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Spring Retreat Report

I came home feeling extremely blessed to be a part of the Asian Access family. That truly is what we are, a family. And if you are someone who is supporting us through Asian Access, know that you are giving through an organization who loves Jesus, loves the Japanese, and is seeking to honor Him in what

we do. Of course we're not perfect. We have many problems and challenges, just like any other Christian organization. But I was very impressed with the loving, gracious, and humble way that all the missionary families interacted with one another. We are spread throughout Japan from Okinawa in the very south to Hokkaido in the very north. Our families are all gifted in different ways, so our ministries are unique accordingly. But we are all working towards ONE goal. To love the Japanese into the Kingdom. I am honored to be associated with these missionaries who are sold out for Jesus.

 

Worshiping with other Asian Access missionaries

 

I was also encouraged through the group from New Life Christian Church in Morton, Illinois. They sent a worship team, solely for the purpose of blessing us during this conference, and a Childcare Team, solely for the purpose of blessing our children while the adults focused on the sessions and discussions. The worship was sweet...I'm noticing that whenever I sing songs of Truth, that I'm often brought to tears...not just because it's beautiful, but my heart is breaking for my friends who don't know Him. As I sang, I kept picturing all of my new friends here. How I long for them to be able to worship with us...

Child Care Team
The child care team ministered to all the missionary kids

 

Zack and Ellie absolutely LOVED the Childcare team. The kids were divided up into age groups. The team didn't come to babysit. They came to encourage the children, and to show God's love to them through many VBS-type activities. They brought suitcases of craft materials, room decorations, and American snacks to make everything so much fun! I was touched to learn that many of them left their own young children for the week so that they could come to bless our kids. Now get this...they even bathed all of the kids while the parents were in evening sessions! So when we picked them up in the evenings, they were all clean and in their pajamas. THAT's true servanthood right there!! (And thank you for praying for Zack's health. He did have a fever almost the entire time we were there, but the Motrin worked great, and he was still able to enjoy all the activities. He even caught up on his homework in just one day after our return. Go Zack!!)

 

Zack & MKs singing a worship song

 

Another highlight of the conference was that we had the opportunity to honor Doug Birdsall along with his wife Jeanie and their 3 adult children. Doug was the Asian Access president for 16 years, but is now entirely focused on his work as the Executive Chair of the Lausanne movement. It was a wonderful time to see the Birdsall family together, but for me personally, it was very encouraging to see that missionary kids CAN turn out to be amazing people. It was great fun to listen to the 3 kids share about their experiences growing up as MK's in the Asian Access family, and how that has shaped them to become the godly people that they are today.

Birdsall kids
Birdsall kids giving tribute & poking fun at their parents

 

Doug and Jeanie Birdsall
Doug & Jeanie enjoying their kids' tribute of them

 

Missionary impersonating Neil Diamond
Fellow missionary Stan impersonating Neil Diamond's "Comin' to America"

 

Goofing off with a missionary friend
Goofing off with a missionary friend

 

It was very sad to have to say good-bye to Jeff since he had to leave straight for the airport (for Thailand) from Megumi Chalet. Thanks to Jeff's very detailed directions on how to get home, I was able to get on the right trains and return home safely without losing my sanity nor the children. Quite the huge accomplishment for such a directionally-challenged person like myself.

Jeff's Posts

jeff

Jeff's column offers a mix of reflections on leadership and fatherhood, as well as news from Asian Access.

 

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Nozomi's Posts

nozomi

Nozomi's column contains reflections on motherhood, Japanese culture, and ministry.

 

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Zack's Posts

Zack

Zack's column provides a variety of glimpses into what makes him tick.

 

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Ellie's Posts

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Ellie's column is coming soon...

 

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