Happy New Year!

January 1, 2015

Happy New Year from Japan!

We hope you had a wonderful Christmas! Our Christmas was filled with joy and we had a wonderful time with family and friends!

As we start our new year, we wanted to reflect on this past year and count all the blessings from God!

Year in Review


We left for America on January 1st.  It was not easy to leave our friends in Japan and ask others to be in charge of ministries here.  However, God used this opportunity in many ways and our Christian friends have stepped up to help and serve!  Being in Texas was wonderful!  We were reunited with family and friends once again!  It was Logan’s first time to be in America so it was fun to introduce him to everyone.  Luke turned three on January 6th and lots of friends came to celebrate with us!  We went to Georgia to attend a conference that taught us how to raise support.  It was such an encouraging conference and we learned a lot!  We had a chance to see many friends which was a huge blessing!

With friends who used to live in Japan.

With friends who used to live in Japan.












We were so happy to be a part of our church’s Child Dedication Service.  It was an honoring and humbling experience to dedicate both of our boys to the Lord in front of our church family.  We are so thankful for our family and friends who help us raise our children.  We also went on a camping trip with our close friends.  We met these friends in Panorama which taught us and prepared us for future mission work.  Most of us were singles or young married couples but the group has grown so much since then!  We love these lifelong friends!


Such a fun group!











Main reason we stayed in America for three months was to raise support.  We traveled to many places to meet people and talk at churches.  Support raising was not an easy task but we learned so much through this process.  God taught us over and over that He is faithful.  We loved meeting with new and old friends and sharing what God is doing in Japan.  Thanks to generous and faithful supporters, we are able to live in Japan to share His love with those who do not know Him.  If you are already our supporter, THANK YOU from bottom of our heart.  If you are interested in supporting, please contact us or go to the “Partner with us” page on this website.   We are so thankful for God’s provision and the ways He has blessed us! It was hard to leave Texas but we were ready to come home!

Sharing about Japan with children at our home church.

Sharing about Japan with children at our home church.











We were able to come back to Japan just in time for Luke to start kindergarten.  It was another answered prayer.  It took Luke a while to get used to the new schedule but he made friends and loved his school.  Mommy and Daddy got busy as soon as we got back to prepare for the weekly ministries.  It was so good to see our friends and students again!  We celebrated Easter at church and some of our friends came to church for the first time!

Sharing the resurrection story with children at church.

Sharing the resurrection story with children at church.












Logan turned ONE!  He brings so much joy to our lives every day!  We celebrated his special day with our friends.  We also hosted a mission team from Hawaii.  We loved serving with them.  These Hawaiians are so good at loving on people and making everyone feel loved!  They helped us with the Hawaiian Festival which was an outreach to the community around our church.  We also went to the disaster area with them.  Since most of the team members had been there before, it was such a great time of reunion!  It was good to see everyone’s smile!

Fellowship at the temporary housing.

Fellowship at the temporary housing.












In June, we said “see you again” to the Qualls family who went  back to America for a year.  They helped with our weekly English Bible study and worship service.  Most people who come to this ministry are non-believers so it provides many opportunities to share our faith with them.  Micheal teaches the Bible study every week and preaches once a month.  There are several men who are non-believers and Michael has spent one-on-one time with them throughout the year.  We are thankful for those who come and look forward to meeting more new people this coming year.  At the end of June, we hosted a young lady and her mom from Texas.   This young lady stayed for a little over two months to help with the ministries in Sendai and Sakata.  We are grateful for the ways she served and helped!

Group that meets every Sunday night.

Group that meets every Sunday night.












July was such a busy month filled with lots of fun!  Our friend from Canada stayed with us for about two weeks and we loved spending time with her!   After she left, we hosted a mission team from our home church in Arlington, Texas.  Three ladies that came had been to Japan before and we were so thrilled that they came back!   Their heart for Japanese people really encouraged us. We hosted a VBS at our church and also at our mission church in Sakata.  So many kids and their moms came every day and they loved it!  At the end of July, we hosted another team from Hawaii and served together in the disaster area.

With children in Sakata.

FBCA team with children in Sakata.












We helped with two children’s camps in August.  One in Sakata and another one was in Sendai.  We love meeting children and loving on them.  As you can imagine, they all come from different backgrounds.  Most of the kids that came to these camps came from non-Christian homes.   It was such a blessing to have an opportunity to tell them how much God loves them and cares for them.  We hosted two more teams from Texas and Hawaii (can you tell we love Hawaiians and Texans?) and had special time serving with them.  We were sad that Luke’s summer break ended but he was ready to have fun at school!

Summer camp in Sakata.

Summer camp in Sakata.












