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ZACK: 9 Years / 50% / 1 Year

9 Years

First of all, it’s Zack’s birthday. He is now 9 years old today. No foolin’! Nozomi remembers all too well those painful and joyous moments that day; and we remember all the ups and downs along the way. For sure, we have enjoyed our son for 9 wonderful years, and he is a gift from God. We named him “Zachary” because we waited a long time to be able to conceive our first child, and we can attest that “Yahweh Remembers” our prayers.

  • Pray for this year to be a year full of God’s blessings in Zack’s precious life, and for him to have “eyes that see” God move in his life.

50% - The Halfway Mark

As Zack turns 9 today, we realized that about half the time we have with Zack living in our household is past. Of course, the trend these days is that kids stay at home longer, and they come back (i.e., “boomerang kids”). So it may not be exactly the halfway point for our son.

But practically speaking, it’s startling to think that the amount of time God has entrusted our son to us to make our major investment in his life is half over. We have tried to be faithful stewards of both this season of time, as well as our son as a gift from God. Parenting, in many ways, is a lesson of continual and ever-deepening releasing. As he ages, we realize that our influence over him will diminish as other influences gain emphasis.

Like any milestone should, it causes us to reflect. We are taking account of where Zack is right now—physically, emotionally, psychologically, intellectually, socially and spiritually. We rejoice over how he has developed thus far, and we are immensely proud of him. Yet we also must take stock of where further development is needed. We trust the Holy Spirit to accomplish His good purpose in His time. God has been at work in his life and will continue and complete His good work. Indeed, God develops each of us over a lifetime.

  • Pray with us that God uses us (and obviously others) in our son’s life, as well as his circumstances to shape him. Character and heart issues are where we’re focusing much of our efforts right now. Pray for Zack’s response to the Holy Spirit’s initiative in the shaping process.

God is greatly involved in Zack’s life both because of His love for our boy, and because Zack asked Him to be involved. You see, Yahweh always hears and always remembers His own.

1 Year

Today, April 1st also marks a huge spiritual anniversary for both Zack and Ellie. One year ago today, our kids prayed to receive Christ, asking Him to be Lord of their lives. They both wanted to pray together to invite Christ into their hearts and were prepped by us for a long time leading up to their prayer. (Nozomi and I feel like it was a process of several prayers over several years.) Nevertheless, the kids felt like it was essential for them to take this step before moving to Japan as missionaries themselves and telling others they needed to follow Christ.

Of course, Zack will quickly point out that they prayed on his 8th birthday, but before the actual moment (time of day) he turned 8; so he was still “technically” 7 years old at the time.

So today, in addition to a birthday and a halfway point, we celebrate this important spiritual milestone in their journeys.

  • Pray that both Zack and Ellie would always “remember Yahweh” and follow Him wholeheartedly all the days of their lives.

Ellie celebrates her 1st spiritual birthday

Ellie and her brother celebrate their 1st spiritual birthday together on April 1, 2008


Happy April Fools Day!

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep
to gain that which he cannot lose.

Jim Elliot, martyred missionary
October 28, 1949 journal entry
Jim Elliot's quote

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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 column contains reflections on motherhood, Japanese culture, and ministry.


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