Six months seems like a good time to churn out a new newsletter! Like many of you, our daily lives are governed by government desires, restrictions, and various public opinions.
Currently, Okinawa is holding steady and hasn’t gotten any worse with our infection numbers. Japan itself has just shut down their borders again due to the concern from Britain’s super virus. We again are allowed to leave the country if we wanted, but we would not be allowed to return, even as residents.
As we haven’t left Japan in almost a year, we don’t anticipate any trips in the near future.
Jon has continued working full time for the church and part time for the Navy Reserves. Even though the military has been restrictive, our church is still allowed to meet as long as all in the building wear masks, social distance, and refrain from touching. Also, we can’t serve any food or coffee during the services. Jon continues to preach, disciple, and teach as God provides opportunities. His sermons can be heard on our church website (www.pillarokinawa.com) and via iTunes @ Pillar Okinawa if you are interested. Also, Jon has recently begun biking to give his legs a break from running on his forty year old body. Although its the rainy season here, he is exploring the island as he has opportunity.
Linnea is working still for the preschool that Owen is in, at the kids school, Okinawa Christian School International. She has really enjoyed being a TA and playing with the kids. It has really turned into quite the ministry opportunity as most of the kids in the class do not speak English and know little to nothing of Christ or the Bible. She gets the chance to plant seeds every day and shares a classroom with two great teachers. Also, she has been tutoring a fourth grader from OCSI in English. She has enjoyed that as well as creating crafts and singing with the preschoolers.
Emma, since the last newsletter, has been baptized in the East China Sea. Back in August, right before school started, Jon and Linnea had the chance to baptize her after her profession of faith earlier in the year. It was a really beautiful day and our good friend took some awesome pictures of us all. Thankful that God has called her to Himself and really rejoicing in her desire to follow Christ.
Emma has enjoyed her 5th grade class and reconnecting with her friends from a couple of years ago. This is Emma’s third year with the school and she is really looking forward to starting middle school there next year. Also, she has begun serving more at church which is awesome. She began working with the toddlers more full-time and helping with the greeting team, both her choices.
Johnny, our precocious six year old, has grown leaps and bounds over the last four months of school. His initial nervousness over school were quickly overcome by an awesome male teacher. We have really been grateful for Johnny’s sake. He has a great friend in class and is friendly to his classmates, which is so encouraging. And he is learning to read, which is awesome to watch. His greatest love in life is playing Legos, reading and riding his bike.
Owen just turned four years old! That means we’ve been here in Oki longer then four years. 🙂 He is all action, running, jumping, leaping, never stops moving, spit fire of a boy. He is enjoying being in preschool and has loved making friends who are not his brother. Owen has never met a sport he does not enjoy. We look forward to how God will use his desires for athleticism in the future.
Gospel to Okinawa (GTO). Our church’s initiative to plant churches here in Okinawa. Two years ago, our church began co-hosting a GTO group for any Okinawan pastors/leaders to learn about church planting and possibly partner with us. The group that met in 2020 persevered despite several setbacks and completed their cohort in Nov, 2020. A new group will begin again in Feb and will continue on throughout the year whether online or in person, training in gospel fluency and church planting. For more information, you can check out the GTO website via Gospel to Okinawa – Pillar of Okinawa (pillarokinawa.com)
The church is also actively looking for a person interested in becoming part of GTO via a residency opportunity for two years. Please pray for a Japanese person who will be able to fill that role and eventually church plant here in Okinawa.
- Pray for our family as we continue to serve here that God would strengthen us, equip us and give us rest when we need it.
- Pray for our children in school that they would grow and learn and that they would follow Christ with their lives.
- Praising God that our church is now supporting us more full time. We are rejoicing to have reached that milestone as a church as well.
- Pray for Jon and Linnea as they continue on in marriage counseling that good would come from it.
Please check out our website www.ransomsinokinawa.com for more stories of our last few months. Thank you for your faithful prayers on our behalf and for continuing to reach out to us as you can.
Thank you for partnering with us.
Jon and Linnea Ransom