Home Assignment in Maine USA, scheduled for Jul-Nov

Lord willing, on July 17 we begin our scheduled fall home assignment based in Maine. We plan to visit our supporting churches in the eastern US while Dale receives US-based treatment for his recently diagnosed disease: polymyalgia rheumatica. We will continue our church planting leadership of Tokyo Multicultural Church while in the US.
We are thankful for our 23 supporting churches in the US and Canada! In 2017 we were able to visit our supporting churches in Canada and the western US. So now we are planning to take 4-5 months to visit our eastern US supporting churches (as best we can) that we have not seen for over four years. In addition to Ann’s home church in Maine our church visits will take us to Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, New Jersey, Michigan, and Arkansas. In addition, Dale begins his medical treatment in the US on Aug. 12. During our time in the US we will be based at our home in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.
In light of the following unknowns we hold our plans lightly, confident only in God who knows best.
  1. We don’t know if we will be able to visit our ten supporting eastern US churches in person because of the coronavirus. But we haven’t visited them for five years so we do want to try. We have one church visit already set up (in October).
  2. We don’t know if Japan will let us re-enter when we hope to return in late November. At the moment Japan is not allowing many “foreign nationals” to enter or re-enter and some foreign residents have had their visas cancelled when they leave Japan. Hopefully things will settle down by November.
  3. We don’t know if Dale’s treatment in Maine will allow him to fly in November. It is possible his dosage of steroids might be increased in order to more aggressively treat his recurring low level chronic pain. If so, his immune system would once again be compromised, precluding international travel. It is also possible he might need to stay in Maine for a longer period of treatment.
Until we begin our home assignment we continue with church planting and theological education in Tokyo, as well as Asia EFCCM leadership.
  • We were able to resume physical gatherings for worship services at Tokyo Multicultural Church on June 14 with limited seating while social distancing for a while longer. We continue to live-stream our worship services on Facebook. Ann is connecting with the children in her outreach ministries by sending them videos of her teaching and mailing them crafts. Due to his health Dale has not been in the TMC preaching rotation since early February, but he has been able to lead TMC’s leadership team in a virtual format.
  • Dale teaches the first portion of his Contemporary Theology modular class at Japan Bible Seminary, Jun 29 - Jul 3.
  • We have had to reduce many of our Asia ministry activities since February, but we hope to resume a fuller load soon.