The time is quickly approaching when I will leave Japan. As you can imagine, there are a lot of mixed emotions and things to do to prepare for that move. This period of transitions really started for me last month.
In January, we welcomed 3 new people into the Kumamoto missionary community: Caroline Keenan, Laura Fentress, and Morgan Dixon. As they participate in orientation activities, they are preparing to work in the Kumamoto Lutheran schools. As I leave Kyushu Gakuin, Caroline will start working there. Likewise, Laura and Morgan will start working at Luther Gakuin when Allyson Bedford and Ally Streed leave there. During the 2 ½ months of overlapping time, I am helping the new missionaries settle in and prepare for their new jobs.
|Laura, Caroline, and Morgan|
The truth is that I am part of a relay race that started more than 50 years ago. I am in a missionary program where people usually stay for a few years, and then another person steps in to take that position. I think of the J3 program as one person passing the Olympic torch to another and another and another. Often we don’t even see the fruits of our labors, but each person is necessary and valuable in this process. Every person that participates is uniquely skilled and gifted for the leg of the race that they run. Everyone is necessary for completing the race.
|2013 J3s and other missionaries|
|2010 J3 retreat|
|2006 J3 retreat|
|2005 J3 retreat|
|2004 J3 retreat|
So, what relay race are you currently running? How are you contributing to the efforts that people started before you arrived? How are you preparing the next generation for the role they will play in that race?
|Passing the torch...Give it a try.|