Zooming in: our last letter to, or from, Japan
Posted on: 26th May 2020
CMS missionaries Brad & Michelle Jackson have been serving in Japan for over 13 years and have returned to Australia for their final Home Assignment. Here they speak about leaving Japan at short notice with both sadness and gospel joy. At the time of this posting, they are in quarantine in Sydney, before returning to Melbourne.
Good news! COVID-19 has not stopped the ministry of the gospel. Although many students, our ‘Young Life’ and ‘Wyldlife’ groups continue to meet online. Michelle leads Bible studies for women using the Zoom meeting app, and church is enjoying a flourishing prayer meeting every Wednesday night. Last night there were 20 people at our Zoom prayer meeting! That’s a group that would normally have six people attend in person. We have also found that using the ‘Breakout Rooms’ within the Zoom app (for smaller groups) is very popular, helping create community as people discuss Sunday sermons and pray together.
The sad thing for us is that this is our last prayer letter from Japan. It was decided with CMS that we should return to Australia earlier than expected, before flights between Japan and Australia cease entirely. After months of uncertainty, we are thankful that this decision has been reached.. We will leave Japan on 22 May , land in Sydney and complete two weeks in quarantine before returning to Melbourne.
When the decision to leave was made, we had three weeks to pack up everything, finish our ministry commitments, hand over responsibilities and farewell people while socially distancing. These have been crazy days! We’re feeling both happy and sad. As we say goodbye to dear friends we are celebrating what God has done and are thankful. We love the people and work God has given us and it is difficult to walk away. But even as we are sad to be leaving we are looking forward to connecting with you and discovering what God has in store for us.
Pray that during the COVID-19 pandemic, God would strengthen believers in their faith, and for many unbelievers to hear the message of gospel hope.