Fall 2020 US Home Assignment and Health

We left Tokyo for our scheduled US fall home assignment on July 17. During the summer we started setting up our house in Maine while also remotely serving and leading our church planting project at Tokyo Multicultural Church. We have been encouraged by the good medical care Dale has received since coming back to the US.
In mid-August Dale’s medical specialist in Portland, Maine changed up the medication he had been prescribed in Tokyo for his disease, polymyalgia rheumatica. Within a few days his chronic pain had subsided considerably and now a month later it is almost gone. Although it is often painful when he moves his major joints the wrong way or too much, the chronic pain has almost disappeared. His prognosis is good but he will need to be on these meds for about another year. A new twist is that the doctor also recommended hip replacement surgery for Dale, perhaps this fall.

Because some side effects of the medication Dale is taking are inconvenient, the medication may compromise his immune system, and our 65+ ages place us in a higher risk category, we are being cautious about traveling on home assignment during COVID. So we are trying to set up virtual visits with our ten supporting eastern US churches rather than visiting in person. Perhaps we can re-schedule actual visits in the next few years.

Regarding our return to Tokyo, it looks like a November date is increasingly uncertain. We are now thinking of trying to return in late December, in time to extend the period of stay on our Japanese residency cards, which expire on Jan. 13.