Saturday, May 24, 2014

Spring At Last

Oh what a spring we've had! We moved into a new house, finished off our school year, took a spring break trip to Nagasaki, and started a new school year. Things seem to be settling down now, as we press on until this school term ends at the end of July.
Taking a walk along a river near our house.
We moved! In March, we moved from our one-room apartment into a three-room duplex, with about twice as much space as we had before. The move was, of course, stressful, especially as it came at the end of the school year, but we are now enjoying the new-found leg-room, as well as the view of farm fields and mountains outside our bedroom window (not a common occurrence in Japan).
Standing in front of our new home.

At the end of March, both of our school years ended. Caitlin enjoyed helping with preparations for the graduation ceremony at Jubilee Kids, as the oldest class grew increasingly excited about the eminent approach of starting first grade in elementary school. It was a touching ceremony, in which the three graduating six-year olds made speeches thanking their parents, friends, and teachers, the other students sang a song for the graduates, and the heads of the school shared God's word in a short message to the parents.

Thomas' school year ended well, with a rush of final exams, award ceremonies and of course, graduation. Please continue to pray for the students who graduated as they make their way in the world that they can take what they've learned at KIUA and find God's plan for their lives.

We had a wonderful trip to Nagasaki for our spring break. We enjoyed time there together relaxing and exploring this historical city. It was intriguing to learn about important times in Japanese history such as the period of isolation, the persecution of Christianity,  and the atomic bombing from the source.
Visiting the Nagasaki Peace Park.

The new school year started in April. Thomas is teaching some new classes in high school as well as some middle school classes from the previous years. The new sixth grade students are adjusting well to the new classes and the new high school class, while challenging, has been enjoyable to prepare and work with the students at a higher level of English. Caitlin moved up with her previous students and is now teaching the four- to five-year-old class. The school day for this age is more rigorous than she dealt with last year, and has been taking some getting used to, both for her and for the students.

What else has been going on?
  • We celebrated our first Easter together! Thomas made fliers to to use to invite nonbelievers to the service for the church we attend, and it was exciting to see several first-time visitors.
  • We continue to be a part of a weekly prayer meeting at our church and monthly Bible study in the home of Thomas' coworker. We have been blessed by the fellowship we have at these times with fellow missionaries.

This month, please remember these prayer requests:
  • Pray that we will continue to grow together and be a blessing to each other and those around us.
  • Praise God for our new home! Pray that we will honor Him in it.
  • Praise God the opportunities our schools have to share the Gospel with families that don't know Him. Pray that He will use us and these opportunities to bring more Japanese to Him.
  • Praise God for successful starts to the new school year. Pray that we and our students will fully adjust to new classes and that we will be able to show them God's love as we facilitate their learning.

Caitlin and Thomas

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