One of the things we appreciated about Christar is that they encouraged us to find ways to serve the least reached in our own backyards prior to going abroad. This fit right in with what we were already doing— serving the international exchange students who come to our local university. Our church and our family reach out to students from everywhere, and in the past four years we have seen God answer many prayers for this ministry. More people in our church have become active and concerned for international students. We have met others from neighboring churches who share our heart. And God has sent more students from Japan—including my exchange counterpart from when I studied in Nagoya.
Every August brings new friends and every May brings tears of departure. This month in particular it has been very hard to say goodbye. Friendships were forged over plates of homemade Japanese curry while watching American football. When I met our new friends I was still pregnant, and watching the baby grow was part of the fun for our student friends who truly missed their families back home. The earthquake in Kumamoto brought opportunities to share in mutual sorrow for their country and fellow citizens. I have truly come to care a great deal about each of these girls in the past few months. Please pray with me for their protection in returning home and for God to give them faith in Jesus and to water the seeds of the Gospel which was spoken into their lives during this brief time.
(More pictures to come. For some reason the orientation won’t budge, and of course, it’s wrong.)