Update from the Sanchez's in Japan
Dear Church Family,
With great sorrow we regret to inform you that we have decided to return to America due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Our mission here in Osaka was to attend Language School while serving in ministry. This was an essential part of our mission. Not only would it have provided the language ability needed to communicate and disciple but would have also provided additional finances through the Military GI Bill. Unfortunately due to the Pandemic, the school term was cancelled. The postponement of the school would only incur more of a financial loss for our family if we were to wait an additional year. We weighed our circumstances very carefully. We prayed and reached out for counsel back home. We also met with our Pastor here in Osaka. The Elders are unable to take on additional church staff at this time and our participation was very minimal for the past quarter due to the virus outbreak. Church gatherings has also been suspended, like so many around the world.
Our Church fellowship in Japan agreed that the COVID-19 situation is very unpredictable. In comparison to other countries, testing in Japan is low despite the risk to their “Super-Aging” population. One news article reads, “But because testing hasn't been widespread, some medical experts say the extent of infection is understated, and a surge could yet happen”. Japan still strategically plans to host the Olympics this summer despite the Vice-Chairman of the Japan Olympic Committee contracting the virus. Travel bans have also been recently put in place to help remedy the situation. Additionally, primary schools were cancelled abruptly earlier in the month. Even a well known international university in the Kansai area has instructed some of their foreign students to go back home. There are over 100+ cases in our prefecture alone, and the country totaling over 1,500, which may only be a fraction of actual cases. (Includes: Diamond Princess) So hence, we find ourselves at this juncture.
The Lord’s ways are higher than ours. During these past six months, we’ve endured a transition of fellowships, a death in the family and now a pandemic that resulted in the cancellation of our language school. Meanwhile, we continued to persevere and hold on as long as we possibly could.
“Rejoice in Hope, be Patient in tribulation, and be constant in Prayer” Romans 12:12. We are confident that the path laid before us is to return home and seek the Lord for the next steps.
Finally we wanted to thank our sending church, CCSJC and CCPH and everyone for their support on this journey through financial means, care packages, prayers and emotional support. We are blessed to have shared Christ with the people of Japan. We have already began planning our next steps to return to the US so we ask that all support offerings be suspended. We are aware of the COVID-19 situation back home and we are praying for you all as well. Please keep us in your thoughts as we transition back to America from the mission field.
Elijah and Veronica
The Sanchez Family
Mission Osaka Concludes