Our church welcomed a new pastor.  We prayed for a new pastor for a while and God blessed us with a wonderful pastor.  His wife is pretty special too.  We have been learning so much from him and it is great to have a pastor who is mission minded!  Many of you already know that one of the ministries we have at our church is a playgroup for moms and kids under three.  It’s one of Yu’s favorite times of the week.   Yu has become good friends of other moms and spent lots of time with them.  She found out many moms are struggling with marriage and parenting.  We asked the pastor to share a Bible scripture and talk about it during our snack time.  We have heard so many positive comments from moms about how much they needed to hear it!

Our playgroup (the man holding Logan is our new pastor).

Our playgroup (the man holding Logan is our new pastor).













There were lots of events at Luke’s school in October.  Luke had so much fun at his field day and field trip.  At the end of October, we hosted the annual Fall Festival.  We had help from mission teams in the past but we had to do it on our own this year.  Thanks to lots of chocolates from Hawaii and help from our church members, we were able to host a fun festival for kids in our community.  We shared the gospel with everyone who came.  One boy told us he wants to have the Light of life (John 8:12).   We pray they will always remember Jesus is the light of the world.


Aren't they cute?

Aren’t they cute?












It was a wonderful Thanksgiving month!  We spent one week in Tokyo visiting friends from Yu’s high school and college and vacationing with dear friends from Australia.  We loved every single minute of our family time!  Our church hosted several special events and invited people from the community.  We were encouraged to see so many new people coming to church!  Our sending church in Texas had missions month and we had a Skype meeting with friends in our Sunday School class.  Their love and prayers meant so much to us.   We ended this wonderful month by having a Thanksgiving dinner with friends here in Sendai.  It was nice to have all the traditional food but more than anything, we thanked God for all the blessings He has given us throughout the year.

Love these friends.

Love these friends.













December came and went!  Where did the time go?   Although it was a busy month, we enjoyed all the festivities!  In Japan, people celebrate Christmas but many people do not know (or care about) the meaning of Christmas.  So we spent lots of our time sharing why we celebrate Christmas.  The kids that come to our weekly English class/worship told us that they would be sharing the true meaning of Christmas with their friends at school!   We also went to the temporary housing to deliver flowers and hand made Christmas cards.  This Christmas was also meaningful as Luke was really interested in Christmas and Santa and we were able to spend every night talking about Baby Jesus (and Santa, too!) and how He came to the world.  One of the greatest gift was one girl in our English class making a decision to be baptized.  She was praying about it for a while and told us after the Christmas worship service that she wants to be baptized!  What an answer to our prayers!  Thank you so much for praying with us for more Japanese people to be saved!

Merry Christmas from children in our English class!

Merry Christmas from children in our English class!











The girl on the right is the one who will be baptized.

The girl on the right is the one who will be baptized.











Thank you so much for your prayers and support!

Thank you so much for your prayers and support!

Categories: Family, Hope for Japan News.

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 28, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

We wanted to tell you how thankful we are for you!  Thank you so much for your love, prayers, support, and encouragement!  We give thanks to God for all His blessings.

We pray you have a blessed Thanksgiving!


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Categories: Family.

A Very Special Friend

August 6, 2014

We hosted a very special friend in July.  We have known Carolyn for many years.  She came all the way from Canada to attend our wedding in Texas.  Yu first met her at church in 1997 and Carolyn was also a school teacher at Yu’s high school.  Yu’s family really enjoyed spending time with Carolyn while she was in Sendai for three years.  For two weeks we got to celebrate many old friendships as people came to see Carolyn.  We were blessed as a family because the boys had someone that never stopped loving on them.  Carolyn also helped with our Kids English Class and Adult English Bible Study.  She shared her testimony which encouraged us so much.  I must say there wasn’t a single time that Carolyn was not smiling or thanking God for the chance to rekindle old friendships.  She now lives in Canada but her time here proved one thing if only one thing and that is that the fellowship one has with fellow believers is tremendously important.  And to see how much a life has changed because of the friendship you started many years prior is priceless.  Thank you, Carolyn, for coming back to Japan and spending time with us.  And especially thank you for allowing us to the opportunity to witness just how much you cared for the people here and allowed the light of Christ to shine wherever you go.

We got to go on a vacation with her!

We got to go on a vacation with her!













It was great to see our friends from English worship service.

It was great to see our friends from English worship service.











Carolyn sharing her testimony.

Carolyn sharing her testimony.

Categories: Family.

Happy New Year!

January 10, 2014

Greetings from Texas!

We hope you had a wonderful Christmas and a blessed new year!  Our Christmas in Japan was filled with joy as we shared the meaning of Christmas with many Japanese people!

