Archive | May, 2011

May 2011 Update

23 May

A Picture is worth a thousand words

I’m a visual person so I love seeing pictures from peoples lives, trips and adventures. Here are some pictures from our trip to Japan. Below them is an update from our time there.

No matter what country you are in boys love playing with legos!

We got to participate in PE with the kids at Covenant Christian School International. This day is was “butt” volleyball! Just like regular volleyball but you have to stay on your rear end!!

A Japanese Tradition – Karaoke with the Missionary Kids!

Spending time with the little ones. iPads are very entertaining!

Mom’s and kids at a play-group organized by Honda Chapel.


Entrance to a Temple.

Tokyo Skyline.

Japan Update

“When I saw the building swaying back and forth I had to decide. ‘Do I run inside to get one of my sons and possibly die if the building collapses or do I stay outside because I still have 2 other children that could lose their mom if I go inside.’”

“It’s been really stressful because with every aftershock we have I must make a split-second decision to evacuate the school or not.”

“It was really hard but really good to go up to Tohoku and see the damage from the tsumani. It really helped me be able to process my experience of being in the earthquake and remember that even though damage is being cleaned up around me it’s still really bad in other places.”

“…You are very brave for coming. A lot of other foreigners left because they were afraid of the radiation. Thank you for coming.”

These are just a few of the many stories we heard from Missionaries, their kids, students at Covenant Christian School International (CCSI) and the Japanese people while we were in Japan.

We arrived in Tokyo on the two-month anniversary of the earthquake & tsunami. As we left the airport and drove through the countryside I did not see a lot of damage. People were walking along the roads. Rice was beginning to sprout up out of the paddies. On the outside, in this part of Tokyo, life seems to have gone back to normal. But we knew that life was anything but normal for these people and this country.

Below is a Rachel Watanabe Kim’s recap of our time in Japan. She captured the essence of the trip so well.
There were countless unknowns as we began this trip, yet God showed his hand over and over again as he lead us through very meaningful conversations, quality times and teaching opportunities with so many people (MKs, missionaries, students at the school, Japanese, etc).  It was such a delight to get to know and be with folks there, especially in the wake of so much recent chaos, concerns and added responsibilities.  We were astonished by the steadiness with which the kids and families are establishing new “normals” for their daily lives including: dealing with ongoing aftershocks, earthquake drills, safety planning, managing/hosting/participating in disaster relief teams and much more, finding new urgency and JOY in living out their faith before the watching Japanese people whom they love. We heard countless stories of the impact of the disaster and how folks were processing what happened. The kids show evidence of the God-given gift of resiliency, though many of their parents appear weary and tired.   Please continue to pray for them in this challenging and extraordinary time.

I was so thankful to have Mark and Rachel Kim with me on this trip. They were an encouragement to me and to the missionaries there and provided much needed counseling experience too. Thank you to those who gave financially to allow them to come.

If you’d like to donate towards our trip you can still do so. You can find the information here.

What’s coming up?

The end of May & June will prove to be another busy month as I prepare for several different events. Here’s a little calendar of what’s in the works.
May 27-29 – Village Church of East Atlanta Retreat.
June 4-11 – Family Vacation to South Carolina & Florida
June 12-17 – MTW Vision Retreat & Interview & Orientation
June 22-23 – Visiting the Missions Adventure Camp at Ridge Haven
June 30 – July 30 – Leading the Youth Program for MTW’s Cross Cultural Ministry Internship in New York City.

Also during this time I’ll be getting supplies and things ready for Re-Entry and Summer Conference at Ridge Haven (Eric & Rebecca Larsen along with Drew & Lindsey Wilkins and Brooks and Riva Cain will be leading this) as well as getting ready for my time in New York City. I’d appreciate your prayers for this busy time.

Support Status
My monthly support pledges are at 51%. I’m so thankful for all of you. Your prayers, encouragement and financial support are blessing from God. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!

Did you know that I have 131 fans on my facebook page?  I don’t say this to brag but to say if just 90 of those fans gave just $25 a month I would be fully funded! If you are already a supporter would you consider raising your pledge $10 – $20 a month? If you have been thinking about supporting me monthly and just not had a chance to do so or have any other questions please don’t hesitate to let me know.

