Summer is always a fun time to go do new things and visit friends, as the school year doesn't interfere with traveling. Since our last letter/post, we have filled our time with a lot of family and friends. I (Leanna) got to visit with some old college friends and catch up briefly while in St.Louis. Nearly 10 years have passed since we have all been together- It was good to see how we have grown up, each of us had children (and one on the way!), and talk about what we would like for the future.
We also got to visit with Jeremy's side of the family, at the Hoke family reunion. It was a blast and surprisingly the girls traveled well and slept well in the new environment! We all had such a great time just relaxing and enjoying family. The girls had so much fun with all their cousins! On Sunday, there was a family church gathering right at the camp we were staying at. Jeremy and his cousin Joe got to lead worship through preaching and music. Jeremy preached on the reality of God's love, our suffering and His glory (John 11:1-44, the death of Lazarus).
We are also thankful that during the month of June we had a number of opportunities to go on dates. We were able to enjoy bike riding on the MKT Trail as well as dinners and game nights with just the two of us. This was very needed over the past month as we found our communication was stressed and we needed to seek to resolve conflict in a couple areas of our relationship.
With summer being so mild, we have really been able to enjoy exercise outside. Jeremy commutes to work on his bike, almost daily. The commute is about 30 minutes one way, and mostly on the MKT, a local connector to the Katy Trail. Leanna continues to increase her running mileage to train for a local endurance race on Labor Day. It's been a good challenge that has provided quiet times of reflection.
Leanna has also had the privilege to take photos for a few different families over the month of June and really enjoy being able to bless others whether it's maternity photos, family sessions or any other occasion. Capturing these little moments in time for them to enjoy remembering in the future is very special for her.
Our plans for Japan continue to move ahead, from language learning to support raising we are so grateful to see God's hand at work as He brings more and more people along side us as we seek to move our family to Japan by Spring of 2018. One exciting upcoming opportunity is the Acts 29 Church Network Global Gathering later this month. Jeremy will be attending along with our pastors and will have the opportunity to reconnect with our missionary friends already in Tokyo who are stateside during this time as well as Pastor Yoshi who will be at the conference. Currently there will be nearly 1,000 pastors and leaders attending from 33 different countries!
Our prayer is that you are able to enjoy independence day with friends and family. Here are a couple of ways you can pray for us over the month of July:
- For Leanna's long distance runs, that her body stays free from injury
- For Jeremy's daily commute to work which is now almost always biking , that he stays safe on the roads
- For the A29 Global Gathering, that Jeremy's time with our Japanese church family is good and that he is able to build connections with other churches and leaders in our network.