Nazarene churches in Kyoto last June. I know it was stressful and super hard for him but I also know he tried his best and like he says, “we all need to start somewhere”.
When Anderson started studying in Ryudai, I also started looking for opportunities to learn Japanese and make friends with the college students. I took free Japanese lessons and made several friends. I try my best to invite them to our home and to cafés as a way of getting to know them better.
As I looked for opportunities to learn Japanese and build relationships, I found this website where I offered to help others practice their English and they help me with Japanese. I also started teaching English to some members of our church on Saturday nights, this has brought us even closer 🙂
Please pray for these friendships I am building and the opportunities I have to “witness” through these relationships. Sometimes it can be discouraging when you focus on how slow things go but I know God is at work in the hearts of people and I just need to be faithful in building these relationships.
On a different note, Anderson and I took some trips together this year for ministry purposes. The first one was to India where the Global NYI Council met in January and where we partook in an NYI rally.
In March we went to one of our Creative Access Areas where we taught Hermeneutics and did a training for their NYI leaders.
From there we went to Osaka for the Japan District Assembly (held every two years). We had the opportunity to continue building relationships with some of the NYI leaders and we encouraged them during the NYI Convention.
While we were in Osaka, Anderson preached at the Momodani Church and we also visited Hanazono Church in Kyoto.
In April, we went to Indonesia to facilitate a training called “Mission Encounter” to the students of our Bible school there, as well as the young people of the Java-Bali District. This training is a Cross-Cultural Orientation for those who feel God calling them to serve as missionaries. Please pray for all of these young leaders, that they may hear God’s call for their lives with clarity.
Anderson went back to Japan on the second week of April for the start of his second semester, I went to Northern Myanmar for a week to speak and to facilitate workshops at the Maekong District NYI Camp,
and also to Tahan area to facilitate the Myanmar District’s Discipleship Training.
In May, I went to the Philippines, along with 10 other young people from the different districts in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Fiji for a Maximum Mission for the Bicol District. This year they did not hold the usual District NYI Camp but instead gathered young people to help a church plant in Tabaco area. 13 churches joined forces to minister in the area through evangelism, discipleship, and community service led by the young people. Please pray for Pastor Jem and his people as they continue to build the church in that area, also for the young people who participated so that they can discover God’s call for their lives.
In June, the 24th Global NYI Convention was hosted simultaneously in 9 different sites (USA, Guatemala, Argentina, Manchester, Johannesburg, Trinidad, India, Haiti, and the Philippines). I was in charge of the Philippines site and though it was tough work I think we made history!
I thank the Lord that all of the fields in the Asia-Pacific region were able to send their delegates either to Indianapolis or the Manila Site through 105 delegates. 60 emerging leaders also participated during that week at the Manila site and 11 delegates from our partner regions joined us. It was such a blessing!
Anderson and I, along with other brothers and sisters, preached and taught workshops. We also had a vibrant time of worship, prayer, team-building, round-table discussions, celebrating culture, building friendships, and receiving encouragement from the Lord and from each other.
Every night, being true to our theme at the Manila site, we were UP ALL NIGHT as we joined the rest of the world through video conference. The world has become small indeed! Distance, time zones, denied visas, or limited finances do not hinder us from being together, and I thank the Lord for technology! Please pray for the young people of the Asia-Pacific region, and for us, that we may be wise in investing our time, talents, and resources in their development.
July came and Anderson turned 30, he would describe this time of his life as some sort of a “1/3 life crisis”. Haha. So he started thinking of doing things he has never done before, like exercising frequently. So he started running and before I noticed he had set a goal for us to be able to run a half-marathon before the year ends. So we started a training plan for this thing called “running”. It’s an interesting journey that is giving us a lot of lessons on endurance. The struggle is real.
Please continue to pray for us as we “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” We will not deny it, even if this is a safe and advanced society, life here has not always been smooth for both of us. But while the struggle is real, God has also been real for both of us, and He has never left us nor forsaken us.
Thanks for your time and for remembering us in your prayers.
Anderson and Janary