This post will be a hybrid of an update (written by my wonderful mother) about my dad's health followed by news about our Tokyo VBS coming up.
Hello again everyone!We continue to feel overwhelmingly blessed by the messages and prayerful support from our awesome friends:)God continues to provide for us each day and we are trusting His ways and thoughts are far beyond ours! I'm continuing to learn that this life isn't about our comfort and enjoyment ... It's not even about Mark being healed (as much as we desire that)...It's about pointing others to Jesus so the Kingdom is enlarged and God is glorified as He deserves to be! I'm not sure why that so easy to forget in the busyness of normal life! Well God sure has our attention here and we really sense His nearness... due to so many prayers, I'm sure:)There is great peace when we are in the center of his will and the palm of His hand!Mark is making forward progress, but in small, slow increments… Definitely will be a long journey! I am so thankful he is still his pleasant self and not being difficult! It's much easier to serve someone with a smile:)We are waiting for an affordable option to fly home and anticipating God has a plan that may surprise us😀Sending love and prayers back your way! II Chronicles16:9Anchored in, Mark & Lori
Ella and Abby arrived safely on Saturday night to Haneda airport in Tokyo. Then together we trekked through the subway, and then the train, then onto another train (after transferring at the busiest train station in the world=shinjuku), and finally to our final station where we walked with our luggage directly to the church. Marie and Anna had nicely prepared the church and all the arrangements so showers and comfortable beds were ready and waiting.
Today we began the first day together as a church family in Tokyo for services. Ayana and Mika kept these two girls busy and smiling with all of their energy. Two other Japanese girls also joined us for Sunday School today, Hikari and Kazune. We hope they will also plan to come to the VBS. After church, Makoto and Kan led us on a group walk around the neighborhood where they could walk through many areas from their childhood. It was neat to see the area from their perspective.
Once the church family all went their separate ways, the girls and I headed out to the local supermarket to stock up on groceries. We also walked back to the station to help get that route to the church into their memory (just in case they need to do it without me at any point). And finally stopped for dinner at an Okinawan restaurant on the way back to the church where we settled in for the night. They're doing great working through their jet lag but we'll all appreciate an early night of rest tonight.
This week we plan to work on VBS preparations each morning and any optional sightseeing in the afternoon/evenings. Keep us in your prayers that we can be strong in His sacrifice alone keeping his ways our ways and not the other way around. Praying for our eyes to see his vision for those around us, for his words to share his powerful and urgent message in kindness and understanding, and humble hearts to remember that there may be fruit we never see this side of heaven.
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.”