Aloha friends. “Ohana” means “family” in Hawaiian, and you are part of our extended ohana.
Our Love for Japan
Both of us have always had a great affinity for the people of Japan. I (John) lived in Japan twice while in the Navy. Pen minored in Japanese in college and always dreamed of living there. To our delight, we were given the honor of serving Marines and their families at the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station, Iwakuni Japan from 2009 – 2012 running the youth program at the station chapel. Following that, we moved to Hawaii but our hearts were always pulled back toward “The Land of the Rising Sun”.
A New Calling
Following a family trip to Tokyo in May 2017, I (Pen) felt God calling me more strongly than ever to return to Japan to participate in Christian outreach. Following some online research, I found TEAM-Japan, a ministry that has been serving in that nation for over 120 years. TEAM was actively seeking a missionary couple to fill a role in Karuizawa that perfectly suits our background; this will allow me to improve my language skills while working with Japanese women in the area, while John can use his leadership background to manage the Karuizawa Retreat Center (KRC) in the hills outside of Tokyo. We quickly applied and were just as quickly accepted.
A Busy Life
Fast forward to August 2017: We are in the early stages of our support-raising process; beginning to sell & donate our personal belongings; getting ready to rent out our house; and planning to leave Hawaii in January 2018. After family visits in both the U.S. and Thailand, we hope to join the team at KRC by April 2018. We are so glad you are a part of this and we invite you to browse through our website to learn more about our calling to serve. Mahalo and arigato!
Even though our journey is just starting, we are already feeling the stress. There is so much to do in such a short time. Pray that we will handle this chapter gracefully as a couple, and that it can be a growing experience for each of us towards what we will find “in the field” once we get to Japan. This period of preparation and support-raising is called deputation, and so many missionary couples report that deputation is an almost overwhelming whirlwind of chores, tasks, emotions, appointments, goals, training, visits, and the tearing away from long-standing relationships. This is our #1 prayer request at the moment. Thank you!