We came back to Texas last week and have been adjusting to our new life here.  It took us a while to get over jet lag and cold weather but we are finally feeling better.  It has been fun to see our family and friends.  We know many of you have been praying for us and supporting our ministry in Japan, and we want to thank you.

One of our main goals for this trip is to share what God is doing in Japan and to recruit prayer partners and financial supporters.  We would love to meet with you in person or visit your Sunday School class/church to tell you more about Japan, Japanese people, and our ministries.   Please send us an email at michaelandyu@gmail.com to let us know if you would like to have us.  Also, we want to get to know you better and to know how we can pray for you and your family.  We look forward to seeing you and spending time with you!

We are planning to attend a support raising conference in GA at the end of this month.  We appreciate your prayers as we prepare for this important trip.  We look forward to seeing our friends in that area as well!

Thank you for your prayers and support!  We pray this year brings many blessings to all of you!

Kids English

Kid’s English Christmas Party


Kid’s English Stocking Craft


Family Photo


Categories: Family, Hope for Japan News.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

November 30, 2013

We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Even though people do not celebrate Thanksgiving in Japan, we had a great Thanksgiving dinner/celebration with our dear friends from America!  We also invited our Japanese friend and her daughter to join us and we all enjoyed our time together.

In our English class this week, we told our students about the history of Thanksgiving.  Then we all made a turkey hand and wrote what we are thankful for this year.  As all the kids shared what they wrote, this girl who comes from a non-Christian home said “God” with the sweetest voice.  Then another girl said “Jesus”.  Our hearts were so full!

There are so many things we are thankful for, but we want to thank you for your love, prayers, support, and encouragement!   We wouldn’t be here without you!  And we are grateful God has sent us here to share His love with the people of Japan!

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PS We are still in the process of updating our blog.  Thank you for your patience!

Categories: Family.

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Logan is Here!

June 11, 2013

“I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD.” 1 Samuel 1:27-28

We are SO happy to announce that our son, Logan Kou (it means “light” in Japanese), is here!  He arrived 5 weeks early but God protected both mommy and baby.  A big thank you to those who prayed for us!  Luke has been such an awesome big brother.  He loves to kiss and hold Logan and it melts our hearts to see him love on his little brother.

Logan was in the NICU for a short period of time and we realized life is a true miracle and blessing from God.  We saw many babies that were fighting to survive and also the doctors and parents that were doing everything they could to help them.  We should never take our lives for granted.  As we thanked God for our baby boy, we prayed for those babies and parents who were going through such a difficult time.  God taught us so many important lessons through this experience.

Recently, the verses for our Sunday School lesson were from Jeremiah 1.  It says:

The word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew  you,before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”“Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you.  Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.   Jeremiah 1: 4-8

We are so thankful that our almighty God knew Logan before he was formed in the womb and He is with him and will rescue him wherever he goes.  We pray Logan will come to know Him and go wherever He commands him.  We love you, Logan, and we are so blessed to have you as our son!


Categories: Family.

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Luke Turned Two!

February 6, 2013

Wow, it’s already February!  January was such a busy month!

One of the big events was Luke’s 2nd birthday!  He brings joy to our lives every day and we are blessed to have him as our son!  We are so glad that he is loved by so many people.  He brings a smile to people in the temporary housings and they always ask us to bring Luke back!  He enjoys playing with other children and he opens so many doors for his mommy and daddy to meet and get to know many parents!  He loves trains, cars, and books.  We thank God for Luke and pray he will learn to love Him and make Him known!

Here are some photos from January:

Happy Birthday, Luke!!!

Happy Birthday, Luke!!!

He loves playing with the snow!

He loves playing with the snow!

Such a big helper!

Such a big helper!

His favorite ride- Shinkansen (Japanese bullet train)

His favorite ride- Shinkansen (Japanese bullet train)

We love you, Luke!

We love you, Luke!

Categories: Family.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

November 26, 2012

Dear Friends and Family,

We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

We want to take this time to tell you how grateful we are for each of you.  Thank you so much for praying for us, supporting us, and encouraging us.  Thanks to God’s provision and support from many of you, we can continue our ministry in Japan.

Please know that we appreciate you so much.  May God continue to bless you and your family this Christmas season and always.


Michael, Yu, and Luke

We miss you!

Categories: Family.


Newsletter Jul-Aug 2012

October 9, 2012

Hello from Sakata, Japan! We are visiting our mission church on the west coast.  We are with the mission team from our sending church, First Baptist Church of Arlington.  All the team members are great and it has been a blessing to serve with them! Please pray for all of us as we share His love with many people this week.

Thank you for your love and prayers!

Newsletter Jul-Aug 2012

Categories: Family, Hope for Japan News.

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I am growing!

October 5, 2012

Hello! This is Luke!  I hope you are doing well.  I know you miss me, so I decided to show you some pictures of me!  Enjoy!

