Friday, August 16, 2013

July 2013
God’s timing is best. We’ve been so thankful for these “extra” 11 days to really get ready to go. We’ve kept busy working on paperwork. At the beginning of the month, we took a lightning trip toOhio to visit the home office, “where the magic happens.” While we were there, we were cleared financially to leave. This gave us another piece of paper to turn in to the Japanese government to get the all-important certificates of eligibility. As we anxiously waited for the certificates to be processed and come in the mail, we packed up our apartment and moved in with friends. When the certificates did not come in time for us to make our scheduled flight, we looked at Plan B. We canceled our flights and accepted the small fee to change to a later (then-undetermined date).

The certificates arrived from Japan the day after our original flight. Since we had to have a departure date and flight number to apply for visas, we quickly rescheduled flights and sent the paperwork in to the Consulate of Japan in Chicago, trusting that everything would work smoothly. We were excited and nervous. God knew we needed additional days to work through problems that we didn't even know about at the time. We left Des Moines on a 6 a.m. flight on June 30, arriving inJapan July 1 about 6 p.m. We were thankful when we saw all four suitcases come down the conveyor belt. After a busy day, we were ready for a good night of sleep.

June 2013
We had no intention of doing anything like this. Over six months, maybe even a year, in Japan? It took us a whole month and many e-mails and phone calls to get used to the idea.

Andrew's interest in Japan began in high school when he studied Japanese as a foreign language. He took the opportunity to get involved on two mission trips in college, where he was able to meet the Mitas and help at their church.

Although I planned to be a Spanish teacher, I thought God wanted me to go to Faith Baptist BibleCollege. I enrolled as a English Education major and took advantage of Baptist Mid-Missions’ ¡Arriba! program to learn Spanish and pick up the credits I needed. However, I soon fell in love with English. Now I am finishing my second year as a secondary English teacher. God was preparing me by providing cross-cultural missions experience and an in-depth study of a language that is highly sought in Japan, English.

The Mitas originally asked us to come in May. We asked about coming a year later, thinking that would give us time to prepare, work out paperwork details, and raise support. They, however, are going to be on furlough then. We agreed to coming in June and began to get busy.

Letters to write. Churches to call. BMM paperwork. Meeting with the Faith team going to Japan. For five crazy months we've been trying to prioritize, and God has proven His faithfulness. We are waiting for paperwork to apply for our visas. We would love to have them right now, since we plan to leave in just two weeks, but we need to learn more patience and trust. God’s timing is perfect, and if He decides to change our plans, we know it is best.