Kawagoe_Festival_at_night

Summer means lots of festivals in Japan. This past weekend marked a huge festival at the cities oldest Shinto shrine in front of our house. We’re rarely had a moment without the sound of Taiko drums for the past week as they prepared!

Hi family and friends, Midsummer greetings!

Two Point Five Months in a Nutshell

It’s been a while since we updated you on our lives in Japan. So many things happened in the past months, like Erich going back to Holland for a few weeks, Emi surviving and thriving as a single during his travel, attending two Japanese weddings, and my parents visited Osaka.

God is and has been so good to us through these times. Praise Jesus for his unconditional love!

B – I – G, Big Developments

We have a news that brings change to our lives soon. (No, we are not pregnant!)

As a part of my Regent counseling Master’s program, I am required to do two semesters of internship under a licensed counselor. I originally had someone in Osaka, but in May he was hired in Bangkok and decided to move there. So for the past two months I tried everything to find a licensed counselor in Japan who would supervise me. LinkedIn proved itself useless, and no American-licensed counselors have a large-enough practice to provide experience for an intern. I contacted U.S. army bases, marine bases, and air force bases, but the only opportunity that turned up slowly, painfully fell through. International schools, TELL, and other counseling-related NPOs all did not need an intern.

I whined, begged, and bawled for an internship in Japan, but God had a different plan on his mind.

After I exhausted every network, I finally gave up. I was so frustrated with our Heavenly Father at this point.

A couple weeks after, I received an email from a director of a counseling center in Los Angeles that she wants to have me as an intern! Two days ago I had a phone-interview with the director and I was accepted as an intern at her site, starting from this January and running til August of 2016. Like a confirmation that this really is His will, I met bunch of people from LA at work the day after I got the internship (I never meet customers from LA, so it was special). And God even sent me a sample of orange-honey cake at Starbucks I ordered the day before to celebrate my internship, as if to celebrate with me again on the internship.

So I’m leaving to LA, next year January… for eight. long. months.

Here is the sad part. Erich and I have to be separated for most of that time! Wah! Sad face over 9000!

It’s detrimental to pause his language studies at YMCA so Erich’s gotta stay in Osaka, and we can’t leave our apartment empty for too long. I’m also sad because I’ve been developing more friendship with people in Osaka, and now I have to take a break from all the relationships. Most of all I won’t be able to see Erich. I’m sad. Really sad.

But the bright side is that God will use this opportunity to grow Erich and our marriage to another level. Yes, there will be challenges because being physically apart for a long period of time changes our marriage dynamics, but we believe that this experience will grow our marriage even stronger. God uses seemingly a negative situation for a greater good! I know we will like the outcome because the Lord’s will is good and pleasing and perfect. And I get to live with my family again in LA! They even have a room and a car ready for me. I can’t wait to get to know my recently-born nephew, too.

By the end of next year’s summer, Erich and I both finish our studies. When we are reunited, Erich will be fluent in Japanese and I will have a master’s in counseling. It will be amazing.

We miss and love you.