I like my daddy’s phone.  I wonder why I can’t play with this all the time.

Did you know I love playing with water?

I can sleep on the train! And people keep looking at me while I sleep!

This is my new pose when someone tries to take a picture of me. I can’t make a “peace” sign with my fingers like my Japanese friends.

I am happy most of the time, but I cry sometimes.

I just love chilling at the zoo.

This is my favorite ride, Anpanman.

My new favorite food. Don’t worry, I shared with mommy and daddy.

My grandpa taught me how to play the recorder.


This is me and my friend playing together. I love going to his house and I know mommy loves it, too!

You know, I was just trying to see if these fit me…

I told you I love water!!!

I can spend hours looking at fish.

I love playing the guitar and singing in the car.

This is how I play hockey in the house.

My friends came to my house to swim with me!

Hope you all had a great summer!

We went to the Anpanman Museum.

Grandpa bought me a new ukulele. It’s my favorite toy right now.

As you can see, I am growing up!  Thank you for thinking of me and praying for me.  Please pray for 5 friends who are coming to Japan from our church in Arlington.   They are coming this Saturday and we will be visiting many places.  I am excited to introduce them to my Japanese friends!  Thank you for your prayers!

Categories: Family.

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Trip to Hawaii

July 20, 2012

Hello! Hope you are all having a wonderful summer.  We have been super busy hosting mission teams from America! It has been fun to spend time with them!

While we have a short break, we will try to catch up with our posts! This one is about our time in Hawaii.  You may remember that we hosted a wonderful team from Hawaii in April.  We really enjoyed getting to know them and kept in touch with them after they went back home.  They invited us to visit them but we didn’t think we would be able to go so soon!  God provided everything we needed!  We were able to stay at the beautiful mission house provided by the Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention, and our friend who works for Delta let us use the buddy pass which allowed us to fly super cheap! We were there for two weeks and it went by so quickly! We enjoyed EVERY SINGLE DAY!  Our friends in Honolulu and Pearl City blessed us so much!  They planned a dinner with all the mission team members who had come to Japan and we had so much fun sharing our special memories!

The main purpose to visit Hawaii this time was to speak at several churches about the disaster relief work.  Many Hawaiians have already given so much to help the Japanese people in the disaster areas.  We wanted to thank them in person and ask for their continued support and prayers.  The church members welcomed us warmly and we felt their love!

Here are some photos of our trip:










As soon as we arrived in Hawaii, Yu was asked to be on a radio show to talk about Japan.










Worship service at FBC Pearl City.  The lady on the right, Lynne, was one of the mission team members that came to Japan.












Speaking in their Japanese service.










Luke had so much fun at the Children’s Discovery Center.












Of course, he enjoyed playing on the beautiful beach!










Restful time with our little family!












Luke was spoiled the whole time!  Mommy and Daddy were happy to have a break from holding our BIG baby!












Grandpa got to come!










We were invited to speak in our friends’ Sunday School class at Waialae Baptist Church.










Speaking at their worship service.  It was great to see our friends again!  We had a meeting with Pastor Robert and we look forward to partnering with their church!










Reunion with all the mission team members.  We had such a special time together.












Michael enjoyed hiking!












We thank God for this wonderful opportunity!  A big THANK YOU to all of our Hawaiian friends! Thank you for making our time VERY special.  We miss you all!


Categories: Family, Hope for Japan News.

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Our time in Yamagata

March 6, 2012

We want to say thank you to those who prayed for us as we took a trip to Yamagata.  We had such a blessed weekend.  About 20 children came to the event at the mission church.  We taught them English and Michael shared a short story from the Bible.  Many of these kids come from broken families.  We just wanted them to know that they are LOVED!  It was great seeing their sweet smiles and we pray they will remember the story they heard that day.

The kids and moms decorated cupcakes.










They all looked so happy!












Group picture.










On Sunday, we attended the Sunday school and worship service at Sakata Mission Church.  Even though this church is small in size, everyone has a big heart for the Lord!  We enjoyed our fellowship and learned so much from them.

Children’s Sunday school.








Worship service.










After we left this church, we drove to Zao ski resort.  We decided to stay there for one night to have our family time away from home!   Even though the weather wasn’t great, we enjoyed staying at the hotel with a hot spring and skiing/sledding on the mountains.

On our way to Zao!










Dinner time at the hotel.  Luke loves to eat!












Family photo!!!










View of the mountains and trees.  They were so beautiful!










Mommy and Luke!










Daddy and Luke!













This trip made us realize how blessed we are.   We have a supportive church family that sent us out, great church family to serve with, and wonderful family that God has given us.  Thank you all for thinking of us and praying for us.

