This is the first is a series of posts that I will write about our trip to Japan this Spring.
When we decided to leave Japan at the end 2011 our intention was to return to Japan within a year or so. However, once the decision was made to partner with Karis Church and join their internship program, we knew it would be a lot more than a year before we moved back to Japan. With that we began making plans to return to Japan in the fall and take care of visa paperwork, finances and other odd and ends. We also wanted to visit family and friends while we were there. Soon after settling down here in Columbia, we were approached about joining some members of Karis on a vision trip to Japan in the spring. We would function as guides and translators but the greater purpose of the trip would be to meet with church leaders and planters to seek out a church or ministry that Karis could partner with and send people like us out to work with.
We arrived a couple of weeks before the Karis group and hit the ground running. We stayed with my long time missionary friends, The Turners. It was great to connect with them and catch up on the past years events. We spent the first week in Tokyo running around filling out forms and mailing letters. We also spent sometime with Meg’s parents. For our first Sunday in Japan we traveled to Yokosuka Christ Church about an hour south of Tokyo and visited with our old friends there. Pastor Kensei had invited me down to preach that Sunday. I shared a message of encourage with the small church and urged them to continue fighting the good fight of faith. They are a small church but I believe that they will be used as a great light of the gospel to that area.
From Yokosuka, we headed west to Saku City in Nagano where we spent our last year in Japan before returning to the states. While in Nagano we caught up with some old friends, picked up some stuff we had in storage and spent some time with the members of Shinshu Community Church.