The Davidsons would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2006!
To catch you all up on what we've been doing lately... Well, we've been traveling! During the ABC's World Mission Offering season (August through October), I think we ended up either visiting or otherwise meeting representatives of over 80 churches. Whew! It was really meaningful, though, to be able to finally meet many of you personally who have been so faithful in praying for us and supporting our work with young people in Japan over the last four years.
We've also squeezed in a few other things during the last few months--Kari and I got the chance to go to counseling for three days at the Midwest Ministry Development Center in Columbus, Ohio. Even though this is a requirement from the point of view of the International Ministries board, it's also something we always look forward to. We've received terrific care every time we've gone through one of these programs, and we always leave with great suggestions. So I want to pitch out an "ad" for these folks: if you get a chance, send your congregational leaders here every now and then!
The kids have been having lots of fun, too. For all of you who've been asking how Adam & Sarah are doing in American school, Adam is already up to 4th grade level in reading and Sarah's beyond her grade level! Which is to say they're doing really well... Sarah has turned into quite a writer, too--every time I look around, she's scribbling notes down at her desk. And Adam's been doing some fun extra-curricular stuff: He's studying cello in his school's orchestra and has started going to karate twice a week. I get a kick out of his karate class (no pun intended!) because the teachers always give the karate commands in Japanese, but I don't think any of them realize that Adam actually speaks Japanese! He's so modest--he doesn't want to tell anybody!
Which reminds me of another neat turn of events of late. Recently, we've met two Japanese-speaking exchange students who are studying at Ohio Wesleyan University here in town--Sachiko and Yang. They've been coming over once a week and helping us practice Japanese! Wow, what we've forgotten... These two girls happen to be students at Waseda University in Tokyo--the school that sits right across the road from Tokyo Peace Church, where I'd been preaching once a month before we left Japan. So maybe we can keep in touch with them even after we go back to Yokohama...
Isaiah's growing, too--he's a pro at putting 3 word sentences together lately (though unfortunately, many of them start with "I want...). So we're also busy working on, "PLEASE."
It's hard to believe that we're preparing already for returning to Japan--many of you know that I have to leave for Yokohama in March, 2006 because of the Japanese academic schedule. Kari will be staying here with the kids until they finish out their US school year in June.
- Please pray for us this holiday that we'll be able to enjoy some precious time with family here in the States and that the preparations for our return to Japan will keep on going smoothly.
- Also, we're just now finalizing the process of putting together our Missionary Partnership Team (MPT)--so please pray for guidance in that process as well. The MPT is that group of 5-7 folks who will be our core support team here in the States for the next five years. Some great people have committed to be a part of this so far!
Well, this has become a longer note than I intended to send, but remember that we're so thankful for your friendship and care. May each of you meet Christ anew this Advent season!
Grace & Peace,
Dwight & Kari
P.S. Some of you have asked how we're doing on the used van fund--to my knowledge, we have about $8,500 committed or given so far of the $15,000 we'll need to raise. So again, if you'd like to contribute, you can contact us directly.
Dwight & Kari Davidson
American Baptist Churches/USA