Categories: Family, Hope for Japan News.

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Trip to America

February 4, 2012

Hello from Sendai! It’s snowing outside and we are stuck in the house! It gives me a chance to update our blog!!!

We had an opportunity to go back to America in November.  The main reason for our trip home was to take care of my visa, but we were blessed by so many people who took time to see us, to feed us, to give us a chance to share about our ministry, and to encourage us!

As always, I took SO many photos.  I am sad that I won’t be able to share all of them, but here are some of our favorites!


We stopped in California on our way to Texas.  We stayed with our friend from college and we had fun catching up!  Luke had a great time with her kids!










Luke had the BEST time at this play area.  Don’t you love his smile?










We stayed with the Turner family for the first few nights in Texas.  Cheryl has served as our lead advocate last year.  We love them and thank God for their love for us!










Our friend, Charlie, who let us borrow the NEW car while we were in Texas.  He is such a generous man!  His company donated money for the disaster areas as well!










With our dear friends and their boys!  It was great to worship with our FBCA family!










We were able to share about our ministry in several Sunday School classes.










Sharing with the Panorama group.  We went through a weekly missions training with them for over two years and we all became close friends.










Can’t believe we are all parents!










We were invited to speak to the children who were learning about the missions.  They were precious!










Luke learned to WALK!












He loved playing with Great grandpa Woods!










Dinner with Yu’s former co-workers and Japanese students.










Luke got to meet his cousin, Carmen and Uncle John!










Visiting friends at DBU!










Fun night with the Steiger family and our new Japanese friends! Can’t wait to see them again in Sendai!!!










Luke had a play date with his new girl friend, Molly!  Her mommy is a good friend of mine from college!










Aunt Cathie and her kids took care of Luke while mommy and daddy went on a date!  What a sweet way to bless us!!!










Thank you for spoiling us!  We love you!












We went to the ICE show at Gaylord Texan with Mimi.  We had a great time!










Jennifer’s 80s themed 30th birthday party!










Luke had an early 1st birthday party!










WE LOVE YOU, LUKE KAI!  You have brought so much joy into our lives!










We stopped in Honolulu on our way to Japan!  We were invited to speak at one of the churches that had sent a mission team to Sendai last year.  Thank you, Olivet Baptist Church for having us!










Luke loved playing on the beach!












He just sat there and looked at the ocean for a while.  Loves beaches like his mommy!












On Wednesday, we attended the Japanese Bible Study and shared about our disaster relief work.  We had a blessed time of fellowship!










Amazed by God’s beautiful creation!










We had lunch with some of the team members (and their families) that had come to Sendai in October.  It was fun to see them again!










So thankful for some “family time” to rest and relax!










God blessed our trip in many ways!  From the cheap plane tickets (thanks to our friend who works for Delta) to all the places to stay for free, and more than anything, all our precious friends and families made our time extra special!

We love you and miss you all so much!  Now it’s YOUR turn to come visit us!

Categories: Family, Hope for Japan News.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

November 25, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving from three of us!  As we reflect on the past year, we have so many things to be thankful for and we thank God for everything He has done for us.  We are also thankful for each of you!  May God fill your heart with His joy this Thanksgiving and always!

Categories: Family.

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Hello, Blog World!

October 17, 2011

Sorry we have been away from the blog world again!  Hope everyone is doing well!  We have been super busy and all of us got sick in the last few weeks.  Luke got sick first and it came to me (Yu), and a few days later, Michael got it.   We prayed a lot last week since Michael was scheduled to preach on Sunday.  Thankfully, he felt better on Sunday and was able to preach on “missions” on Sunday.  Our favorite topic!  Everyone seemed to be encouraged! Praise the Lord!

Here are some of our recent photos:










At Mom and Child Time at our church.  It is one of Luke’s (and mommy’s) favorite times of the week.  He has made so many friends!












Isn’t he cute?










We participated in the “Relay for Life Cancer Walk” with my dad.   He walked for 24 hours straight but we just walked for a little while.










On each paper lantern, there is a handwritten message from the participants.  It was such a special time for us as we walked remembering my mom and all our friends who are battling cancer.










On every 3rd Saturday, we lead the children’s program at church.  Michael shares a Bible story and Yu leads music.  We love these kids!












Everyone wants to hold Luke!












This little guy melts mommy’s heart!












Luke’s favorite toy!!!










Our pastor’s ordination service.  Michael introduced our family in front of 100+ people and did a great job with his Japanese!












Michael with my cousin’s daughter. Since my grandparents moved to our city (from the city that was damaged by tsunami), all the cousins try to get together when everyone is in town so our grandparents can see all of them!  It is fun (and loud) when we are all together.  Of course, Luke loves being held by everyone!












