The Vanning Family Update
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We are so thankful to have had my mom and brother come visit for a couple of weeks this past October. Shion enjoyed being held by his Grammy and I'm sure the feeling was mutual.

November/December 2019 Update

Great Opportunity


Thank you for your prayers for us these last few weeks.  God has been working in Japan and we are so thankful to be here to take part in His work. Please continue to pray for more boldness to share the good news of the Gospel to the many lost around us. Please pray for God's wisdom and guidance as we seek to make disciples, to have a group Bible study in our home and eventually a community of believers.

We have a number of great opportunities opening up to us in the near future. I have been offered a short-term internship 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. 

We have a great opportunity to attend a (first time in Japan) church planting intensive training in March of next year. The training would 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. Please pray, if God desires us to go, that Nozomi and I can work out the details of getting a babysitter for those two weeks since we would both be gone daily at the intensive training. Also, pray for the funds to attend the intensive to come in. We will not know exactly how much it will cost until a venue location is determined for the training.

God answered your prayers for safety during the most recent big typhoon. My mother and brother were visiting us at the time and were able to experience a typhoon for the first time. And during the typhoon we had an earthquake as well! That was also a first for my mother and brother! But God kept us all safe and we only lost power and water for a few hours BEFORE the typhoon hit us, because of a tornado that touched down nearby (probably a result of the incoming typhoon)! It was an interesting day. 

God is answering your prayers for my Japanese studies. I preached in Japanese for the first time on September 29th to Arakawaoki Baptist Church, about an hour away. As I was practicing with Nozomi beforehand, I continued to make a lot of mistakes. But as I began to speak, God brought to mind the words of a good friend, reminding me of Jesus' promise that as I am preaching the Gospel He is up there with me. I remembered this promise as I spoke and God empowered me to speak with clarity without mistakes! The irony is, the passage I preached from was a passage about trusting the promises of God. 

Keep praying for God to save our kids. Their greatest need 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. Although he seems to be figuring out how to control the crossing, his eyes still cross regularly, especially when not wearing his glasses. 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. 

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.

Tokyo, Japan is hosting the 2020 Olympics. The hats the kids are wearing are the mascots for the games. We will have three venues only 5 minutes from our home. Please pray as we will have many opportunities to plant Gospel seeds with thousands of international visitors as well as thousands of Japanese visitors during the summer next year. 
We enjoy having traditional Japanese meals, like this sukiyaki, with our guests when they visit. For sukiyaki, there's a central cooking pot and all the ingredients (usually beef or pork and lots of vegetables) are boiled in a special broth. The people at the table can take the food out of the main pot and eat it from their dish. It's another reminder of the community mindset of the Japanese culture. It's also delicious. 
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