Saturday, February 14, 2015

Winter is upon us and it is cold! Hello from chilly Japan! In our area, Kansai, January and February are the coldest parts of the winter and we've seen some days with snow flurries! The winds from Siberia come down across the sea and are quite icy in the mornings and evenings.

Caitlin helped her students prepare and perform a Christmas program for their families. All classes participated, from the two year olds to the six year olds, in an hour and half program at the beginning of December. Among other things, Caitlin's students preformed a skit of
Max Lucado's "You Are Special" and sang "Away in a Manger" in English and Japanese.

We had a lovely Christmas celebrating with Caitlin's family, both in Kyoto and Tokyo. First, we enjoyed having Caitlin's parents, sister, and sister's fiancee with us here in Kyoto. After finishing up our semesters, we went to Tokyo to be with Caitlin's family there for Christmas and New Year's. As Caitlin's parents are moving to Okinawa in July, we are very thankful to have had this last Christmas in the house Caitlin grew up in.

Celebrating Christmas with Caitlin's family.

We will both be meeting with the parents of our students this semester, Thomas is preparing for parent teacher conferences next week. Caitlin will have an Open Day for parents in her classroom later this month, and parent teacher conferences in March. There is always added pressure around these times, but we are thankful for these opportunities to communicate  with our student's families about their progress.

What else has been going on?

  • We traveled into Kyoto to visit Nijo-jo, a castle build in the 1600's. It was built with special "nightingale floors" that squeak (like nightingales) when anyone walks on them, to warn the inhabitants of intruders.
  • We have begun making preparations for our move to the United States in April.  There is still a lot to be done (in starting to pack, we've realized we've accrued a lot more stuff than we thought we had), but we are making steady progress. Caitlin is considering graduate programs in Early Childhood Education to further enable her to serve young children, and Thomas is looking into various employment and ministry opportunities. 

Outside the gate to Nijo-jo.

This month, please remember these prayer requests:
  • Praise God for a smooth start to the winter semester, and pray that the rest of the semester will go well, and that we will finish well. This is the last  semester  for each of us at our respective schools.
  • Praise God for the ways he has been providing as we prepare to return to the United States. Pray that the rest of our preparations, the move itself, and the transition will go smoothly.
  • Praise God for the opportunities we have had to interact with our students' mostly non-Christian families. Pray that God will use  these interactions to open them up to his love.
  • Pray for our interactions with our students. Pray that we can show them the love of Christ and a love of learning that will last them their whole lives.
Caitlin and Thomas