We told what felt like the world in October 2019 we were moving to Japan. A great fear at the time was, “What if I can’t do it? What if I can’t raise support? What if we raise half the support and then don’t go and have to tell people?” Shame and embarrassment. That would be my future. Yet, I had faced it before. That one time we planned a wedding and then canceled it deciding to wait another year before marriage. The same year I left my teaching job and another job and we moved because I was exhausted and didn’t know what to do.
I am again. I want to quit sometimes. I want to run off and do my own thing. Live in another country and stick to a handful of friends. Forgo the responsibility of having our lives and finances and ministry before many people. I prefer a rather private life especially when I’m struggling. But I wrestled with wondering it could be for the greater good, to let other people see our pain. The problem is there is no guarantee people will respond with compassionate understanding to our difficulty and I’m not sure I have the strength to handle any disagreement or rejection or concern. So “here I raise my Ebenezer.” The Lord has been faithful. I deeply cherish my marriage as my greatest blessing in my life. A marriage that started with my embarrassment at calling it off because I wasn’t ready, God has abundantly blessed. God will be faithful again. I don’t know what the next months hold and I’m clinging, albeit barely at times, to the truth that God will sustain me.
Back to the question, when are we going to Japan? I don’t know. Practically speaking, obtaining a visa is near impossible for us right now. While Japan opened for about 2 weeks and our friends, through much work on the part of themselves and their friends in Japan, were able to slip in, we cannot. We are not residents. We are not important businessmen. Foreign entry to Japan has decreased by 90%. Foreign professors and students have been stuck in limbo for 2 years as Japan has forbid any foreign travel into the country, especially new applications. Predictions say Japan may open to tourism again in April 2022. We will not be arriving as tourists and thus will need a visa. Japan added requirements for new visa applications lengthening the typical 3 month process to obtain entry.
As we did over 6 years ago in pursuit of marriage, we do again today. We’re postponing. Through much prayer and tears and sheer practicality, we are not going to support raise or work towards moving to Japan for the next 6 months.
Don’t worry, we still plan to go to Japan. Kevin will NOT drop the subject and wishes everyday we were there. I do too, just in a more subdued uncertain how to make it happen way.