Look, I can stand!












I can climb, too!












I have two bottom teeth (and top two just broke through)!










We got a care package from Aunt Cathie!  Luke couldn’t wait to open the box!










Thank you all for praying for us!  We miss you!

Categories: Aid for Japan, Family.

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We are back!

September 7, 2011

Wow, we have been away from the blog world for a while!  Sorry we haven’t updated our blog for a while.  August was such a busy month.  We hope you all had a wonderful summer!

We want to thank you all for your prayers and encouragement as we grieved the loss of Yu’s grandmother.  We miss her so much but we also praise God that she is in heaven right now. We want more Japanese people to have a personal relationship with God so that they can have an eternal life.

In the middle of August, we went to Gold Coast,Australia for our dear friend’s wedding.  The bride grew up with Yu in Japan so she is just like her little sister.  What a blessing it was to celebrate with her and her family!

Even though she is a lot younger, they did almost everything together!  We were not sure if we could make it until the last minute but I was SO thankful that we got to go and Luke had a chance to meet his family in Australia!

We can’t believe it’s already September!  After a short summer break, we started our ministries again.  We are going to focus on disaster relief effort this fall, but we are also praying that our student ministry will grow as well.  We are going to start teaching English at church and we hope many kids and students will come from the community.

We pray God will continue to use us in amazing ways.  Thank you for keeping us in your prayers!  We are here thanks to God’s wonderful plans and YOUR prayers and support!!!  We are honored to partner with you as we work for His glory!

Categories: Family.

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#1 Role Model

July 16, 2011

Back in October I started a post on role models.  The World Series had just begun.  Josh Hamilton was all the buzz along with the rest of his team.  There was a lot of talk about role models and about Hamilton in particular.  Growing up, kids don’t really think about who their role model is or isn’t.  For me, it was just about who I liked as a player.

With the fast and upcoming parenthood around the corner, I began to think about what a role model ought to be.   Nine months later I’m still wrestling with it.  It’s not because I don’t know in theory what a role model should be.  It’s that I don’t think that sports players should be what kids try to emulate.  At least not to the extent that is often the case.

What children need so desperately more than ever are parents.  As a kid, I had a lot of friends from good homes, bad homes, broken homes, to mended homes.  In all of them, it was essentially the same.  Parenting, parenting, parenting.  Parents ought to be the number one role model in a home.  That’s not to say sports teams or players don’t count.  They just don’t make first string.

As a parent, I’ve learned a lot of things:

1. Children need parents not managers.  It doesn’t matter how many times I tell my son something I still have to be evolved by partaking in the process. (I know, I know, he’s only 6 months old but he’s still pretty sharp in my estimation.)

2. Children see children do.  Even a six month old wants computer and phone time.  Any time Luke sees either he makes a mad dash to take control.  Anything unhealthy around the house will just make taint Luke’s upbringing.

3. Children don’t just need to be told they are loved.  They need to be shown they are loved.  Of course, can’t help but want to hold my child and tell him I love him.  Sing to him, read to him, or just have a good laugh.  That kind of quality time isn’t the same as watching television.

This may not be much to more experienced parents but these three observations sure have gone a long way.  And while our son may grow up to idolize some great athlete, musician, or even politician, he has two parents that are working hard to be the best parents and role models we can be.

Thank you for taking time to read this post.  We would love to hear from you whether you agree or disagree.  God bless and take care!  Until, next time….





Categories: Family.

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Father’s Day

June 27, 2011

I know I am posting this late, but I wanted to take time to write about my favorite dads.  I am so thankful to have them in my life and I know Luke feels the same way!

I have been so blessed to be raised by a godly father.  He is a great example of a father who loves God, family, and others around him.  He is busy with his job on weekdays but takes time to come see us and help us in the evenings.  On Saturdays, he drives for 3 hours (one way) to Oshika Peninsula to help those who lost homes due to the tsunami.   I have been amazed to see how much he does for them.  And on Sundays, he is pretty busy at church.  I am not trying to brag, but I have a great dad.   He takes care of Luke when we minister to young people and we can’t do it without his help!  I thank God for giving me my dad.










This year was Michael’s first Father’s Day!  Luke (and I) made a gift for him and he loved it!  We are grateful for everything he does for us and for others.  He has been a great dad ever since Luke was born and Luke LOVES playing with his daddy!  I am always touched by his heart for Japanese people.  He has been going to the tsunami-hit areas almost every week to help people there.  Last Saturday, he went there with other church members and helped cleanup a destroyed home.  As you can imagine, it is a dirty job.  But he hasn’t complained about getting dirty.  When he came home, he was happy to report that the owner of the house was so happy to find some of their important documents that were under all the mud.  With his limited Japanese, he is trying so hard to get to know these people.  Luke and I are so proud of him!  We pray God will continue to give him strength and wisdom as he shares His love with those who are hopeless.












