Further Than We Ever Imagined – Root Update February 2024

Alishia and Gabrielle at Osaka castle.

What a month we have experienced. Things have moved fast and obstacles have been removed, doors have been opened, and bonds have been forged in the furnace of life on the mission field. Let’s go over some of the highlights. We headed towards Japan in a pretty humble way, by driving to California. On the way, we visited friends in Las Vegas and Yucca Valley before arriving in Orange County. Our time there flew by quickly as we had a full schedule of meetings with friends and our sending organization, and before we knew it, the day of our departure had arrived.

Getting prayed for before our move.

Like a more famous group before us, we joined with nine others to form a fellowship that headed to Land of the Rising Sun. Which sounds epic but mostly was just a flight from Los Angeles to Tokyo. Once there, we spent a week meeting with Calvary Chapel pastors in the Tokyo area, helping with an earthquake relief outreach, and praying over a city of 35 million people who don’t know Jesus.

Helping with earthquake relief.

It was during one of those pray sessions that we went to the observation deck in the Tokyo government building. 450 feet in the air, with unobstructed views in all directions, and you could not see the end of the mass of people. The sheer size of the metropolis was somewhat overwhelming. It had such a big impact on all of us as we realized the task before us. Could the Lord use us to reach these millions? Well yes, He can, but He wouldn’t do it all in one day. We only have to focus on what He puts in front of us each day and be faithful to that.

After the end of the week, the team traveled to Osaka to see the place we are called to and see the work there. The church really enjoyed having the team with them and embraced us whole heartedly. We were able to give the missionaries a week off as we did an English language worship night for the midweek service and then Pastor Trent taught the Sunday service. Most of the team headed for Indonesia on Monday and those of us that stayed were ready to settle in.

The team in Osaka.

Unfortunately, the settling will have to wait. We applied for our certificates of eligibility in October. The timeframe on those is supposed to be less than 90 days, and the 90-day mark was January 25. Since we were flying out on January 29, we knew that the timing would be close, but we shouldn’t have any issues getting it worked out before we left. Well, the 25th came and went and the certificates didn’t arrive, they hadn’t arrived by the 29th but since we were leading a team, we decided we should go and trust we could take care of it on the Japan side. They finally arrived on the 31st and we were given three years!! Once the team had left, we went to the immigration office to apply for a change of status, we explained the situation to one of the officers there and were scolded for doing things out of the proper order and to not expect that they would accept our change of status applications. However, after praying about it that night, we returned the next day and turned in our applications and there seemed to be no issues from the people taking the officers there. Please pray for our change of status and that the visas would come through quickly so we can rent an apartment and start putting down roots.

At a temple in Kyoto.

Here are some ways to pray for us until our next newsletter:

  • Alishia’s American citizenship was approved and her oath ceremony is on May 16. Please pray for us as we make plans to return for that and Daphne’s high school graduation on June 1.
  • For direction in finding an apartment that meets our needs and allows us to use it for ministry.
  • Wisdom in finding a language school that meets our needs