I thank you all for taking the time to read these updates. The Lord is good! I know you have known this a long time, but I cannot refrain from sharing about His goodness. We have been in California for a month now, and while we arrived without a place to live or a job for myself, the Lord has provided abundantly. We were never homeless, though quite nomadic thus far, and the Lord provided a place to spend the night every day. We cannot thank the pastors at Calvary Chapel Saving Grace enough for their generosity and help in making sure we had a roof over our head. They all helped us try to find the right place to stay and two even opened up their homes to us at different times. Now, I can’t say that not having a secure place to stay isn’t stressful at times, but to see the Lord provide day by day is truly something that we needed before we left for the field. Also, I should add that a great job was provided for me, it’s a baking job that allows me to be done with work by 11:00, so it doesn’t interfere with the internship.
I’ve mentioned a couple of times that I am serving with a ministry called Missions Equip. They have started construction on a recording studio in the last couple of weeks. The building is an old racquetball court that is being renovated into an office and the studio. I was able to help set up a mock recording to get a feel for the space and confirm where we wanted the interior walls to go. Alishia and I were also able to help wash the walls and floor to prepare for the construction to begin. The buildout is scheduled to be complete by the end of the year and we plan to start shooting videos in January. Please keep this project in prayer.
In addition to our weekly classes for our internship, twice a month we have a special missions fellowship. This month we were blessed to hear from missionaries who were on furlough for both meetings. Matthew and Noelle Harris serve in Uganda, and Phil Lewis is currently home from the Middle East. There are few things that we enjoy more than hearing from missionaries and these fellowships were such a blessing. God is using ordinary people to do some extraordinary things in the world, and it gives me confidence that He can use us too.
The church just remodeled the sanctuary to prepare to reopen on October 18. We were able to help with moving and cleaning, and the finished product looks great. They also installed a new live stream system with several cameras, and I have the opportunity to lead that team. Alishia serves with the media team on Sunday mornings so we are able to serve alongside each other, which is a blessing. Alishia is also doing another fundraiser making centerpieces for Thanksgiving and Christmas, so we are quite busy. I have another devotional for the church Facebook page coming up on November 4, so hopefully you’ll be able to check that out as well.
We were able to watch a webinar on discipling Japanese people that was put on by Reaching Japan for Christ. The content was great, but the really neat part was the connection that God made for us with the ministry. One of the couples that serve with RJC are Don and JoAnn Wright. Don was the pastor of my grandparents church back in the late ‘60s. My mom has been passing along his emails for a couple of years now, but to get to talk to him and tell him how we had gotten connected to his ministry was really neat. Fifty years after they had left Nebraska for Japan, he was able to meet the grandson of friends that he had lost touch with because of email updates. That really encourages me as I write this now. It may take fifty years, and it may not be someone this is sent to directly, but the Lord knows what He’s doing and He’ll get these updates to the people that need to see them.
Word on the street is that Japan will open to tourists next April! At this point we are starting to tentatively plan our vision trip for that time. Please keep this in prayer as we look for wisdom and timing for all that entails. Also, please pray for connections with the ministries in Japan that the Lord would have us visit.
- The Lord continues to provide a place for us to stay each night. Please continue to pray for a long-term situation for us.
- Japan has a plan to reopen, and we are able to start planning our vision trip.
- We have made several connections with missionaries this month, these friendships are such a blessing to us.
- For provision for us here in California and once we head to Japan.
- For mercy with language learning.
- For continued opportunities to disciple those around us here in California.
Love, Jeff and Alishia