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Pastor Kristina: Hello From Kumamoto, Japan!

In August 2016, Pastor Kristina Ahlman traveled to Kumamoto, Japan to visit her daughter Hannah, our church’s ELCA missionary. Read all about her experiences and struggles here!

 

Dear Solomon Friends,

I write to you from Kumamoto, Japan, where Hannah is serving as our ELCA missionary. As I have infrequent access to email due to our traveling around Japan, I have not been able to stay in touch much with Solomon and the goings on there. But, I have heard of the many staffing changes at the school and the great diligence Natalie has shown in dealing with those challenges. With the resignation of two teacher’s just weeks before the start of classes, I am sure that both the school and church have been challenged to keep faith that God has a plan for Solomon. By the time you read this, all will have been resolved in some fashion. Please know that I have been keeping all of you in prayer, although from afar.

As Hannah’s godmother, Harriet, and I visit Hannah, the school and congregations she serves, and as I hear about the struggles at Solomon, the Spirit has led me to reflect on the scripture verse from Luke 16:10a , “whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much.”

The challenges of teachers leaving us, new teachers fitting in, and the stress that Natalie, the Executive Board, the Christian Day School Board, the staff and the Church Council must have felt (or may still feel) surely was enormous. And, yet, all of the emails that I have read from Solomon folks dealing with these issues have been positive, focused on problem solving, and faithfully working towards maintaining the high standards of the school. It is true that Solomon folks can be trusted with little, and with much! The end of summer has been a time of God trusting you with much……

As I see the damage here in Kumamoto caused by the April earthquake, I am reminded that the Lutherans of Kumamoto are also being resilient. The total destruction of the Lutheran junior high school, Kyushu Gakuin, has meant that the students are now being taught in trailers until the old school is completely demolished and rebuilt. Who knows how long that will take? The summer break has been shortened due to the two weeks of earthquakes and aftershocks, which meant no school for those two weeks. Students will be returning to class just as our Solomon and Woodmore students return. Life at the school is slowly returning to normal. God is trusting the Lutherans of Kumamoto with much as well.pastor-in-japan

Please keep all of our Lutheran schools, wherever they may be located and whatever challenges they may face, in your prayers. The mission of our parochial schools is so crucial: to educate and grow young people into faith in the love and salvation found in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I remind all of us that God’s grace is sufficient for us, even in the midst of the most trying of circumstances…

Blessings,

Pastor Kristina

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