There are only about 70 more days left in 2015.
That is what Jonathan realized recently as we were having dinner.
As we get older it makes sense that each year seems quicker as each day becomes a smaller percentage of your life lived. But when you are in the middle of life, you seem to forget how quick life is going and how much things change.
With our ministry at ARI, it means that there are very few days left to learn, share, and be with the wonderful class of 2015 participants and volunteers. over 40 people from some 20+ countries over 20 time zones who had no idea of each other in March of this year have become a close knit community. We have become vulnerable, opening up our weaknesses and seeking to edify each other to truly recgonize and use the gifts God has given each one of us.
Just this week the participants had their final paper writing and reflection time. They are finishing up their dreams, their goals, their concrete hopes for their communities as they return to people waiting for them in 19 countries from 12 time zones.
As they return the world has changed. In some countries, Ebola was still a threat as they came and now it seems life is back to normal. In some families, lives have been lost and they will return to that new reality. In some places new plans have been made and they will return to work hopefully with those plans.
Satomi and Jonathan, we are also getting ready to go back to see new realities, to learn about what is happening in the church back in the US. We hope to share about what God is doing at ARI and also in Japanese churches. We hope that we can learn new things in our own time of reflection and maybe training. Hopefully when we come back to this 1 country, Japan, we will have more of an idea of what God is calling us and our community to.
Pray for us, our participants and volunteers as we all head to our homes to share. Pray also for this community in Japan at ARI where we will continue to work hard to train more and more people for bringing wholistic change that comes through the call of Christ, through the power of the Spirit, all in the hands of the Father.
Will we see you?
We leave you with some other things that have been going on this summer!
While Jonathan was in the Philippines, he took the opportunity to visit a graduate from 2013. Pastor Vic and Magsaysay UMC were so welcoming! It is good to see the Global UMC family!
After wanting to for 7 years, Satomi and Jonathan finally climbed and conquered MT Fuji! It was not without it’s mishaps but it was wonderful seeing the Japan from it’s heighest height!
Jonathan was in the Phillipines for a couple of weeks in September sharing and learning with people from 12 countries about the process and theology of welcoming mission teams. Good time of learning, fellowship and seeing what God is doing around Asia