Happy Father’s Day to all the dads in the world!

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On our way home…

June 5, 2011

Hi, this is Luke!  Thank you for praying for me as we stayed in South Korea.  God protected me and I am doing great!  I made so many new friends there and everyone smiled at me!!!  When we left South Korea, my parents took me to Hokkaido (northern island in Japan) on our way home.  As you may remember, I only had my emergency passport so I had to go to the US Consulate to apply for the real passport.  I also needed to get my birth certificate.  My mommy told me there is a lot to do to become an American citizen!  Hokkaido is a beautiful place and we had such a relaxing week.   My parents were happy to be away from their busy lives.  We enjoyed God’s creation and our family time!










By now, you may already know that I love to smile.  I had my own bassinet on the plane.  I entertained my parents during the flight!












First time to be in the pool.  I look confused in this picture but I loved playing in the water!










First trip to the zoo!  I think daddy had more fun than I did.  I didn’t know what to think about some of the animals I saw, so I fell asleep.










I got to meet my parents’ friend, Masa.  He became a Christian in the US and he is helping a Christian band in Japan now.  My parents enjoyed hearing about his ministries in Hokkaido.










Mommy loved all the pretty flowers.  She asked daddy to plant more flowers in our garden.  We will see if that happens!










We took a cable car to go up the mountain.  It means I have already taken a cable car twice in my life.  I think my parents really love mountains…










Do you see snow on the top of the mountains?  My grandpa loves skiing (did you know my grandma was a ski racer?) and he wants to take me skiing next winter.  I think it would be fun but my daddy doesn’t think so…










I had fun looking at my daddy’s sun glasses!










We visited one of the oldest houses with a beautiful garden.










I fell asleep again!  I can sleep anywhere and it makes my parents happy!










Daddy and I!  As you can see, I LOVE my hands!












Mommy and I!  I smiled really big because my daddy was trying to make me laugh.  I love his funny faces!










Last picture- I was so bored on the plane to Akita so I decided to learn how to read.  I love it when my parents read books to me.  I hope I will be a good reader!

I hope you enjoyed reading about our trip.  We had a wonderful time there.  But we kept thinking about people who lost everything because of the tsunami.  It is really hard for them to go somewhere to have fun right now.  Please continue to pray for them.  Please pray that all the babies will be as happy as I am.  My mommy says I make everyone around me happy.  Thank you for praying for everyone in Japan!

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Mother’s Day

May 8, 2011

Today, we celebrated Mother’s Day. It has been a bittersweet Mother’s Day because it is the first one without my mom and also as a mom. My mom went to heaven after battling with cancer for a year. She was the best mother that anyone could ask for and I still miss her so very much. I often wish I could ask her for help and advice as I raise my son. I think of her when there are ministry opportunities because she was so gifted when it came to serving God and ministering to others. As I remember her, I am especially thankful for five things.

1. She loved God.

She put God before anything else. There was no question about it. She lived to glorify Him. She taught me to know Him, to love Him, and to make Him known. Even though it was hard for us to let her go, it was God’s time and she was ready to see Him. Her strong faith really inspired me.

2. She loved family.

It was such a blessing to be raised by such wonderful Christian parents. My mom was always there for me and we had a close relationship. She was there to rejoice and cry with me. She expressed her love for me by praising me and also by correcting me when needed. I always knew she loved me. As I raise my child, I always want to remember how she loved me and taught me.








3. She loved church.

She was at church 4 to 5 times a week. She was not a paid staff, but she was there because she loved helping and ministering to others. After she passed away, several ladies told me that they always knew they would see my mom if they went to church. They shared that my mom always took time to listen to their stories and concerns and to pray with them. I always enjoyed seeing her smile when she was at church. Her love for the body of Christ is something that I will never forget.








(Preschool Sunday School that she taught. That was her favorite time.)

4. She loved missions.

Growing up, my parents drove 4 hours (each way) to the west coast of Japan to help the small mission church twice a month. They went without knowing how many people would show up. Sometimes, nobody showed up. They even went on snowy days. As a child, it was hard to understand why they spent their Saturdays going there instead of taking us to fun places. But now I do. It’s because they wanted to share God’s love with people who had never heard about Him. Now, that small mission church has their own pastor and is growing. Praise the Lord. God called me to do missions, but seeing my parents’ love for the lost helped me to have a heart for the world. I am thankful God gave me such a great example like my mom who showed Christ’s love and hope in her actions.








(With Mr. and Mrs. Boatwright who lived in Japan for over 30 years as missionaries. She respected them and told me what she had learned from them.)

