Hello from Okinawa, we hope and pray everyone is well in these unusual days... we are in good health and spirits, spending lots of time together as a family and not in crowds, enjoying taking our puppy on walks, some jogs, and going hiking. This month we celebrated Eliya’s 9th birthday with pizza and a big dinosaur cake. Naomi has learned how to sew and have started sewing homemade masks, since all of the stores are still sold out. Mia continues to do gymnastics, with a heightened sense of precaution and despite her spring competitions being canceled. Andy and Megan have stayed busy at school.
Compared with the rest of the world. Okinawa remains relatively safe at this point. We have only had 13 people confirmed who have the virus, however with Tokyo spiking in recent days, people are feeling a little more cautious. To promote social distancing, church services moved online, events, parties, and festivals have been canceled. This month, in response to the Prime Minister of Japan's orders, we closed the OCSI campus and went to online school for two weeks. This brought some challenges as we all navigated how to continue giving our students quality education and support online. All the OCSI teachers did an amazing job, using online platforms like Google classroom and Seesaw. I (Andy) created a devotion video for all of the students and a chapel messages for the students. It was for only two weeks, and because Okinawa is at a low risk we were able to go back to school! Praise the Lord! Spring break starts tomorrow, we hope that we will be able to come back to school after spring break, but with the situation changing so fast we return to online school.
Thank you for your prayers for our family and for OCSI! Please join us in praying that through this stressful time, that Japan and our community would turn toward God and be ready to seek a relationship with our Savior, Jesus Christ.
As we approach Easter, Paul tells us this from 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, “What I received I passed on to you. And it is the most important of all. Here is what it is. Christ died for our sins, just as Scripture said he would. He was buried. He was raised from the dead on the third day, just as Scripture said he would be."
Of all the things Paul has written in the New Testament, he says the resurrection is of first importance. The resurrection, the empty tomb is our hope. Paul tells us to “hold fast” to it. Hold fast to it when there is peace and prosperity and especially hold fast to it during uncertain times. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life, whoever believes in me will live forever, even if they die.” This Easter, we may not have all of the celebrations we are used to having, however, we have Christ and we have the hope of resurrection. Let's hold fast to the resurrection and be reminded of God's great love for us.
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