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"...do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
~ Philippians 4:6-7 ~

Dear Friends,

I realize we're quite overdue on this update.  There are a lot of reasons for that.  Some of those are good - things have been busy as the Spirit is opening new doors in the work here.   Some of those are hard, as there have been some really tough things happening here over the past several months.

If you've followed us for long, I think you might feel that parts of this update will be a little more vague than our previous letters.  We love to share real stories with you - the good and bad alike.  Right now, however, many of our most important stories are personal...and involve details that aren't really ours to share.  So, in this long-overdue update, I'm trying to navigate sharing enough details to help you pray for us (and boy, do we need it!) without telling stories that would cause loved ones and fellow leaders to feel uncomfortable. 

Just now, a friend dropped by.  He's actually a fellow missionary.  I was writing this letter and shared some of these thoughts with him.  He said, "Jeremy, you're right.  There's a lot you can't share in an email, and that's really hard.  Please tell your partners that the work you and Gina are doing is making a big difference in people's lives here.  Everyone around you guys sees that.  Tell them thanks, from us, for sending you here." 

I hope those words are as encouraging to all of you as they are to us!  Thank you for sending us and standing with us.  Thanks for praying even when all the gaps aren't filled in.

With Much Love,

Jeremy and Gina
Gina, Garrett, and I spending some much-needed time in the mountains.  Sometimes, you just have to get out of the city for some fresh air!
Some of the Hard Things
  • The past few months have been some of the hardest we've experienced in quite some time.  I'll list a few of the most difficult points here, but generally, we are feeling tired after what has felt like a tsunami of trouble that has all come at once.
  • In our immediate family - Joshua is going through a difficult season that has caught him (and us) by surprise.  In fact, the trouble was significant enough that I flew to Atlanta to spend two weeks with him during February.  We would appreciate your prayers for all of us as we walk through a dark valley right now.  (Note: Joshua pre-approved this bullet to ask for your prayers, but he is also asking that if you're not already in contact with him, please don't reach out to him directly right now).
  • Since the new year, we've also had several big health concerns - with Gina and also with members of our extended family.  Gina's issue seemed quite scary at first, but her test results and diagnosis were incredibly relieving!  We now know she's fine.  In our extended family, the issues have required both testing and surgeries.  Those aren't our stories to tell, but it's been hard for us to be so far away while dearly-loved-ones have been facing these things.  Can you please pray for us - that we would find comfort in our Savior?  And will you pray for these vague-sounding health concerns for our family members? God knows!
  • Finally, since my last update, the ANF elders have made the difficult decision to close our Nagakute campus.  This isn't something I have been able to write openly about up to now.  However, we have been problem-solving in Nagakute for well over a year, and a long list of factors have led the elders to conclude that this particular campus is not sustainable at this time.  The whole process has been quite heavy, and we're grieving this loss for the Kingdom here.  At the same time, we are also looking with hope toward the future, and remembering that the Gospel is founded upon Christ's resurrection from the dead.  Please pray for the hearts of the Nagakute congregation as we grieve together.  Also, pray for the elders as we shepherd new believers through this time of change.  Many of our Nagakute members want to continue with ANF through our Downtown Campus, and we will help others plug into other churches/plants in the area. 
FINANCIAL UPDATE

Our support account makes us feel THANKFUL right now.  This is such an uncertain time all over the world, and we know that many of you are facing new financial hardships.  We are GRATEFUL for your sacrificial giving and ongoing partnership with us!

THANK YOU to all of you who partner with us financially and prayerfully.  A special thanks to those who were able to send a special, year-end gift...that's so helpful to keeping our account healthy throughout the year.  We appreciate you guys!
Make a Contribution to our Support Account
Some Really Good Things
  • Gina and I are each having good meetings with leaders and wives.  We are more convinced than ever that this is the area where we should be spending our time.  Recently, it's been easy to see progress, renewal, and even hope growing in some of the leaders in our circles.  We are so happy for God to use us in these ways.
  • Last month, ANF welcomed two new interns who will be serving at the Downtown Campus, and one of my new roles as an elder at ANF is to help oversee their internships.  Both men are students at Christ Bible Institute (CBI).  One of the two is exploring a sense of calling to plant a new church!  It's a special honor to be involved with young, Japanese leaders who are taking their first steps as pastors and church planters.  This is the future!
  • Speaking of interns...next month, Yu-san and I will be attending two, special worship services in different Japanese cities.  Both services are to "cut the ribbon" on new worship facilities for church plants being led by former ANF interns.  Nozomu-san (in Toyama) and Mitsu-san (in Aomori) are both dedicating new buildings next month.  Both cities are especially hard places to do church planting, and in both places, the Spirit is on the move.  Please join us in praying for these two men and their families.
  • Our team is growing!  Last week, the Japanese government began issuing new visas again.  So, Daniel Mitchell is now planning to arrive in Nagoya near the end of March!  Karen and Rajah Chacko were also approved to join our team late, last year.  We are praying that they can be on the field in early 2023.
  • The Japanese translation of Gospel Centered Life (GCL) is proving to be a great tool for discipleship with leaders.  Recently, I've been using GCL with a group of Japanese pastors for the first time, and our discussions have far exceeded my expectations.  Of course, one of the great things about having GCL widely available in Japanese is that these pastors will be able to take the same material back to their own congregations.  To date, we've distributed almost 2,500 free copies of GCL all over Japan through our partnership with CBI.
  • On the family front, Garrett is growing in some amazing ways, and Josiah is thriving at ASU.  Despite the hardships listed above, we see God caring for and working in Joshua's life - even over the past few weeks.  Gina and I are continuing to enjoy a really good season of our marriage.  The difficulties are real, but we see that God is with us.  We deeply appreciate your ongoing prayers for our family.
One of ANF's new interns (Kakeru-san) leading worship for the first time.  Kakeru-san has a heart for teenagers and has already become a good friend to Garrett!
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Jeremy and Gina Sink · Otana-cho 3-1-3 · Shatore Otana 402 · Nisshin-shi,, Aichi-ken 464-0835 · Japan

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