DEAR FAMILY AND FRIENDS,
“But He [Jesus Christ] was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5).
“So now, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith in His promises, we can have real peace with Him because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.” (Romans 5:1)
What a special time of year, as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ into the world. As the above quote from the Bible states, Jesus the babe, Jesus the man came to earth to be pierced, crushed, and wounded for you and I. Freely available to all who have faith in Jesus, His death in our stead brings us peace with God. Peace is often associated with Christmas – how appropriately so, as Jesus brought the ultimate peace – between God and man. Our hope is that you have considered where you stand with Jesus, as this peace is only available to those who have faith in Jesus:
“That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)
This past year was such a full, blessed one for us. Our exciting news is that God has given us a special joy, due to arrive next spring! So the Tanaka Family will be growing into a family of three. The Bible says, “Children are a gift from God” – with joy and anticipation, we anxiously await this precious gift. Already, we can feel it move within. What a miracle! Thank you for your prayers as God has helped Lori through some initial difficult months and now is enjoying good health.
Rich continues to work for the Michael Reese HMO in Orland Park, where he has been working for the past 2 ½ years. He has been enjoying his work and has had many opportunities to talk with his patients about God’s love. He also continues to serve as Deacon of Missions and Evangelism at our church, Lakeside Japanese Christian Church. Our church has been able to send out six new missionaries (South Africa, Japan, colleges in Chicago), and received to back from China. He also helped, along with our whole church family, to sponsor a Vietnamese family – help them settle into and adjust to life in Chicago. Rich even had the opportunity to appear on TV – “Among Friends,” Channel 38, to discuss our church’s involvement with this family. It was a nervous, but exciting time!
Lori enjoyed attending Moody Bible Institute this past spring, studying the books of Acts and Romans. Although it took a little while to get those ‘ol rusty gears moving again, she so appreciated studying under Dr. Marty and Dr. Simms. She continues to work at home and as Lakeside’s secretary. She also enjoys working with the children of our church – organizing the Junior Church program, which takes place while the adults are attending the worship service.
We’ve also done many things together this past year. Last March, we enjoyed Mom Tanaka’s visit, who came in to attend Lori’s sister, Donna’s wedding to Loren Friesen (they reside in Akishima, Japan, where Loren works as an artist). In May, we participated in the Northside Crisis Pregnancy’s “Hike for Life” – a ten-mile hike along the shores of Lake Michigan. The proceeds go to the Crisis Pregnancy Center, which seeks to help provide women with alternatives to abortion. We also went camping in the upper edge of lower Michigan (Sleep Bear Dunes), which was Lori’s first. Rich did all of the cooking (delicious!), while Lori stepped on and smashed all the bugs. During that trip, we had a scare, as our canoe tipped over and dumped us into the freezing lake. We managed to kick to shore and paddle our way back (less one paddle). That again made us realize how short life is, and how unexpected death may come.
On October 22nd, we celebrated our second anniversary. How thankful we are for this gift of marriage! This fall, we enrolled in a course called, “Perspectives on the World Christian Movement” through Trinity College. It’s an overview of the history and strategy of world missions – God has been using this class to remold our view of the world, and the “lostness” of its people without Christ.
So, with that brief glimpse of our life this past year, we want to close by sending our warmest greetings to you this season. We’re thinking of you and hope you are well. May you consider Jesus and His claims as we together celebrate His birth.
RICH & LORI
WE CAN HAVE REAL PEACE
PEACE IS OFTEN ASSOCIATED WITH CHRISTMAS
GOD HAS GIVEN US A SPECIAL JOY, DUE TO ARRIVE NEXT SPRING!
RICH EVEN HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO APPEAR ON TV
WE ENJOYED MOM TANAKA'S VISIT
WE CELEBRATED OUR SECOND ANNIVERSARY