“John and Elaine, what is a typical day for you?” is a question we are sometimes asked. In our decades of work there has probably never been a normal day, normal week, or normal year. Much of our schedule is abnormal, nonetheless there are ongoing things and patterns which you can recognize. Certainly much for you to intercede with God for us.
Preparation – For us events and activities are many. With all the other ministries going on we have to spend lots of time preparing to train, teach, mentor, and plan for our various ministries.
Mentoring and Coaching – Several missionaries or pastors and their wives want to meet us for spiritual mentoring usually each month. Sometimes they want ministry coaching. These are often conducted online through Skype or sometimes in person. Occasionally we do consulting with ministries and ministry teams about projects and direction.
Presentations – We have classes, messages, talks, sermons, devotions, and training, in English or Japanese or bilingual. Elaine continues with her monthly Bible Studies, needlepoint, card making, and cooking classes.
Coordinating and Planning – With all the activities going on, we have to exert leadership in making sure events are promoted, administrated, and evaluated. There is always “the next” class or event. At this time of year, we often are engaged in long-range multiyear planning. CPI is always on a 2-3-year cycle of planning. Often we are so busy with our two ministry lives, that we both have to sit down and coordinate our schedules for several months.
Writing and Publishing – Elaine is working on three books this year in various stages of completion. John is working on another book on Japanese religious beliefs and they are working on the Japanese version of the church planting book just released last October.
Meeting with Others – With our many connections with the Rengo denomination, Converge Japan Mission, CPI leadership, JEMA, Vision Festa, and Global Church Planting Network (GCPN) there are group meetings as well as meeting key leaders one-on-one. Usually with Japanese they are face-to-face meetings. Sometimes these meetings are out of town, or downtown across town in Tokyo (typically taking 1-2 hours of travel each way). With mission groups and Vision Festa we often meet online. The GCPN is almost always online as we live in 6-10 countries.
And Normal Life – Yes, there is the normal life stuff too along with rest, recreation, and walks. No matter what we are doing we remember God’s promise to us as his children, “I am with you.” Having a sense of God’s presence in all we do is the “normal” that we strive to experience every day.