There are so many reasons for gratitude. The strong winds have blown into Nicaragua, and we are now entering into el tiempo seco, or the dry season. Nicaraguan summer. As the rains have come to an end, bright flowers in all colors and varieties have been blossoming all over the city. Somehow for me, these flowers are reminders of God’s faithfulness in the past year. Two weeks ago, we had our first staff devotional of the year at the Nehemiah...

Greetings family and friends! Much has happened in the past month:

A Season of Celebration
It’s been quite busy around our home the past few weeks: there’ve been new guests in and out of the house and a huge birthday party for my eight-year-old host brother – giant piñata and hired clown included. My teen-aged host brother and I just recently participated in a triathlon meant to encourage school kids to exercise more regularly, and I actually had him beat until the last...

Our time in Japan is drawing to a close. After two more workdays this week, we completed the "mud-out" phase of our house rebuild. 

Every wall that had been touched by water is gone, insulation removed, floorboards gone, and mud scooped out. It took just over four workdays (and hundreds of white trash bags) to complete. Immediately after we finish, a carpenter team from Samaritan's purse will put in a new floor and drywall. It's not glamorous, but it goes a...

Today was one of the most fabulous days of our trip.  We have been talking about the fruits of the spirit.  During the work day, we were invited to a dedication for a finished house.  Larry had asked if our team could witness this event. It was quite spectacular and very spiritually moving - God was certainly present. The homeowners - a family who had witnessed the tsunami - were standing there, listening to the men who helped rebuild their...

What a weekend! On Saturday we traveled a bit to take part in a "takidashi," which is cookout put on for a community that has been strongly affected by the earthquake and tsunami.

The event starts with a bingo game. It was a chance for me to brush up on my Japanese numbers. George Young, the missionary, was with us over the weekend, and he explained that this group was much more lively than other groups he has seen. I loved...

It's the end of Team 4's third work day. Work on the house is progressing well and we're now at the stage where we take out floorboards and shovel out the sludge left behind from the tsunami water. It's important that this comes out because the water contained contaminants from all of the junk that was swept up. 

The owner of the house stopped by again today. He's not very talkative (even to those of us that can understand Japanese!), but...

Hello! Welcome to the first update from Japan Team 4.

Our team is a bit smaller than the previous 3 - we consist of John from Anchorage, Alaska; Ed and Elaine from Hamilton, Ontario; and myself (Chris) from Grand Rapids, Michigan.

We are nearing the end of our third day here in Japan, but today was the first that we were able to work. The first two consisted of just getting us all here to the Sendai area (where our work is...

Dear Friends and Family: Just an update on what is happening here.  Our time of service in Nigeria is quickly drawing to a close, and this will be our last newsletter home. 

We have been steadily working towards finishing the set up of the bookkeeping and in between Allan and I have worked hard to set up office policies and procedures, job descriptions, evaluations, and various office and staff forms.  We hope to implement these in the remaining time left here...

(Day 11) Today is our last day working in Sendai (and this will be our final blog post).  George has to leave this morning for home as he is preaching this weekend and needs to fly to his destination tomorrow morning.  We already miss him.  We are all up early this morning, packing away the extra team stuff that we won't need so George can take it back for us.  We won't have much room in our van tomorrow with...

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