The Vanning Family Update
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We've been blessed with a wonderful view of the city's fireworks show every year. A great opportunity for intentional missional living. 

September/October 2019 Update

2 Years Already


First off, I want to thank you all for praying for us as the most recent typhoon passed directly over us. It was my first experience being in the "eye" of the storm. Although many of those affected in our area with power outages are now with power, some still are waiting for their power to return. The cooler weather the last two days was a welcome blessing to them, I'm sure. We are all fine here. 

It's hard to believe at the end of this month we will have been here for two years. It seems like just a few days ago we arrived in Japan. Time flies. God is working here. Here are a few examples. 

Just a few months ago we were able to move into a large living community with thousands of residents. In those few months, God has been opening doors for us to meet and connect with multiple individuals and families. We've been invited to a BBQ and have also hosted a BBQ in the common area, meeting new neighbors and building relationships with them. We had some of our unsaved neighbors over for dessert and snacks while we watched the firework show from our balcony. Nozomi has had various Japanese moms over and I've been able to go out with some Japanese men.

God is providing great opportunities for us to connect with our neighbors and to share the hope that is in us. Please pray for more boldness to share the good news of the Gospel to the many lost around us. As we are able to reach more neighbors, please pray for God's wisdom and guidance as we seek to make disciples, to have a group Bible study and eventually a worship service in our home.

I have a potential ministry partnership offer/opportunity with a church about 45 minutes away. I would have a chance to preach in Japanese and in English (with a translator) once every two or three months, and I would be able to take part in regular staff meetings. Please pray for wisdom and God's guidance on whether to accept or not. There are a LOT of details I just don't have room to share in this short update. 

God answered your prayers for Shion's paperwork and the trip to the Tokyo US embassy was actually a pleasant visit. He is now officially a US citizen (and Japanese through Nozomi of course). 

God answered your prayers for my VISA update. Although the visit to the immigration office was still (and always is) quite unpleasant, everything went smoothly and I now have a three-year VISA. 

God is answering your prayers for Nozomi's recovery from giving birth to our fifth child. She's already back to driving around picking up and dropping off kids and friends. She loves to serve and it's hard for her to rest too long when there are needs around her. Please continue to pray for her body to recover.

God is answering your prayers for my Japanese studies. A week ago we began the intermediate-level 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 as I will be preaching in Japanese for the first time this month on the 29th to Arakawaoki Baptist Church, about an hour away. Pray for me to speak with clarity and for God to move in the lives of the church people.

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. 

Keep praying for Kensei's eyes. His vision has gotten better even from the last update, especially when he is wearing his glasses. Although he seems to be figuring out how to control the crossing, his eyes still cross regularly. 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. God has been slowly providing these friends, though they all might be multi-denominational. In a country where only 0.3% of the population are professing evangelical Christians, it seems inevitable that some of our Christians friends are from other denominations. It glorifies God as we all work together for the glory of our King here in Japan. 

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.

As some of you may know, on September 1st my Japanese grandmother left this world and is now in the presence of the Lord. She was the main influence in my life used by God to give me a passion for the Japanese people's salvation. Please pray for my family. It's hard being so far away from family at this time.
In the summer most Japanese communities have their own festival celebration called a matsuri (like a fair in the US but with more snack and game booths and without the rides). Many girls like to attend wearing a yukata (a traditional robe, like a kimono, but only one layer of material, usually cotton). Our girls love wearing theirs. 
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