5. She loved children.

Anyone who knew her would say “oh how she loved kids!” and that is so true. She loved every single child with ALL her heart. She knew how to love them and to reach out to them. And the kids knew they were loved so much. There were several kids from broken families and they knew my mom would protect them and love them no matter what. When I was in college, I called her almost every week, and she shared a lot about each child she knew, and I truly enjoyed listening. Ever since we moved to Japan, I have heard so much about how she touched and changed the lives of the kids (and parents). Several girls told me how much they wish they could see her again, and it made me cry. As I raise my child and get involved in the children’s ministry, I want to follow her path. I want to love children like she did.








(Don’t you just love her smile?)








I miss you so much, mom! I will always treasure what you have taught me. I am so thankful for my mom’s life, but I am also SO grateful that God gave me a son so that I could be a mom. Becoming a mom was always my dream, and it finally came true this year. Words cannot express how much I love Luke. He is the best gift that Michael and I have ever received. Even though being a mom is not always easy, I love being a mom and I never take that for granted. I pray every day that Luke will know how much God loves him. I know I am not perfect and I still make so many mistakes, but I pray God will help me to be the mom that He wants me to be.










I love you SO MUCH, Luke Kai! Thank you for being my son.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms in the world!

Categories: Family.

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Luke Kai’s 100th Day Celebration

May 2, 2011

Wow, we can’t believe it’s already May! In April, we celebrated Luke Kai’s 100th day. In Japan and South Korea, a baby’s 100th day is very special. In Japan, the ceremony called “Okuizome” is performed in hopes that the child would never have to worry about food. As Christians, we know God will take care of Luke’s needs! In South Korea, a small feast is prepared to celebrate the baby’s having survived this difficult period. Long time ago, it was believed that a baby’s chance for survival increased after the 100th day. Once again, we thank God for protecting our son during the last 3 months.

Since we are away from our families in Japan and America, we invited our friends in South Korea to celebrate with us. We are blessed to have this “special family” here in Korea. They have been such blessings!

Luke was so happy to see everyone! I cooked Japanese food and we had a delicious ice cream cake for dessert.










We couldn’t find “Happy 100th Day” decorations so we put “Happy Birthday” instead…










His Korean girlfriend came!










Having fun but the babies were not interested in having their picture taken.










Getting sleepy… He will regret this someday!












Yummy ice cream cake!  He was asleep so mommy had to blow out the candles!










He got lots of gifts!












Mommy was excited to get more clothes for Luke!  He is getting so big!










Group picture!  Do you see our babies looking at each other? So sweet!










Before we ended the party, everyone prayed for Japan and also for us.  It meant so much to us.  We have been encouraged by all the prayers and we know our God hears them.  We are so thankful for our friends who are making our time in Korea very meaningful.

Luke Kai, words cannot describe how much we love you!  We thank God for you every single day.  You make us smile and give us strength when we are tired.  You may not remember what you went through the last few months, but we hope you will always know how much you are loved.  So many people from all over the world are praying for you.  We pray that you will always trust our Lord who loves you and cares for you.  Thank you for being our son!


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Luke Kai is 2 months old!

March 14, 2011

(I wrote this before the earthquake but saved it so that  Michael could read it before posting it.  Sorry I am posting this late.)

Our baby boy is two months old! Time goes by so fast! It has been the best two months of our lives!  He has been such a good baby and we can’t ask for more!  God is opening many doors for us through Luke.  I have met many moms and I am enjoying getting to know them.  I had lunch with two of them and we are hoping to meet more often.  I am so thankful that God is giving me many opportunities to share the gospel with them. I was also asked to be a part of “Mom’s Time” at our church.  It is a weekly ministry for moms at church that my mom had started years ago.  I am so thankful to be a part of this wonderful ministry and I pray that God will use me to touch many lives.  Many moms are lonely and hurting because their husbands work all the time and they don’t get to spend much time with them. Please pray that many of them will come to know the Lord.

Enjoy the pictures of our precious son!

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Luke Kai is here!

February 17, 2011

Wow, we have been away from the blog world for so long… We are sorry that it took us so long to write a new post.  It has been the best month of our lives.  Our son, Luke Kai, was born on January 6th.  God provided wonderful doctors and nurses who made everything go so smoothly.  They took good care of mommy and Luke!  While we were in the hospital, we were able to share what we do in Japan and our faith in the Lord.  We praise God for this opportunity.

Luke is such a blessing from God.  We prayed and waited for this baby for a long time.  God’s timing is perfect.  We thank all our friends and families who prayed with us.  THANK YOU!

Luke makes us smile all the time.  He reminds us of God’s faithfulness every day. We are thankful that God has chosen us to be his parents and we pray that we will raise him for His glory.

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