Today we got to celebrate Easter with the believers at Matsumoto Abundant Life Church. We also got to watch our friend Yumi get baptised this morning. It has been super encouraging to see how God has transformed her life and given her so much hope over the last year. I was reminded today of the great hope that we have in Jesus. He has conquered death.
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?
For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Cor 15:55-57
Almost 12 years ago I visited Okinawa for the first time and it was there that God started building a special love for the Japanese people in my heart. It was there that Hannah and I met for the first time and through going to Okinawa my Japanese adventure started. So I guess I am trying to say that Okinawa is a really special place to me.
The photo below is one that I took with Hannah the second time we met after I moved to Japan as a missionary.
Fast forward a bit, we got to visit Okinawa once right after getting married and then once more when Ezekiel was about 2 but have not been back since. But this spring we have been blessed with the chance to visit Okinawa as a family (and mission team).
We will soon be taking a week off to do two things, get some much-needed rest and family time and spend time with the Encompass Nihon mission team that we are part of. It’s really amazing how it all worked out, the Encompass Nihon mission retreat had been planned since last year and we had originally planned to go and had started to save up for the trip but as spring approached we realised that we were only able to save up about 25% of the total needed. So we had to announce that we could not go. About two weeks after that we got a message from the team leader saying he was going to help us get there. A few days later we got word that some extra support was raised and that we could go. All that to say, we are really thankful for everyone’s prayers and support and so excited to be able to take our boys on an adventure to Okinawa.
Please pray for
Safe travels to and from Okinawa
Fun times as a family
Meaningful fellowship with the Encompass Nihon team
Time to connect with the Norikura team
Clarity about the future direction for the ministry work here in Norikura
Yesterday we went for a little family date to our friends restaurant called Hakoniwa Shokudo in Kita Karuizawa. Hannah’s friends Miku is from Okinawa and and last year her and her husband moved to Kita Karuizawa to start their own restaurant.
Its located a little outside the main area of Karuizawa but not hard to get to and well worth the drive. You can find it on the map below. They have a nice menu and they are kid friendly which was good for us.
Hannah met Miku when she was living in Okinawa and use to visit a soba restaurant called “Umi ga Mieru Sobaya” (海が見えるそば家) that Miku’s parents run. The last time we visited Okinawa we went out to eat there and it was so good. We are planning to go eat there next week when we are there.
Thank you all for your prayers and support. The last two weeks has been exciting to say the least. With Hannah in and out of the hospital twice for concerns about babies (sometimes) low heart rate and me needing to take care of the boys and wondering when baby would come had left feeling pretty overwhelmed and just plain old wiped out.
And then all those feelings and stresses just vanished as we all piled into the minivan at 11pm on the 20th to make the 1hr drive to the hospital where our friends David and Naho met us to pick up three very sleepy but very excited big brothers so Hannah and I could go have a baby. I will let Hannah tell the full birth story later but for now I just want to say that it was amazing to see how God planned for baby to come in the timing He did and to be reminded over and over during the birth that God really does have our best interests in mind and that He really does care for us.
Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures. The Bible – James 1:17-18
Announcing baby McAllister #4!
Name: (First Name Coming Soon) Orvin McAllister
Birthday: August 21st 2014 – 2:37AM
Weight: 3656g (8lbs 9oz)
Height: 51cm (20″)
Although we are not quite set on his first name, his middle name is borrowed from my grandpa (Orvin Olson) who has always encouraged me to pursue excellence in everything and who also introduced me to cameras, computers and woodworking at a young age. I am very grateful for the influence he has had on my life.
About a month ago we got the boys up really early and took them up to the top of Mt. Norikura for a little family adventure. We went to see the sunrise over the little village we live in called Norikura Kogen and it was amazing. The boys are still telling us that they want to do it again.