UPDATE: Two weeks after writing this post, we received confirmation that the first house (3 bedroom with oven) would be available for us when we arrive in Japan in July. Praise God for his goodness to us!
Though housing in Japan was not at the forefront of our minds right now, we are already being blessed in this area in unexpected ways. I think this was something Jayne was more concerned about than I was, so perhaps this is a special reassurance from the Lord to her.
We’ve been in contact with the person at CAJ who helps new staff secure housing (a man who was described to us as “the nicest person in the world” and we concur) and he has already been working to see what is potentially available to us. Through him and our other friends in the area, we’ve already discovered two potential houses, both of which far exceed our expectations.
Both homes are mission owned (making negotiations much easier), both are fairly new, and both are a reasonable walking distance to CAJ and the train station. They also both have hookups for a gas dryer, a luxury in Japan we were not expecting to be able to have.
One home has 3 bedrooms but housed a family of six comfortably. It would also come partially furnished, and the partial furnishings would likely include washer, dryer, refrigerator, and stove, the most expensive furnishings to buy if we had to furnish a place ourselves. It also has an American sized oven, so we wouldn’t even have to give up making big batches of cookies or even having a Thanksgiving turkey (if we really wanted to do that). And of course, a state-of-the-art ofuro (Japanese bath) that does everything for you except scrub you down.
The other home has four bedrooms, plus a room downstairs that can be used as part of the living/dining room, making a HUGE room downstairs for gatherings like Bible study or other get-togethers. It’s probably close to 1500 square feet, which may not sound like a lot in American terms, but we were expecting 900 square feet so it’s practically a mansion. Our friends also told us it was near a park that is a gathering place for local photography enthusiasts, a perfect place for me to make new friends in the neighborhood!
Of course, it’s still very early and either or both of these homes could be rented to other families long before we arrive. But regardless of what happens, we are already feeling a certain peace, as if God is telling us, “See, I know your needs and your heart’s desires, and I can provide for them.”
Please remember us in your prayers, that God will provide the perfect place for us to live and that we can use whatever location He puts us in for His glory.