Johnsons Leaving Japan…

To all of our dear friends, family, and supporters…. below are two letters that went out from Covenant Offices in Chicago to all of our supporting churches and individual supporters last month. As many of you know, we have been praying and seeking God’s leading for our family and ministry. Thanks for taking the time to read these letters and thanks for your prayers as we continue in a time of transition.

LETTER FROM TIM & ANDREA TO ALL OF OUR SUPPORTERS…

Lent 2016

Dear Friends,

Outside the window signs of spring and signs of hope are everywhere in spite of—or maybe because of—a long dark winter here in Seattle. After much heart searching, prayer, and discussion, we have decided to end our time as Covenant missionaries in order to spend the next several years in the States. We are still grieving this early departure from ministry in Japan but feel that this is the best decision at this time in order to better care for the needs of our children and parents. For both of us, the call to serve cross culturally in Japan has been very strong, but the call to faithfully and lovingly live out our primary relational commitments to our children, our parents, and each other is stronger yet.

In some ways it feels scarier now to resign a few years shy of retirement than it did to become long term (“career”) missionaries fresh out of seminary in 1989. Yet serving God as cross-cultural missionaries in Japan is not a “job, ” or a “career” for either of us. It has always been our response to God’s call–our best attempt to say “Yes!” with our lives to the invitation to follow where God is leading. Now we feel that God is nudging us to stay here in the Pacific Northwest at least until our youngest is out of high school. This requires considerable faith and courage, since we do not have work yet and will need to move from our current rental housing this summer. We would love your continued prayers during this time of transition.

Many of you have prayed for and financially supported us since we went to Japan in 1989. Some of you even supported Tim’s parents, Gordon and Lucille Johnson, before that. We are awed and amazed by the care of so many which has allowed us to live in and share the love and hope of Jesus with Japanese for over 25 years. In addition to life changing relationships and the gift of experiencing faith through two different sets of cultural lenses, during our time in Japan God miraculously gave us four precious children who have made rich our lives and taught us so much. We pray that God has blessed you, too, for your care and partnership in this work. As we transition away from your financial support this summer, we would like to encourage you to find other ministry partners serving globally to bond with.

Walking with Jesus into new territory,

Andrea & Tim Johnson

LETTER FROM AL TIZON, EXECUTIVE MINISTER OF SERVE GLOBALLY – EVANGELICAL COVENANT CHURCH

March 1, 2016

Dear Partners in Mission,

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. We thank God for you and your partnership in the mission of God around the world. Your faithful financial support of Tim and Andrea Johnson with Covenant World Mission has provided the resources for them to serve Christ in Japan since 1989. Your prayers and personal communications with the Johnsons have been especially encouraging to them in this challenging but fruitful ministry.

After 27 years of faithful and passionate service, Tim and Andrea have made the difficult decision to step down from their ministry and to move from Japan to Washington for personal and family reasons. We thank God for the many lives and communities that have been impacted by the Gospel through their ministries of evangelism, discipleship, church planting, education and music.

Over the last 27 years Tim has been instrumental in helping to develop the facilities and ministry at Akagi Bible Camp. Tim worked together with local pastors to begin the Gunma Harvest, an outreach and evangelism focus in an area that does not have many churches. Tim and Andrea both played a role in the relief efforts after the 2011 tsunami. Andrea taught for five years at the Gunma Prefectural Women’s University and influenced the lives of many students there. Andrea also used her gifts in spiritual direction to mentor many women over the years. We know that the Japan Covenant Church (NSKK) will greatly miss their presence.

In Tim and Andrea’s letter you will see that they are seeking prayer for this next step of faith they are taking as they seek to honor God and his call to put the needs of their family first. Please continue to pray for both Tim and Andrea as they search for jobs and housing starting this summer.

Thank you again for your generous and faithful support of Tim and Andrea. When the Johnsons complete their service on August 18, 2016 would you prayerfully consider continuing your support of mission in the Covenant by identifying another missionary to support through your giving and prayers? We currently have missionaries who are in need of increasing their support level. We will include a few of their Bio Sketches for you to consider. We are also available to assist you in identifying other new missionary partners when you are ready to make that change, if you have not already done so. If you have any questions or concerns about missionary support, please contact Barbara Fisk at 773-596-2499 or Barbara.Fisk@covchurch.org

Serve Globally looks forward to ongoing partnership with you in the mission of God in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and the ends of the earth.

Sincerely,

Al Tizon – Executive Minister, Serve Globally

The Evangelical Covenant Church

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3 thoughts on “Johnsons Leaving Japan…

  1. My mother (Sachiko Simon) was born and raised in Gunma prefecture. Her parents ran the YOSHIZAWA clothing store in town, and now her brother Still does. Mom married an American (my dad, Jay Simon) and moved to the states when she was in her 30s. She’s 77 now. A Lutheran pastor who had been a missionary in Japan led her to A Japanese Bible study in the US. Anyway, she is still a “baby Christian” and just learning to look for God’s care in all life circumstances. She is visiting home after 23 years (arrived sept 2016) and she saw the red wooden cross on the Shimonita church and told me about it. She was glad to see a church in her little town, and so am I. Thank you for the years of your lives you invested there fighting and working for the salvation of Japanese souls. I pray it will continue to bear much fruit.

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    • Wow. How encouraging to hear from you Jennifer and to become aware of your Mom and her faith journey! I have had opportunity to speak at the Shimonita Church many times and to get to know some of the folks there. Has your Mom had a chance to visit the church? Please let me know if you would like any other contact numbers or introductions to folks in Gunma…. although I imagine your Mom’s visit is just for a short time? Here’s a link to a short podcast / smartphone app that allows folks to “listen” through the New Testament in Japanese. (You can find the QR code right on our blog page as well). Our dear colleague in Gunma, Pastor Tatsuya Kogure hosts the daily podcast and the scripture readings are done by his daughter, Akari. Your Mom might enjoy listening. http://audiobiblejapan.com/index.html or here: http://feeds.feedburner.com/dailyaudiobiblejapanese
      Thanks again for your encouraging comment! Blessings, Tim Johnson

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