Did you see us???

Hello Everybody!

With all the severe weather up in the North East of the US this past weekend we are thankful to be in Florida.  The weather was definitely cold for Floridians, lows around freezing and highs not high enough for flip flops.  We are thankful to continue to share with churches and people about our ministry.  After Returning from Texas, we have been traveling around Florida.  We’re posting dates for the next few weeks.  If you are in that area you can let us know and we can try to connect.

Clermont January 26-29

Gainesville January 29

Tallahassee January 30 – Feb 2

Central Florida Feb 3 – Feb 11

Western NC Feb 12 – Feb 19

Fort Meyers Feb 20 – Feb 23

Palm Beach Feb 24- Feb 28

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Some folks at the Florida Conference Center of the UMC with us in Lakeland.

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Jonathan and Satomi with folks from Jonathan’s Home church, Ocoee Oaks.

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Thank you Sebastian UMC for your welcome!

 

 

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They say everything is big in Texas !   

2 weeks since Christmas and the star is guiding us to Texas.  We will be visiting some churches and supporters in the Dallas area from this Saturday and look forward to the new relationships and conversations that God has in store for us.

One of the best parts of itineration is meeting so many people that have been supporting us and those we minister to in Japan.  Seeing faces, talking about what we do and what God is doing excites us and we hope encourages others so that we can continue to be in ministry in Japan.

If anyone will be in the Dallas area that we aren’t already planning to meet and want to meet with us, do let us know and we will try to work you in!

Now back to another couple of days with Jonathan’s family!

 

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Expectant!

That’s how Simeon is introduced to us in the Bible.  He was expectant of what God was going to do.  That is our word as we move into 2016.  Although we hear much about fear and the unknown, we await the promises of God.  As our brother Simeon waited expectantly 2000 years ago, we do the same now.  Maranatha!

 

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Satomi and Jonathan on top of the clouds.  100 meters from the top of Mt Fuji!  Light is sweet; how pleasant to see a new day dawning!  Eccles 11:7

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Giving Tuesday is in 3 days!!!!
Activate Love 851fb

UMC #GivingTuesday 2015

Activate Love. Transform Lives. Change the World.

On Dec. 1, United Methodists will once again come together to support the work of Advance projects and missionaries on UMC #GivingTuesday. And once again, every gift made online through The Advance at http://www.umcmission.org/give on Dec. 1, 2015 will be matched up to $1 million.*

It’s almost time to double your money!!!!

If you are planning on giving towards Jonathan’s advance, his number is 3021131.

Anyone giving towards our project, the Asian Rural Institute, you are also encouraged to give on this day so that the impact can be doubled! ARI’s advance number is 220450!

Also Remember that this year it is Central Standard Time!  So  For the East Coast, (Most of Florida :)  That will be 1am!!!  Sorry it`s so late!  Chicago and Pensacola that’s 12am, Californaia you’re at 10 pm I think and Hawaii that’s at 8pm!!!

Thanks again!!!

 For a complete list of projects you and your team can support, visit The Advance. (www.umcmission.org/advance)

– See more at: http://www.umcmission.org/Giving-Tuesday#sthash.TgebJ0jK.dpuf

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Giving Tuesday, December 1st 2015

Just to give everyone a heads up, Giving Tuesday is in a little while!
Activate Love 851fb

UMC #GivingTuesday 2015

Activate Love. Transform Lives. Change the World.

On Dec. 1, United Methodists will once again come together to support the work of Advance projects and missionaries on UMC #GivingTuesday. And once again, every gift made online through The Advance at http://www.umcmission.org/give on Dec. 1, 2015 will be matched up to $1 million.*

Yes, that’s right!  Start getting your gifts, time schedules and internet connections ready!

If you are planning on giving towards Jonathan’s advance, his number is 3021131.

Anyone giving towards our project, the Asian Rural Institute, you are also encouraged to give on this day so that the impact can be doubled! ARI’s advance number is 220450!

 For a complete list of projects you and your team can support, visit The Advance. (www.umcmission.org/advance)

– See more at: http://www.umcmission.org/Giving-Tuesday#sthash.TgebJ0jK.dpuf

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It’s OCTOBER!!!

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!

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!

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

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

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ARI Sunday

One of the ways that ARI connects with and supports local churches in Japan is through something called ARI Sunday. ARI Sunday is a Sunday when a local church invites an ARI Staff member, volunteer or participant to come and share with them. We preach, share testimonies, give lectures or share about our work and communities. Sometimes we are even asked to talk about the mission and vision of ARI herself. As we do this, the connection between the church and ARI grows stronger. Churches learn much about the lives of people from around the world, the struggles and what God is doing. We, the ARI community members also are glad to share our thoughts and experiences and hope we are benefiting the ministry of the churches. This is also a great time for us to raise support, awareness and sell some of our yummy cookies and jam!
But the beginning of this connection is deeper. ARI Sunday started in the 60’s in Tokyo near the seminary where the ARI program had begun. At that time churches held Asia Sunday on the last Sunday of June. It was a time for the Japanese church to remember and support their brothers and sisters in Asia through connecting with people from Asia. (If you do not know much about the history of WWII in Asia or why we talk about Asia as if it is different than Japan, it would be good to look up as it will help you understand relationships between Asian countries today!)
The Asian Rural Institute was actually started because of the idea that the Japanese Church needed to work for peace and reconciliation, especially between Japan and it’s Asian neighbors. Although the damage of war can not be undone, reconciliation is possible. ARI is one vision of how that can be achieved. The hopes being that peace and reconciliation happen not just between Japan and others, but in countries throughout the world. Through local rural leaders from 20+ nations coming, living together for 9 months, with all of their cultural, religious, linguistic, ethnic and national differences, a hope exists that a new sense of love, peace and reconciliation may be born in their own hearts and from there into their own communities.
As places around the world struggle with racial division and strife, ethnic and tribal conflict and misunderstanding, ARI is a places that seeks to show a different way to live. And as we continue to participate in ARI Sundays here in Tochigi and throughout Japan this year, we pray the church will also be a place where brothers and sisters can live together in harmony. A place where the body of Christ can stand together as one. Won’t you join us in this work?

A young Laos UMC pastor sharing with supporters.

A young Laos UMC pastor sharing with supporters.

Sharing at ARI Sunday range from sermons to testimonies to talks about work and communities

Sharing at ARI Sunday range from sermons to testimonies to talks about work and communities

Mama talking.  From Liberia, she serves in a UMC church in her home area.

Mama talking. From Liberia, she serves in a UMC church in her home area.

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