September prayer update
(click here if you'd like to view our past monthly updates) 

2 years in Japan!

On our first night in Japan (4th September 2018), Typhoon Jebi woke us up with violent winds and rain - the house was literally quaking. Remarkably - only a few hours prior - our family had managed to settle in with all our luggage, safely and completely dry. This experience is symbolic of our 2 years in Japan so far - there have been challenges and difficulties, but God is good and we celebrate all the ways he has been at work in Japan.

Family reflections
What do you miss most about Australia? My grandparents
What do you like about Japan?
Playing with my friends and going to yōchien (pre-school).
What do you miss most about Australia? The beach!
What do you like about Japan? Going to the park :)
There are so many things to love about Japan. The people are hospitable and friendly, natural beauty and "cool stuff" can be found everywhere, and there is literally a thing for everything (100 yen stores!) - it's a really convenient place to live. But I'm also really starting to miss things back in Australia. Besides the 3 F's - family, friends and fruit! - I miss familiarity and spontaneity, which almost seem like opposite things!
Familiarity - I miss going to places I "know"... favourite spots like the Vietnamese restaurant, the fish and chip shop, or going to Bunnings to find a specific tool or "that thing to fix something". 
Spontaneity - "Simple" unplanned tasks, errands and conversations are now much more difficult and tiring. In English, I am able to ask questions, explain issues or thoughts and respond to whatever the other person says...on-the-spot. I really can't do that here...yet. I might know a few set phrases or basic vocabulary, but certainly not enough to have a completely spontaneous discussion, especially at a higher level. For example, phone calls can be super stressful! And then there's everyday conversations as well...

There are many other cultural differences and processes that I am still learning 2 years on; all part of culture shock. I look forward to many more years of learning, and also developing a new sense of familiarity and spontaneity here in Japan!
As I reflected on these past 2 years, I realised that in God’s kindness for every “hard thing” there has been a good “but”.

Parenting away from extended family has been very difficult, especially at the beginning. We love our boys but they have a lot of energy! And emotions! Navigating their culture shock at the same time as our own, without readily available help / breaks has been exhausting.
But… the support we have received from our new church family, especially “Team Lim” has been one of God’s most precious gifts to us.

Many things get put into the “too hard” basket. Things like going to the doctor or sorting out tax/super, etc, are so hard because of our limited Japanese. For example, I kept putting off getting my nose checked (later discovered I had a skin cancer) because the thought of trying to find a doctor and explaining my problem just seemed so overwhelming.
But… our helplessness and need for assistance has deepened our relationships with our Japanese friends in a way that would never have happened if we could just “do it ourselves”.

Realising Obi and Theo will have a completely different childhood to me. I grew up in Mount Isa in outback Queensland, and I LOVED it. Recently I’ve been surprised by how I’m struggling emotionally knowing the boys won’t have those same experiences – outback camping expeditions, “small town living”, spectacular thunderstorms on an unbroken skyline.
But… they will have their own special childhood. They will experience Japanese language and culture intimately as they go through school, and we love Tokyo with its endless restaurants, museums, shows, parks, zoos, etc.

The tension of keeping up relationships in 2 countries. This is something I’ve especially struggled with. Matt is great – he writes our newsletters, replies to most of the emails, etc. For me, I’ve found it really hard to balance prioritising my new relationships here in Japan, as well as keeping up with our supporters and friends back in Australia.
But… it is SUCH a blessing to know that we are here with YOUR prayer and financial support. To know that you are bringing both us and our Japanese brothers and sisters before our Father’s throne is a true privilege. Several times we have tangibly felt your prayers, and although we may not reply to every email, please know that we are so very encouraged to receive them. Thank you.
Other thoughts
Over the last 2 years, we've had a lot to pray about and work through. Insomnia, emergency ambulance trips, major surgeries, random health issues, language learning, behaviour management, post-traumatic stress and anxiety, moving house, everything COVID-related, the list goes on! Yet through all this, God has said to us, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Cor 12:9). While we haven't exactly "boasted gladly" like Paul about our weakness, our desire is the same: that Christ's power may rest on us. 

As we've mentioned, through various challenges and difficulties we've also experienced God's grace in many ways. Here are just a few examples:
- Our Japanese brothers and sisters in Christ have shown us a new benchmark in love and service, especially through the many times we have been in need!
- Hi-b.a. staff have been incredibly supportive and understanding of our family's transition and adjustment to life in Japan.
- We've heard amazing testimonies from high schoolers coming to faith.
- We've seen many baptisms at Eifuku Minami Church.
- Many of our health issues have been healed quickly.
- Like Titus was an encouragement to Paul, we give thanks for special fellow workers who God has provided to help and strengthen us with our burdens and ministry. (Eg. Looking after our boys so we can have a day out together!)
- Many, many answers to prayers - from big things to small everyday things - and sometimes we've been given more than we ask!

God is still working in and through our family, sometimes in ways that we don't fully understand, but we do not give up or lose heart, "for our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all." (2 Cor 4:17).  

From the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU for your support and prayers. We really do hope you can continue to share in the blessings of God's work in Japan.

"You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. "
(2 Cor 9:11-12).
Upcoming dates
  • 1st October - Jen's birthday!
  • 5th October - Matt's end of term language exam.
  • 8th October - Obi and Theo's "undōkai" (Sports Day / Athletics Carnival).
  • 19th October - Next level language class begins.
Prayer points
  • Praise God for his faithfulness and kindness to our family over these past 2 years.
  • Praise God for his Spirit’s work through Eifuku Minami Christ Church and hi-b.a. to draw people to himself, and mature them in Christ.
  • Pray for energy for Matt as he continues with full-time language study, as well as healing as he works on his stress and anxiety management. 
  • Thank God that recently Jen and the boys have been able to spend some time with yōchien friends again at the park, and even having one-on-one play dates at home. Pray especially for our good friend Yoshi and his parents, that we may have opportunities to share our faith with them.
Out on a Lim - In Japan with CMS Out on a Lim - In Japan with CMS
Matt and Jen Lim - CMS page Matt and Jen Lim - CMS page

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Lim Family · Omiya 2-16-7 · Suginami-ku, Tokyo 168-0061 · Japan

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