Graduations everywhere!

Well it’s June, and you know what that means: Graduations everywhere!

Brooks' sister Carolyne graduating from USC
Brooks’ sister Carolyne graduating from USC (South Cakalaki… not the other one 🙂

In the States – Brooks’ sister and Riva’s brother-in-law both graduated last month. It can be a painful reminder that we live far away from family when they are all together celebrating and we aren’t there to be a part of the festivities.  Will you pray for us as we are still faced daily with what we’re missing by living abroad? Pray that God would consistently affirm our calling here and help us to find ways to celebrate our families from afar.

Our brother in law, Tim with his son David at graduation from VCU.
Our brother-in-law, Tim with our nephew David at graduation from VCU.

Here in Japan – The seminary here in constantly growing (with more than 35 full time students!) This August we will have 4 graduates! Traditionally, many of the male students have been expected to return to the churches that sent them, and many of the female students have struggled to find a place to use their gifts.

Would you pray that God would provide clear direction and opportunities for these students to serve where he wants them?Two of the graduates are also expecting their first child this November, so you can pray for a healthy pregnancy as they figure out their future calling as a family! If you want, you can even pray for the 2014 graduates by name:

  • Oh-san
  • Yu Eguchi
  • Asako Eguchi
  • Tsuji Masanobu
Two of our new graduates at their wedding this past winter. Yu and Asako.
Two of our new graduates at their wedding this past winter: Yu and Asako.

All around the world – Several missionary kids have just graduated high school and will begin college this fall in the States. Here’s what one of them has to say:

“I have packed many suitcases in my life, and gone many places in the world but there was always a home to come back to. A place where I could leave my winter clothes when we would go on HMA in the summer, my books, and all my junk in my room, an actual house that I could call home, where most of my childhood took place. All of it goes this time. All the books and pictures on the wall along with the memories made here in this house. Heres to living among boxes, duct tape, and bubble wrap for the next few weeks. And as much as I hate to say this, America will be my new “home” for my next four years. I will miss Ukraine and KCA immensely but I will never forget it and what it has done to change me.”

I am sure most of you can remember going to college – the excitement, fear, uncertainty, etc. Now imagine you’re starting college in a new country where you look like everyone else but feel like a foreign exchange student (because you don’t quite understand the culture, you pronounce some of your words funny, and your family is living on another continent). Imagine not knowing how to answer the question “Where are you from?” during new student orientation, or having to eat foreign food in the dining hall everyday, or not understanding the occasional joke or pop-culture reference as you try to make friends.

Will you pray for these students as they adjust to college life in the US? Would you pray for them as they say goodbye to their high school friends, families and homes in whatever country they’ve been serving in? Would you pray for their parents as they say goodbye to their children and either return to their field or spend the next year on HMA (home ministry assignment) running all over the US? Would you pray for us as we’ll have a chance to spend time with several of these students at MTW’s re-connect week  (July 11-19), debriefing with them as they come off the field and prepare to live Stateside?

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