The Vanning Family Update
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Shion Joseph Vanning was born on July 3rd
He was 6lbs 1oz (2750g).
Doctors and nurses said it was the quickest labor they've ever seen, just one push. 
We'll have to send out a new family picture soon!

July 2019 Update

New Addition


Last week on July 3rd, Nozomi gave birth to our son, Shion (信生 - which can mean, living by faith, and sounds like "Shee-ohn"). Both he and his mommy are doing well. The labor was quick and three weeks early! Thank you for all your prayers as this pregnancy has been very difficult. 

I've taken two weeks off of classes to help take care of the children so Nozomi can rest. God has provided other help as well. Our friend, Annelise, quit her job in the US and came to Japan supported by our home church to help us for the next three months. It was perfect timing since she arrived two days before Shion was born. Also, Nozomi's younger sister, Maki, graduated from college in the US and has been able to help us as well. God is good and He is answering your prayers by providing loving helpers during this time.

We were invited by a couple in our building to a birthday party BBQ for their son, who I think is Emi's age. It's this coming Monday. We've been trying to reach out to them for a while but haven't been able to get together, so we're excited about the opportunity to get to know them. Please pray they would come to know the hope that only the Gospel provides. Pray for opportunities to share and for wisdom. 

Continue to pray for Nozomi's cousin. He has a lot of questions about the difference between Christianity and Buddism. He told Nozomi he has trouble understanding my "southern accent" (I've been speaking to him in English). Nozomi kindly informed him I don't have a southern accent, but I do have a Philadelphia accent. He became very excited because his favorite movie is Rocky, apparently. Pray God gives me more opportunities to explain the Gospel to him, that he can understand God's grace and God will make something beautiful out of his life.

So I didn't finish the paperwork for baby Shion before he was born. Please pray for me as I prepare paperwork for Shion's US citizenship (it's a lot). A short blessing is two months ago the US Embassy in Tokyo provided online application services. We will still need to go in person, but at least a lot of paperwork will be done online. 

Of course, pray for Nozomi as she recovers from giving birth to our fifth child. She's a tough cookie. 

About my Japanese studies. A week before Shion was born I finished my second textbook (beginner-intermediate). Once I return to classes we will review what I learned so far and will then begin the intermediate textbook. I still feel I have a long way to go in speaking freely, but I definitely can understand much more than even a few months ago. Please pray I can speak with clarity, especially the truths of the Gospel.

Keep praying for God to save our kids. Pray Nozomi and I can graciously and consistently use opportunities to be ambassadors of Christ to our children. 

Miraculously, Kensei's eyes have gotten much better lately, especially when he is wearing his glasses. It seems he's figuring out how to control the crossing. God is answering all of our prayers! Please continue to pray he can learn how to control his eyes and that we can find an eye doctor who understands his condition.

Please continue praying for Gospel-centered Christian friends and fellowship. We trust God will provide this type of fellowship for us because we know we need it to grow well rooted.

We are also still praying about possibly planting an international church here in the West Makuhari - East Tokyo area. I believe we will need ministry partners to accomplish this since a church planting team is biblically ideal. This need clearly overlaps with the need for Gospel-centered Christian friends.

You and your love and care for us are a great blessing to us. We are so honored to be working together with you to take the Gospel to the millions of lost in Japan. If you have any questions about what we are doing in Japan, or about partnering with us financially please do not hesitate to email me.

Nozomi's parents were the only ones allowed into the labor room after Shion was born. 
The kids love their cousins. Nozomi's sister, Ai came over with the kids to see their new cousin. We're thankful for Ai, and her husband Atsushi, who have unselfishly helped us since we've come to Japan. May our God, whom we serve, pay them back double the blessings since we will never be able to do so. 
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