International Ministries

Spring’s Arrival

March 24, 2002 Journal
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Spring has come to Yokohama--the cherry blossoms have come out and we've begun to plant a few things outside to help usher in the season...

The last few months have brought along both some real blessings and some real struggles. On the blessings side, many of you have been praying with us about Adam's school situation.As some of you might know, because of the distance to Yokohama International School, our only real option was to send Adam to a Japanese first grade next month (April is when the Japanese school year begins), and we've been really concerned about the language barrier. Adam's class will have 43 kids in it, and we haven't been sure if either he or his teachers would be able to handle the transition.

Thankfully, God has provided!Beginning next month, we will have a 25-year old Japanese young man named Hajime Uemura coming to live with us during the kid's first year at Kanto Gakuin School.He is a strong Christian and has been the student leader of Chuck and Judy Derolf's Fellowship group during his college years.He's excited about helping us communicate with the kid's teachers, helping Adam with his homework, and helping us to improve our everyday Japanese.In addition to all that, Hajime is considering going to seminary, so pray that his time with us would be a blessing to him, too, as he tries to discern his own call to ministry.

Another blessing is that we've met lots of parents through our kid's preschool who want to continue to be friends with us.In particular, we met one family, which seems to have a strong interest in Christianity. Interestingly, 13 years ago, the father of this family knew one of the Karpas' children.The Karpas were American Baptist missionaries who served here at Kanto Gakuin School many years ago.This family's children are the same ages as our kids, so pray that God would build a fruitful relationship between us--just yesterday, he and his daughter stopped by our house and we talked for about three hours!

Also, Kari and I have moved up the "second class" in our Japanese language school.Wow.Everyday we're reminded of how much more work we have to do to learn this language.Continue to pray for us that we would be able to absorb what we need!Sometimes the sponge just feels too full already...

On the struggle side, some of you already know that we had quite a scare in February.Sarah was hospitalized after two days of persistent high fever and elevated white blood cell counts with what the doctors thought was "Kawasaki's Disease."Our first time in a Japanese hospital, hearing this was quite traumatic for us.After about a week of receiving IV antibiotics, the doctors re-diagnosed her with a severe strep infection.She was released soon afterwards, but we soon found out that Kari had caught a new strain of the flu in the hospital.After that went through the entire family, all in all, we had lost about three weeks of study time, and were quite behind...

Thinking back on it now, a month later, I'm reminded of just how much we need time.Just time--time to adjust (body, mind, and heart!), time to heal, time to put things in perspective.Looking out at the cherry blossoms today, I'm reminded of those words in Ecclesiastes that there is "a time for every purpose under heaven." Our fears about Adam's education seem now to be lessening day by day.Sarah's time in the hospital was grueling and worrisome, but we have become stronger people for it.And our new friends, who knew the Karpas so many years ago, may be ready to bloom into something new.

There is something very powerful about the Japanese appreciation of the spring blossoms after a long winter of waiting.And I think that "something"--that hopeful anticipation of rebirth--deeply signifies the Easter message we've been sent here to proclaim.Keep us in your prayers!

Peace,

Dwight, Kari and Adam Davidson