International Ministries

Changes and New Beginnings

February 11, 2004 Journal

Dear Friends!

Forgive us!  It's been a while since our last update. We ran into major computer problems (a hard drive on our computer went bad), and we ended up having to reconstruct most of our data piece by piece over the last 2 months.  We hope we have everyone back on the mailing list!

Christmas time in Japan was busy, but exciting time for us.  For some reason, each of the individual schools (preschool, elementary, junior high, high school, etc.) in the Kanto Gakuin system has its own special "Christmas worship service," so Kari and I ended up either participating in or going to about seven different Christmas worships! (That makes for a busy week before Christmas, let me tell you…)

At the high school/junior high where I teach, students put on a Christmas pageant every year, and for the first time, I got to participate in directing that.  I found out that American shepherds are not the only ones who fool around hooking each other with their staffs and dragging each other around the stage when they're supposed to be rehearsing…

Attached is a picture of some of our very cool shepherds, by the way.  This year, with all that's been happening in the world, we made a special point to remind the kids that the angel Gabriel in Old Testament history is often associated with God's destruction of the wicked.  Our Gabriel, played by a meek and mild girl named Emiko, was surprised to hear that!  What a turnabout of events, in Luke 2, to hear this Angel of Bad News saying "Peace on earth! Good will to men!"  It was a great opportunity to share in a new way, the revolutionary meaning of Christ's coming.

As the New Year has turned, we've found ourselves again, extraordinarily busy.  From early this year, I'll be adding to our normal Sunday Bible Study schedule, one English worship service a month at Tokyo Peace Church near Waseda University.  In addition to that, Rev. Kimoto and I are right in the middle of starting up the after-school YMCA youth group at the High School.  Kari, too, is finally going to get the chance to go back to Japanese school on a regular schedule (now that Isaiah is off to a good start!).  And on top of these things, our partners in the Japan Baptist Union are trying to pray and plan with us about our roles when we come back to Japan in 2006.  With all these things, and the recent changes at IM, we have lots on our minds right now, so please keep us in your prayers.  We really do need endurance and wisdom in these next few weeks, as new things are beginning and as we try to think into the future.  PRAY FOR US!!!!

Also, gomenasai (I'm sorry!)  You all will have to wait a little longer for a web site update from us—we're still trying to figure out how to reset the settings for our software so that we can upload information.  I'm bad enough with computers in English, let alone trying to figure these things out in Japanese!

Well, peace to you all.  Adam, Sarah, and Isaiah are all very "genki" (healthy, energetic!), and they send big hugs!

Yours in Christ's service,

Dwight & Kari

Adam, Sarah, & Isaiah