It's been a while since you've heard from us, and we apologize!
The last few months have been really busy. This was the first year I've had a full schedule of classes to teach at the high school (more than a full-time teacher, actually!), and for the last number of months, I've had the opportunity to start preaching at the English service of Tokyo Peace Church periodically, too. That's been a real blessing, and for those of you who don't know about Tokyo Peace Church yet, please follow the link here to see what they're up to in English: www.tpchurch.org. The church is multiethnic and multilingual, with services in English, Japanese, and Kachin (a tribal language in Myanmar).
Besides that, Kanto Gakuin kids and I have been on the go. In May, one other teacher and I took a group of 14 students to clean a home for the mentally ill in Yokosuka. Just days ago, we had about 150 kids cleaning the streets here around the school campus, and in two weeks, I'll be heading out again for the islands near Hiroshima for a summer work camp to assist some of the small preaching places in the Japanese Inland sea. Please pray for all the Kanto Gakuin junior and senior highers involved in these activities. Chaplain, Rev. Kimoto and I have spent a lot of time lately talking about the relationship of Christian faith to service to our neighbors, but the Spirit of God has to make that connection clear to students...
Right after the Hiroshima trip, I'll be leaving for Hong Kong for the Baptist World Alliance Youth Conference, August 4-8. We in the Japan Baptist Union have a group of about 20 going, including one high schooler from my school, Kanto Gakuin.
- Pray for all the participants that they would not be discouraged even if they can't understand everything! So many of them are worried about their English. (If they only knew how much we missionaries worried about our Japanese, maybe they'd realize the worry is natural!).
- Pray that we'll have good fellowship and that our youth could make some good contacts for friendship and networking in ministry.
On the family front, we've all been pretty healthy--Isaiah especially is puffing out like mad. Where did he get those genes??? One thing you can be praying for us about is that we can make good decisions about what we need to do when we return to Japan after our home assignment next year. As you know, our kids have been in Japanese schools so far, but after a year in the US in 2005, we're pretty sure that getting back into that system would be very hard--especially for Adam, who would be going into 5th grade. We need to send them to international schools, it looks like, but the closest one is quite far away, requiring the kids to commute 2 1/2 hours a day by train. That's a little hard for us to imagine, so we need to find some alternatives.
- Please pray that God would give us clarity about this issue.
Also, we want to thank you for all your support, with cards, prayers, ideas, encouragement and financial support. Your continued support of us through World Mission Offering is badly needed this year. Keep us in your prayers and keep those cards and e-mails coming! We love hearing from you!
Yours in Christ,
Dwight & Kari
P.S. The picture this time is of me with some of the boys in the YMCA group from our school resting after a long hike through Yokohama. We had walked about four miles in 90 degree heat, visiting lots of famous Christian landmarks in the town and we were EXHAUSTED!!!!