Three weeks out of the basement – We are both safe and well in the US, just three weeks out of quarantine after our arrival in the US. Everyone we know is also well both in Japan and in the US. In our region in Illinois there are few cases of infection for which we are thankful. Praise God that COVID-19 in Japan has decreased as the emergency orders for 39 of the 46 prefectures were removed last week. Tokyo, the world’s largest city, has had less than 50 new cases of the Covid-19 virus for over five consecutive days, there the situation is improving.
Connecting during Covid-19 – We put together 2 short video updates from our home in Pecatonica Illinois (pron. Peck-ah-tonic-ah). One video is 2-minutes and the other is 8 minutes, which can be used in your small groups, worship services, or posting online. You can access the shorter video here: https://1drv.ms/v/s!AsDHC6rtDRfBgZUeinT6qS-sDgy9YQ?e=883cOf. Some churches have requested this update to show to their church family.
US Tour Home Edition (May thru Oct) – We want to connect with our ministry partners on many fronts and have been working on updates and sermons that are recorded or live streaming. This means our living room has been basically transformed into a video recording studio. Here are some of the ways we have been connecting.
- We met online with a church pastor for an interview for their worship service.
- We have had two online meetings with our individual supporters.
- A two sermon series was recorded for a church nearby.
- We met online with a Mission Team from a church in Ohio.
- Some churches had visits postponed, asked for a video update, or have requested a virtual visit.
We anticipate many churches will be requesting online resources and maybe we will be able to travel late this summer or fall. We will see as the situation improves. We are open to any online meetings you would suggest such as a video sermon, an interview or visit, or anything else about our ministry. Just drop us a note or call. On Sundays, if we are not involved with another church, we may visit your church online for worship or visit a local church in Pecatonica. Please see our new address and phone below. Thanks to many of you for your faithful financial support and your encouraging notes during this Covid-19 crisis regarding your financial commitment to Converge and us specifically.
Adjusting to the US – We are getting settled into the United States which is not difficult, but it is also not easy due to Covid-19 and our many years of living in Japan. Research has shown that for every year expatirates live overseas they will need 1 month to adjust to their passport country. With our nearly 35 years living in Japan that adds up to nearly 3 years of adjusting to living in the US! We love living in Pecatonica but that also will take some adjustment. To have everything in one location in one country has been a long time and for that we are incredibly grateful. John’s home office will take a bit of time to complete. In early April, a bad hailstorm went through town and we will need a new roof, gutters, etc. We have a contractor ready but are waiting on the insurance. When the state lockdown is removed, we plan to begin remodeling parts of the house starting with the basement. This will make this home more livable and give us space for guests.
Looking Ahead & Preparations for New Roles – Elaine started mentoring a new person in online Sonship just this last week. Elaine also has a Bible study with Japanese and a Japanese reading study group. John continues his online class on his book on Japanese beliefs. He is making video introductions to prime readers to maximize their learning experience. John keeps connected too with Japan and has started weekly meetings with the Converge Asia Impact Team trying to strategize how we can increase the Kingdom of God throughout Asia. John’s role will continue in mentoring/coaching, training/teaching, research/writing along with consulting and networking.