The Vanning Family Update
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Nozomi and I had a great time at the Couples' Tea hosted by the church I have been working at. It was the first time since the baby has been born last year that we both were able to be together without the kids. (The church provided baby sitters while the parents enjoyed the event.)

January/February Update

Next Steps


Thank you for your prayers for us concerning the Novel Coronavirus. Although it has continued to spread here in Japan, we trust God to keep us safe while we wash our hands more frequently and wear masks when on public transportation. Recently we heard of a young man in his twenties from here in Chiba who was confirmed to have the virus. He had been commuting by train from Chiba to his job in Tokyo for around a week while apparently contagious. The mood, however, is still calm here, but your prayers for our safety during this time would be appreciated, especially for our little ones. 

I have been interning at an international church about 35 minutes away since the New Year. We have taken the good counsel of our sending church pastors in accepting the offered internship and I have already preached twice there. I have also been having the opportunity to take part in their weekly leadership meetings in Japanese. I'm hoping to also take part in some Japanese Bible studies in the near future. This partnership will be for about a year and I am already getting so many great chances to use my Japanese.

In the first two weeks of March, we have a great opportunity to attend a (first time in Japan) church-planting intensive training. The training will not only help us in developing a pathway into reaching Japanese communities but would also allow us to make some deep and lasting friendships with other like-minded church planters in the area. Our sending church has graciously taken an offering to cover the expenses of this training, and they also bought a ticket for my mother to come and help with the children while we are commuting daily into Tokyo. What a blessing!

I am planning to continue my Japanese studies at the recommendation of my Japanese teachers. Right now it looks as if I will continue at least until the end of this year with regular Japanese lessons 4 days a week. Please continue to pray for my Japanese, I'm hoping to have more chances to preach in Japanese this year at the church I am helping. 

Keep praying for God to save our kids. Recently Taishi has started to display a tenderness for the Gospel. He's been expressing his desire to trust God. Praise God. The greatest need for our children is for God to change their hearts from hearts of stone to hearts of flesh, that desire to do what is right. Pray Nozomi and I can graciously and consistently use opportunities to be ambassadors of Christ to our children. 

Keep praying for Kensei's eyes. Please continue to pray he can learn how to control his eyes and that we can find an eye doctor here in Japan who understands his condition. If we can find such a doctor here in Japan it will be a direct and miraculous answer to prayer, because Japan does not recognize such doctors as "doctors" here. However, if He so desires, it will be so. On the positive side, his vision tests have been getting better each doctor visit. 

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.

Our apartment complex sponsored a bus ski trip. I was able to take Taishi and teach him how to snowboard. I got a chance to spend the whole day with him and with two tour buses full of our neighbors. It was a great opportunity to intentionally get to know our neighbors. Pray we can continue to reach out to our neighbors. 
We are so thankful for the kid-friendly family restaurants near us. I've been taking the older kids out on "daddy dates" ever since we were living in South Carolina. The other day was Mona's first time to go out for breakfast with daddy. She wanted the kids' pancakes meal, but the restaurant didn't offer kids' pancakes until lunchtime. What was the only kids' breakfast option? Hamburger patty with french fries. Go figure.
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