Schmidt News-excerpts from October 2018 newsletter
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart,and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28+29
Is there an angry GIANT shaking our 3rd floor apartment?! That is how it felt as a huge earthquake shocked us out of our sleep at 3:08 a.m., on September 6th. (One of the worst typhoons woke us up the night before!) The earthquake had the strength of a 6.7 on the Japan scale of 7. Hannah was in her 8th floor apartment and was able to grab her phone and sit down in the entrance before it started shaking too badly, despite her bad knee! We were all very frightened, having never experienced anything like this before. Soon after, the electricity went out completely. Still shell-shocked, we scrambled to find flashlights and checked on our guests and the house. Some dishes, glasses and some of our special mugs broke. Bookshelves toppled; CD player, speakers, a TV, plants, framed photos, and knickknacks all fell. But thank the Lord we were all kept safe! Communicating with our OMF leader was next, thanks to still functioning cell phones, before we drove to pick up Hannah to come and stay with us. The power outage affected the whole of Hokkaido, so there were no traffic lights working and of course, Hannah’s elevator was out too. She had to walk down 98 stairs with her crutches- and her Dad by her side! We saw God’s provision in many ways: Hannah had a portable modem that helped with communication with OMF workers and our international students, and we had plenty of food and water. In one OMF couple’s apartment (10th floor) everything fell down, so they joined us at the Guest home for a couple of nights. All our guests joined us for an adventurous “candlelight” dinner Thursday evening. We were thankful the electricity came back later that night. Many people were without gas, water or electricity for many days. We all were shaken up, but God is our refuge.
English Speakers’ Fellowship: Different groups make lunch for the church each Sunday. Our ESF group made “Taco Rice” for 70 people lately and everyone loved it! The International Welcome Party on October 28 after the worship service was attended by almost 50 people. Please pray that more internationals will join this group of believers.
New workers: An Australian couple is considering joining us from April 2019 on. Please pray for details to fall into place.
Family News: Hannah has been diligently going to Physical Therapy 3x/wk. and this week she hit a milestone! She is able to ride bikes again, though slowly and carefully! She still experiences pain, and all the stairs at her work prove to be a challenge! Please keep praying for complete healing and mobility. This month she will also start playing piano for church again.
Shelley’s teaching: It has taken some weeks, but now Shelley is getting more used to the schedule of teaching three Kindergarten classes in a row, twice a month, all different levels. Simplifying the Bible story is the biggest challenge. May the influence of Christ be seeds in their little hearts for the Gospel to take root.
Thank you for your prayers for Japan and us!
Dieter & Shelley