The Vanning Family Update
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One of the nicest blessings of this state of emergency and self-quarantine has been the family walks. We live within walking distance to the professional baseball stadium in town. Behind it is a beautiful beach. The water is polluted and infested with stingrays, so you can't swim, but it's become a favorite for the kids to run and play and look for clams as the weather has been getting hotter. 

June 2020 Update

State of Emergency Lifted Here


We are praying for you during this strange time in the history of the world. We love you and think of you often. We pray God will keep your hearts and minds at peace in the knowledge of his sovereign grace over all things, even the spread of a virus.

Thank you for praying for us concerning the outbreak here in Japan. On May 25th, Prime Minister Abe lifted the nationwide declaration of emergency and established a set of regulations for people to carefully get back to the new normal. School starts up for most schools across the nation either this week or next.

Our children start school on the 28th (tomorrow) in a limited sense. They're splitting up the grades and classes to minimize the number of children in school at the same time. Since our children's school is one of the largest in the entire prefecture, this helps a lot. 

One of the blessings of this self-quarantine has been the regular family walks. It's been nice to get to know our neighborhood a little better. But even more, it's been wonderful having more time to play with the family. Zoom has also been a blessing saving commute time and money for my Japanese classes. 

Please continue to pray for us as we reach out to our neighbors. As we slowly get back to a new normal, we are hoping to have regular BBQs in our building's courtyard. We hope we can use the opportunity to connect with our neighbors and build relationships as we share the hope that is in us with them. Hopefully, this will lead to a house church here. 

We are probably going to begin local gatherings in Oyumino (with the church I've been working at) in the next few weeks. We are discussing ways to safely begin our physical gatherings while still making services available online. Pray for wisdom in this transition. 

Pray for the 4 prayer small groups Nozomi and I take part in during the week. We want to be a blessing even as we are being blessed through these meetings on Zoom.

Please continue to pray for my preaching and translation opportunities. God is growing me in this area. May his name be glorified in my efforts. 

I will continue my Japanese lessons on Zoom for now. I am still a little wary of traveling on mass transit for now. My teacher offered to continue lessons on Zoom since I live so far away. I think that's a good idea. 

Keep praying for our kids. Pray Nozomi and I can graciously and consistently use opportunities to be instruments in the hands of our Redeemer to our children. God has graciously placed them in a household of faith. May He bless them with spiritual life through faith in the Gospel. 

Keep praying for Kensei's eyes. I recently read online of a vitamin deficiency caused by eating too much white rice or white bread. This vitamin deficiency reduces the control of the eyes resulting in crossing. Since we still haven't found a doctor who performs therapy nearby, we are trying to increase Kensei's B 1 vitamin levels and reduce his rice/bread consumption. It doesn't hurt to try, right? Thank you for your prayers. 

Continue to pray for church-planting partners as well. Our church-planting intensive training in downtown Tokyo has been rescheduled for October (more details in a later update). We lost a lot of money with some non-refundable hotel cancelations from the last intensive. Please pray all will go smoothly this time. We look forward to the opportunity to expand our network and meet potential church-planting partners. I have already begun meeting with a church-planting coach/mentor.

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 Christian 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 by replying to this email. I look forward to communicating with you.

Aside from the beach we've been going on walks with Nozomi's parents around the neighborhood where they live. It's where Nozomi grew up. She used to walk to and from school every day on this narrow road. It's a common Japanese rice patty road. Only one car can fit, yet it's a two-way road. They always make my heart race while driving on them. If another car wants to come from the other direction, one of you will have to back up and let the other one pass. 
Nozomi's been training the kids around the house. The younger kids enjoy doing the dishes. The older kids are learning to make some simple meals. They don't always do a good job, but it's a start. 
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