MTW now has Online Donations! You can donate online at
send a check to MTW
PO Box 116284
Atlanta GA 30368
Please include my name and account number #10660 in the memo line.
You can download my prayer card here!

By His Mercy,


Leaving for the Land of the Rising Sun

9 May

Around 9am tomorrow (Tuesday) morning, I leave for a week-long trip to Tokyo, Japan. We (me & mark & Rachel Kim) will be spening time with the teams in Tokyo & Chiba (a suburb of Tokyo). While there we’ll be leading devotions for the missionary school in Chiba (CCSI), leading a Family Education Unit for the parents of CCSI, spending time with some of missionary kids on the team & leading a kid’s program for a mother’s outreach time in Honda (a suburb of Tokyo).

I’d appreciate your prayers for this time. That we’d be a encouragement to the team there and we’d have good times with the missionary kids. These families have gone through A LOT in the past two months so I pray our presence will encourage them. I’m looking forward to seeing the Lord work in and through us while we are there.

I’ll try and post pictures and little updates on facebook and twitter while I am there (as time allows) and will update you fully when I return.

If you’d still like to donate towards this trip you can click here to donate online.

Or you can send a check to:
PO Box 116284
Atlanta GA 30368-6284.
**Please make the check out to “Mission to the World” with “GYFM Japan response acct #88000” in the memo line.

Thank you for your prayers & support!


The hunt for red octo…..I mean…luggage

5 May

So I’ve known for a while that I needed a new suitcase. One for my big trips. I’ve been perusing websites and stores for a while but the need became a little more urgent when I found out I was going to Japan. I had several nice people offer to lend me there’s but I knew that would only delay the inevitable. I ramped up my search last week and was hit with a sudden bout of extreme indecisiveness.

Hard-side or soft-side? 2 wheels or spinners? A duffel or a suitcase? What brand? How much money do i want to spend? There were so many choices and just couldn’t make my mind up.

I had had a good experience with a $75 number from wal*mart that lasted me a good 5 years and multiple international trips. So I was hesitant to by a name brand suitcase when the off- brands ad served me so well. I had several different criteria in mind that I wanted my new suitcase to meet.

1. A good size – when I travel I’m often gone for long periods of time so a bigger suitcase is a must.
2. A unique color or pattern – I want my luggage to stand out in a crown of others so I can pick it off the conveyor belt with ease.
3. Light-weight – since baggage requirements are so strict these days I need my luggage tobeas light weight as possible so I can fit as much in there as possible without going over the 50 lb limit.
4. A reasonable price – I’ve been told you don’t want to skimp on luggage. Pay a good price and your luggage will serve you well.
5. A good brand with a even better warranty.

So with these things in mind I began searching. And searching. And searching. Must have looked at hundreds of suitcases either online or in stores but nothing was meeting all of my criteria.

There was one that I was considering and I kept on going back to. This one.


It hit two of my four criteria. I loved the pattern and it was light weight. However it was really big and the price tag matched it’s size. I just was having a really hard time paying almost $300 for that bad-boy.

I started doing some online research on where the best places were to buy cheap luggage. Something that kept coming up was Marshalls/TJMaxx or Filenes Basement. So I started Checking those places out. This is where I started narrowing down what I wanted. TJ Maxx was a bust but Marshalls had a good selection of name-brand luggage at a significantly cheaper price.

Then I found a line of victorinox luggage that I was familiar with. I already own a carry-on from this brand and I love it. It has a lifetime warranty and it’s a great piece. They are also known to be very expensive. But since I was shopping at these discount stores such as Marshalls they were at a significantly reduced price. Now granted this is a close-out line that victorinox is no longer making anymore but last year it was the cream of the crop.

So this what I ended up with.


It meets all 5 of my criteria!!!

It’s a good size, a snappy color, light-weight, a great price & has a lifetime warranty!!! SCORE!

My tips for you from this ridiculously long post???
Do your research. Know what you need. Make sure you check your discount stores!

For those of you that kept reading. Your a better person that me. I would have bailed on myself a while ago. 😉