Certain Uncertainty


Now that we're back in Florida after 2 months away, the question on everybody's mind (including mine) seems to be..."How long are you here for?or "How long before you leave for California?". I can freely say, we don't know. The only thing we do know is that we don't know. Although we live in a society where this response is often just not acceptable ("You must know. At least an estimated time...?"), it is the truth.


The truth is that for us (and maybe for you) the only thing that's presently certain is the uncertainty about tomorrow. This is one of the reasons the Bible encourages us not to be concern with tomorrow. We simply don't know that which is uncertain and out of our control (James 4:13-17).


I feel we too often miss out on God's blessings, lessons and opportunities for today by focusing on uncertain tomorrow. We must live within the boundaries of today (the day God has given us to live). And when we do, we must not feel like we've violated some unspoken rule for not being able to give an answer about tomorrow. If your life is anything like mine, there's enough on our plates for today (Matthew 6:34).


“The secret things (tomorrow) belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed (today) belong to us and to our children..." —Deutoronomy 29:29


The certain uncertainty about tomorrow is okay; especially when we are trusting God, His Word and the promises there in. Then again, if we're relying on the One who is certain, is there such a thing as "certain uncertainty"? Certainly not.


Relax and enjoy certain uncertainty. We're certainly trying to.



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Ps. Another thing that's certain is our need to raise the rest of our support level (about 35%) in pledges of support before we can go on to the mission field.


If you desire to be a financial supporter of J4Japan by making a pledge of support and/or have already expressed interest in partnering with us financially but haven't taken steps to let our missions organization (Encompass World Partners) know, please fill out this form (link below) so that it will be counted towards our pledge goal. Please know you don't have to start giving right away, but this lets Encompass know that you're making a commitment. Once 100% of our pledge goal is reached, we are released to go and reach the unreached of Japan in California.


http://www. encompassworldpartners.org/ give/make-a-commitment

Update from Joanne

There are so many things that have happened in our lives these past months.  We've gotten rid of all of our possessions that once filled our home and said goodbye to the place that was solely ours; the one thing that belonged to us and we belonged with it.   We experienced a sort of death that was necessary to go forward with "the call".  The four of us have each coped with it in our own way, tears being shed on too many occasions.  We can hardly drive to the area because it is just too painful.

Then there are miracles that just make us chuckle and remind us that this is all God's doing! Like all the the wonderful people who have sacrificed a piece of their heart (where your treasure is, your heart will be also) on a monthly basis for the sake of Japanese people.  Arigato gozaimasu!


I am in awe of my great God despite the difficulty of this "season" my family is in...During my weepy pity party, He was dealing with me on Sunday morning as the worship service was beginning at church..."The Japanese people are worth it," I whispered to Him, and realized that most importantly, "YOU (God) are worth it".

Earth to Joanne! It's not about you, girl.  Keep reminding me, when you see me, will ya?

And still, God loves me and my family so much that He actually cares and understands what we are going through and takes the time to comfort us.  I LOVE HIM SO MUCH!!

Tis' The Season of Abundance


Psalm 23:5 You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings.

The other day I was encouraged to see this season my family and I are currently in as a time of abundance as our cup overflows with blessings. However, If you've had a conversation with me within the last few months, chances are you've heard me speak about my struggles with support raising which happens to be the season our family is in as we prepare to move to California to serve the Japanese people.


Unfortunately, I've made the mistake of seeing this season of support raising like the last hurdle in the race. And I've been running so hard for so long that when I finally attempt to get over this last obstacle, my legs give out and I fall straight on my face, disqualifying me from the race.


Fortunately though, I'm beginning to understand that thinking about support raising in this way is simply wrong. Support raising is a God designed idea for ministry (God's work) to happen. This is the idea of transferring one's hard earned resources and treasures to another (who would diligently and thoughtfully use them) for the glory of God. For example, the Levites, Nehemiah, Paul, and even Jesus (Luke 8:1-3), all raised support in order to do the work God had called them to.


Sadly, although the idea of support raising is clearly a biblical one, the principle of support raising is not often (if at all) taught in churches. Instead, we are often taught about earning and deserving as a way of bringing glory to God which is the way I've mistakenly perceived and approached support raising until now.


Now, I'm beginning to learn that support raising is about believing and receiving; especially after experiencing in overwhelming and super-natural ways the generosity of so many who want to obey God's Word and want to make Him look good.


My hearts desire is to simply make Jesus look good as well, but in order to do that, I have to see support raising differently and run the race as to win. Or perhaps, is to prayerfully consider giving more than just 'thanks' in this season of abundance.


Today you and I can enjoy and share the abundance of our lives not because we've earned it or feel we or others deserve it, but because we first believed and received God's overwhelming abundance in Jesus.




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Called By Name

It might sound strange, but in a lot of Japanese households, the use of first names tends to become increasingly rare after the arrival of children and grandchildren. Although plenty of parents in the Western world will also refer to each other as “Mom” or “Dad” in an effort to help their newborn or toddler pick up the words, or sometimes just to be cute, a man calling his wife “Mama” or “Okaasan” even after their kids have long flown the nest is perfectly common in Japan.

But what happens when a husband suddenly starts calling his wife by her first name, just like when they first started dating or had not long been married?

Japanese cosmetics company Pola recently conducted an experiment to find out how simply being called by their first name can affect the health and physical appearance of young women who have over the years come to be known simply as “Mama”.

The effect was surprisingly powerful...

The idea that simply using a woman’s first name could be enough affect her mood might seem strange to those outside Japan, but watch the reactions of these young mothers as their husbands follow Pola’s simple instructions. Be sure to toggle the English subtitles when playing the video.

99.5% of Japanese Woman have never heard the good news of Jesus or much less, even know that they have a God who loves them, thinks about them, and knows their name. Lets pray that many Japanese will be introduced to God's Love and know, He wants to call them by name.   

Psalm 147:4  

"He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names."

If God knows every star by name, how much more does he know his children?


Media Provided by Pola & Philip Kendal

"Home is where the heart is."

For the last 11yrs. our hearts have been at our 25yrs old, wood-frame house in Palm Bay which is what made this otherwise flawed house a perfect home for us.

This past week we sold that house as we continue to answer God's call. I can confidently say it was the hardest thing we've had to do yet in this venture of faith. Nonetheless, The Lord showed his faithfulness in providing us with the "perfect" buyers.

I say perfect because they are exactly whom we prayed for to buy our house: a young family who loves Jesus. We're so excited for that house to become a home for them just like it did for us as we moved in with a 5 yrs old and a 3 months old.

Another way The Lord showed His faithfulness was in providing a home (not a house) for us to temporarily live in.  Friends (The Shrestha's) were led to invite us to live in their home with them until we are done with support raising and on our way to California. It is so comforting to be in their home as they also love Jesus and believe in the work God is doing in and through us wholeheartedly.

"For now, home is where the Shrestha's are". -Juni Marin

This concept of a home versus a house was made clear to me last week as a family friend stepped into our empty house during the moving process and exclaimed, "now this is just a house!". I asked what he meant, and he went on to tell me that it was us being in it/ our hearts being there that made it a home. "Otherwise, it's just an empty shell", he said wisely. This gave me courage; knowing that no matter where The Lord takes us if our hearts are there, it will be home. This is why I have no doubt that Long Beach, California will soon become home for us.

In the same way, if your heart is for God that is where He dwells, but if it's not it's just an empty shell, much like an empty house.


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