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,


One Response to “May 2011 Update”

  1. Laura Ward May 26, 2011 at 11:14 am #

    So glad Mark & Rachel could be with you, Ruthanne – they’re wonderful! (Rachel & I were at Covenant together.) And glad to know it was a good trip; I was thinking of y’all! I hope I can join you on one of these trips in the future. Praying all goes well for you during your busy summer!

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