Gone, Gone, Going

You talk about WEIRD! The three of us went to Japan for Vacation! Definitely Weird! Our son Tim wanted to have his last hurrah as we were saying goodbye to our season of living in Japan. He planned a vacation to visit us, help us with the move, and go around the country seeing his favorite sights. Kind of his “farewell tour.” Well it was 2020, and guess what happened? Yes, CTRL, ALT, and DELETE his whole visit due to the Covid Pandemic. So last month Elaine and I joined Tim on his 10-day Japanese vacation. He had planned this for five years and had not been back to Japan in 12 years. Honestly, we did not do any “work” though we met some old friends and Bible study members.

God really blessed as the weather was perfect, the crowds were minimal, and we caught the cherry blossoms at their peak in several places. We worked hard at finding the scheduling sweet spot between the kids going back to school in the end of April and early May holidays. It was absolutely wonderful watching our son live (and relive) his time in Japan doing in what he was interested. For John, my highlights were seeing the Himeji Castle decked out with the beautiful cherry blossoms, a total geek out in the plastic model capital of the world for two days, and seeing Disney Sea theme park (and Captain Nemo). There are plans to go back again.


John and Elaine had a wonderful time visiting the Sawyer Highlands and Converge churches in southwest Michigan last month. It was a whirlwind Sunday of meeting with the adults, one worship service with us both speaking on “Going,” 15-minute drive to the other church, another worship service, and then lunch with everyone. The presence of real missionaries (yeah, we are real) is essential to mobilizing all the church for mission. To see all the Unreached People Groups (UPGs) engaged with the gospel, every disciple of Jesus must either be 1) Learning about UPGs, 2) Mobilizing others, 3) Welcoming internationals, 4) Sending others to UPGs, and/or 5) Going themselves. We were glad to visit and then head back to our base in Illinois. We are off to more US churches later this summer.


We both continue to meet with leaders online helping them in their personal and ministry lives. John continues to mentor a key leader just starting to plant a church in the Tokyo Bay Area. This last month a key Indian leader was traveling through, and John was able to personally meet him and his son who were visiting the area.

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