2019, the year that was

Happy new year!
I hope you have had a Merry Christmas and a chance to reflect on all that ways that God has blessed you in the past year!
And wow, what a year it has been! Anna reminded me this morning that at the beginning of January last year we had already started packing up our house in Japan. Our eldest (10) commented, “So it has taken us a whole year to move house!” Well, it’s not the only thing we did in 2019. Here is a brief look at the year that was 2019…



Jan: snow pile in front of our 2 storey house

– started packing up our house in Sapporo
– retreat for missionaries in Karuizawa

Feb: ice fishing with students


– lots of goodbye parties with students;
– more packing;
– last time visiting the Sapporo Snow Festival!



Mar: Goodbyes at Grace Community

– goodbyes to neighbours, library ladies, church toddler group, post office staff, neighbourhood kids, the man at the veg shop on the corner, hairdresser friends, dentists, landlords, violin teacher… (!)
– moved out of our house and into the OMF Sapporo Guest Home for a month

Apr: last time at our favourite sushi place


– goodbyes to ESS groups, KGK, fmZERO, OMF, various churches significant to us;
– left Japan



May: welcome back party at Bethel Church (UK)

– stayed with the in-laws for 4 months during our Home Assignment;
– spoke at Serve Asia Orientation weekend and various churches;
– big family reunion in Suffolk

June: team-building with fmZERO team in Sapporo


– spoke at various OMF prayer groups and churches;
– interviewed for the new job;
– attended OMF mobilisation training course;
– flew to Sapporo, leading a Serve Asia team to help with fmZERO



July: fmZERO BBQ

– returned from leading Serve Asia team in Sapporo;
– more speaking at prayer groups and churches

Aug: OMF stand at New Wine


– helped to man the OMF stand at New Wine;
– big party to celebrate our collective ages coming to 100 (how old are we!?!),
– moved into our new house



Sep: OMF UK office, starting new job

– started the new job with OMF UK as Serve Asia Alumni Coordinator;
– first Mobilisation Team ‘summit’;
– spoke at Serve Asia Debrief day;
– joined church youth team;
– interviewed on BBC Radio Wales about Japan in light of the Rugby World Cup

Oct: posing for mug shot at OMF office


– interviewed on Premier Christian Radio;
– attended Short Term Mission Forum;
– got Myers-Briggs training;
– became church Sunday School “Superintendent”;
– joined OMF skipping club!



Nov: at NextGen London

– attended OMF training course on organisations and leadership via video conferencing
– helped run NextGen London (an OMF day event);
– attended Bridge Asia day in Cambridge

Dec: Christmas day


– participated in the OMF mince pie tasting competition (yum!);
– OMF office Christmas lunch do;
– led church choir;
– first Christmas Day that we have not hosted for about 10 years.


By the time it got to our Christmas break, we were quite tired! But looking back, I’m reminded that even in some mini-crises (e.g. the original shipping company we booked pulling out last minute; our boxes being delayed by 3 months, etc), God provided abundantly for us!
Thank you for journeying with us through all the twists and turns of the past year!


  • Praise God that Anna and the kids are doing much better for being in an English speaking environment with family just down the road.
  • Praise God for protecting and sustaining us through a year of so many moves and changes and providing all that we needed and more!
  • Pray for me as I continue to settle into my new job – I feel like I am still finding my feet and probably will be for the whole first year at least. According to J M Fisher’s “The Process of Transition” model, I seem to be at the ‘depression’ phase of transition. Pray I would lean on God and put my hope in Him as I move to ‘gradual acceptance’ and ‘moving forward’

Some friends from Hokuei Church came to the airport in Sapporo to send us off

4 thoughts on “2019, the year that was

  1. Good to get your news, Nathanael. Wonder if you miss the snow, getting all this rain instead? But how thankful that we don’t have fires burning all around!! My love to you all & I continue in prayer for you. Much love, Ruthxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s