I lived in Japan for two years after I finished University and I didn’t want to come back to Australia. I had an amazing time. It was far from perfect, never simply easy, and challenges came frequently. But I loved it. It was a time in my life of incredible growth, deep and meaningful relationships, spiritual depth and refreshment, and fun! Throughout this time God grew in me a love for Japan and for Japanese people that has not diminished. I am very thankful that God has worked in Paul’s life to give him a similar desire too. And as such, as many of you may know, Paul and I hope (God willing) to live in Japan and serve God there as long term missionaries.
We have been slowly working towards this idea/dream/goal since we got married. And slowly, step by step, we are getting closer! We are actually in the midst of application forms and medical checks with OMF, after spending at least a year deciding on which mission organisation to apply with. While we have no guarantee of acceptance, so far things are looking good. So it with these things in mind that we have a trip to Japan planned for June.
We had been thinking for a while that we would like to go in January 2014. January, for us Aussies, is kind of the obvious time for international travel. It’s the summer holidays, things slow down a little and there is usually more opportunity to traipse around the place. Recently though, we noticed how good the Aussie dollar and the Yen are doing (for us Aussies anyway), and I jokingly through out the option of going to Japan now. We thought about it a bit more, prayed, emailed, Skyped, talked, prayed some more and voila! Our flights and accommodation are booked, we have people to meet, a friend to travel with and are increasingly excited!
For two weeks in June we plan to visit OMF headquarters, head up to the OMF Language school in Hokkaido, meet heaps of OMF people, see different ministries and hopefully catch up with a couple of friends. We will obviously (or not?) have the girls with us, as well as a friend from church, Alex, who is interested in Mission. I will also be in the full swing of training for the 10K, so am looking forward to running in some new and wonderful places!
It is great to have this trip to look forward to, but it will be different to any other trips. The focus will not be so much on the experiences that come along with a new culture, interesting places and different faces, but with a view to the future. The people we will meet, the places we will go and the things we will see could very well be major parts of our future. It seems a very unique kind of trip to me.
Now that we have planned the trip, we are so very glad to be going in June and not in January. Here is why:
- June is summer in Japan. Tokyo will be hot and humid, but Sapporo will be beautiful and mild. It will not be cold/freezing/snowy! Yay!
- Pippa might be crawling in a month (she now sits and almost crawls) but she will not be running around like a 15 month old, giving us two toddlers to handle on a long flight. She is currently happy sitting, cuddling, drinking lots of milk and I am hopeful she will travel well.
- We now have a summer holiday in Australia to look forward to!
- Flights were reasonably priced – and we got a good deal too.
I am really looking forward to being back in Japan, and travelling together for the first time as a family of four. Adventures, here we come!!
P.S. I think I may just have to write a little more about Japan, Mission, travel and the like, as I have thought of many different things I could say in this post, but don’t want to write forever! If you have any questions about Japan, or our journey, feel free to write a comment and I will do my best to answer your questions well.