We enjoyed conveyor-belt sushi with Uncle Atsushi and Auntie Ai and the cousins and occupied two tables. It is such a blessing to have family here in Japan.

Today we have been in Japan for two weeks. We’ve been seeing God work in many wonderful ways since we’ve been here. He is answering your prayers for us. Thank you for praying.

I started Japanese language school this week. I’ve been taking the train and walking to school from the train station up hill both ways (at least part of the way), so it really does make sense. Keep praying that I will quickly be able to speak Japanese well.

Specific prayers were prayed for us to find like-minded Christians in the areawith whom we can share encouragement and fellowship. God is introducing us to multiple families and individuals who are a direct answer to prayer in this way. God is good and He knows exactly what we need.

Also, God provided a van for our family of 6 for less than our budgeted amount. When talking to Mr. Sato, the unsaved individual who was helping us find a van at an auction, he told us the size of van with low mileage that we wanted doesn’t fall within the amount we were using for our price limit at an auction. In passing we gave a specific amount (about $500 less than our budget) for a specific van he had been showing us and Mr. Sato just laughed. He said we would have to be really lucky to get that van in our price range at all let alone $500 less. We said if God wants us to have it we can get it. After the auction Mr. Sato called in disbelief; he was able to get the van for even less than our budget. Total cost after inspection and other fees…EXACTLY the same price we mentioned in passing!

Continue to pray for God’s grace for Nozomi and me during this stressful time, that we live out God’s love and patience to each other and to the children. My mom gave me a book called Parenting by Paul David Tripp. So far it is excellent.

Continue to pray for our children. Taishi starts Japanese public school on Wednesday the 11th. Pray he can make good friends and be a light in the darkness at his school. Pray for Emi as well. A couple days ago she was crying and mentioned how she wanted to go back to our South Carolina home. She’s feeling the pressure here as well. Kensei is his usual high-energy self and has been using the situation of us living with Nozomi’s sister to challenge us repeatedly. Even he has mentioned he wants to go to Grammy and Pop Pop’s house often.

Pray we can find the right home for us to use for God’s glory in the area. We’re looking in the same school district so Taishi doesn’t have to change schools once he starts and so he can be in the same school as his cousin. Right now our options are slim. We are leaning toward a really small 3 bedroom apartment at this time unless God provides something else quickly. It’s a tight fit for our family but would give us a great opportunity to reach out to the hundreds of families living in that 7 building complex. The apartment would be on the 7th floor of a 12 story building.

We are a little over 96% of our estimated amount needed to live and minister in Japan. If you would still like to partner with us, please go to our website at www.vanningjapan.com and click on the “support” button or click here and sign up with a monthly pledge amount of $200, $100, $50 or $25. If the support page is confusing please call our mission board at 603-821-5232 so they can quickly help you set up monthly support over the phone.

If you haven’t already, take 7 minutes to watch our video about the need in Japan and visit our website here. Let your friends know about our ministry by sharing our video or website on Facebook.

If you want to come visit us, apparently it might get really crowded and congested a few minutes from where we live for the summer of 2020, for some strange reason. So plan carefully.


Most Japanese houses, even apartments have a tatami room. It’s a traditional style room with compacted straw mats. This is a tatami room in an apartment we looked at recently.