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The Vanning Family Update
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Although we have been limiting going out since schools closed three weeks ago, Nozomi's family wanted to have dinner with my mother before she left to return to the USA on the 20th. The restaurant was virtually empty with our family having the whole section of the restaurant to ourselves. I'm glad they were able to see my mom before she left. 

March/April Update

COVID-19 in Japan

<<Salutation>>

We are praying for you during this time of pandemic and panic. To know our God is always in control and that he is working everything for his glory and our good, is such a wonderful comfort at this time. Don't give in to the fear being spread by those who do not trust our Sovereign Lord. May God help us cast all our anxiety upon him, the Ruler of the universe. He is good and we are his children.

Thank you for your prayers for us concerning the outbreak here in Japan. Three weeks ago, the weekend before our church-planting intensive, the Prime Minister of Japan called for all schools across Japan to close. Consequently, our intensive training has been postponed. We are not sure when the new dates will be at this time. This announcement by the Prime Minister caused quite a reaction by the people and many essentials were sold out in the local stores for about a week. However, the atmosphere has calmed down and it seems supplies have been restocked. Everything but face masks is easy to find once again. 

Prime Minister Abe's announcement happened the day after my mother arrived to help us with the children while Nozomi and I were attending the training. God in his sovereignty knew what would happen and wanted her to be here with us during this time. She brought a suitcase full of face masks, vitamins, toys, snacks, and books, etc. Most of which we could not find here at that time. She was such a wonderful blessing to us while the kids have been home from school for the last three weeks. She even potty-trained Mona while she was here!

We haven't canceled church services in the church I'm helping out, but we have shortened the services with fewer songs. Everyone has been asked to wear a mask and sanitize their hands before entering the chapel. Tomorrow will be the first time we will hold communion since schools closed. Those passing out the elements will be wearing masks and gloves and placing them in each person's hands, to be careful. We've also started live streaming.

I translated for the first time from Japanese to English last Sunday. This Sunday I will be leading the worship service in English with a Japanese translator. Please continue to pray for me as I continue to expand my ministry experience and responsibility with my brothers and sisters in Oyumino. I'm thankful for their kindness and graciousness toward me as I learn and grow in various roles.

Although Japan hasn't placed restrictions on going out we've been trying to minimize going out as best we can. When the weather is nice we have been going on walks or to outdoor parks with the kids to get their energy out and to get them out in the sun. We took the kids to the Chiba Zoo on Thursday with my mom before she returned home on Friday. We try to limit our activities to open outdoor places.

I have still been going to my Japanese school at this time. I have private lessons so the exposure is minimal. It also helps my teachers to still have some income during this difficult time.  

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.  

God is answering your prayers for Gospel-centered Christian friends and fellowship. He 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. Continue to pray for church-planting partners as well. 

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 by replying to this email.

Love,
Jared
One of our excursions was a walk to the beach with Grammy. It was a beautiful day and the children enjoyed running around in the sand without shoes on. 
We visited the local zoo the day before Grammy left to return to the USA. Taishi sprained his ankle during a walk we took earlier so we decided to get him a wheelchair at the front gate. We enjoyed seeing the awesome creativity of our Creator God. 
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