Three Cs Update
Merry Christmas, friends!
At the end of every year in Japan a “Word of the Year” is chosen and the word for 2020 is 三密 or “sanmitsu.” The first kanji, “san,” means “three,” and the second kanji, “mitsu,” means “close” or “crowded.”
“Sanmitsu” (sometimes translated as the “Three-Cs”) is used to refer to three things that the Tokyo government has stressed people should avoid in order to curb the spread of the virus:
密閉 – (mippei) Closed spaces
密集 – (misshuu) Crowds
密接 – (missetsu) Close-contact
In honor of this, I would like to share our “Three-Cs” update with you!
Conclusion, Change and Challenge
onclusion – I (Tom) have officially c
oncluded language school. I wish that meant that I was now fluent in Japanese, but that is still far from the case. While my full-time language study has ended, I will continue to take less frequent classes and try to keep growing in my language ability. A big part of that will be done by jumping into immersive language opportunities alongside two Japanese pastors, Tetsuya Dedachi and Yuji Iwata. My hope is to preach my first sermon completely in Japanese in February. With the end of my language term, I will be freed up to do a lot more ministry, and I am very excited about that. Until now, Karen has been doing less classes than me, but from January she will be able to increase her course load.
onclusion is for Keiyo Team, the team we have served on for the last 6 and a half years. Keiyo Team was started 31 years ago with the goal of helping to plant a presbytery (a group of local churches) in the West Tokyo Metro area. By God’s grace that goal has been accomplished and our team leaders, Dan and Carol Iverson, are completely transitioning to the role of Country Director over all the teams in Japan. But, of course, the work is not finished. Over the years Keiyo Team helped plant three teams in the Tokyo area (Tokyo City Team, Tokyo Bay Team, and Community Arts Tokyo) and now, as Keiyo Team ends, it will actually divide into three more new teams, a new “Headquarters” team to support the country director role, and two teams in Chiba City - Makuhari Team and our new Chiba AO (Academics and Outreach) Team.
Our Japanese ministry partners Tetsuya and Midori Dedachi C
hange – Probably the biggest c
hange is with Karen and I becoming the team leaders for Chiba AO Team. Our new team is currently made up of 9 “units” (families or singles), with three more currently raising support to join us and includes missionaries and national partners who work with Covenant Community School International (our mission school), Open House (our evangelistic English ministry), and Oyumino Christ Church. We are so excited to be working with all of these partners in ministry!
Another big c
hange occurred on December 7th
, when we moved houses. We went from downtown Chiba City out to closer to where the school and Oyumino Church are located. We were sad to move away after two years from a house we really loved, but our new location will decrease our commute time as well as our housing costs. Our new home (previously known as the “Iverson House”) is big, with an American size kitchen, which will be a nice change! We are further away now from some of the kids’ friends, but also closer to others. We still have lots of boxes and don’t feel totally settled in, but we are thankful that this house came available to us, right as our previous lease ran out.
Our new address is: 894 Minami Oyumicho
Chuo Ku, Chiba Shi
(Please send us your Christmas and New Year's cards! They are always so encouraging.) C
hallenges – Another C
orona, has been supplying many of our c
hallenges. Japan just announced that they are once again increasing restrictions on entry into the country, but we managed to get two interns and a new missionary into the country over the last two months. We have another intern stuck in limbo, probably until at least February because of this. The frustrating thing is, he has been ready to come since early December, but his documents that were mailed from Japan have been stuck in New York since December 10th
Over-all we feel fortunate to be here in Japan where the virus has not been as widespread. While our lives have been disrupted, we have mostly been able to go on with our normal activities (it’s just that a lot more of them have occurred over Zoom).
Another exciting c
hallenge is beginning work for a future church plant with our Japanese partners. We have tentatively targeted an area called “Soga” where we will start doing more outreach activities. Our goal is to grow the current Alive International congregation to the point where we can hive off 30-40 people for a second site, which will eventually become a daughter church. More details to follow!
Tom and Yuji scouting out a future worship location (JEF United Soccer Stadium, which seats 20,000)
Finally, I’m not sure about calling this a c
hallenge, or not, but we received some terrible news earlier this month. One of our former interns, Jacob Cooper (who had to leave early because of the lockdown), died unexpectedly. He had been raising support to come back to Japan for a 3-year term. This news was really hard for our school, where he had made a big impact during his short time in Japan. Please pray for his family and church community back in the States, as well as the many people in Japan, especially children at CCSI, who are mourning his loss.
AJ and Leighton helped Jacob change his hairstyle while in Japan. He will be missed.
Thank you so much for continuing to make it possible for us to serve here in Japan. It is only because of the prayers and financial support of our partners back home that we are able to be here. We are truly humbled and grateful for all of you.
If you would like more information about how to help support our work, or would like to make a year-end gift, please follow this link: https://themirabellas.wordpress.com/giving/