November 15, 2017

The Gonnermans are beginning their final stretch of the missionary deputation process as they eagerly await to leave for the Land of the Rising Sun. With only months to go before their anticipated departure to Japan, God has continued to prove His faithfulness to them throughout the long journey of raising support.

Andrew (’09, ’12) came to Faith planning to stay for only one year, but God led him to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Pastoral Studies. Upon graduating, Andrew continued his studies at Faith and earned a Master of Divinity. Through a creative writing class, Andrew met his wife, Janae (Lindow, ’11). Although Janae wanted to pursue Spanish education, she knew Faith did not offer that degree. She chose to attend Faith anyway to take advantage of the Arriba! program. This would allow her to learn Spanish while serving in Peru to supplement her education degree.

Through the various summer ministries at Faith, Andrew had the opportunity to go on two trips to Japan. Even after those trips, Andrew felt God’s continued leading to pursue pastoral ministry in the States as Janae would continue to pursue education. Through connections made on those two trips, a missionary asked if Andrew and Janae would be willing to serve for one year in Japan. It was not until that short-term opportunity that both Andrew and Janae began to see God changing their direction toward vocational missions in Japan.

“God is teaching us to rely on Him with patience,” Andrew and Janae explained as they thought about their deputation journey. “We have many responsibilities during our time of raising support, but ultimately, we cannot force churches and individuals to partner with us financially. No matter what we do, no matter how much effort we give, God is the one that works in people’s hearts for partnership. Even if learning this can be frustrating at times, we know that this is only the first stage of much of the same. Only God can save people, plant churches, and call people to serve Him; we are called to be faithful in our responsibilities.”

The Gonnermans ask prayer for several requests as they wind down their deputation and begin preparing for Japan. First, they ask prayer for the moving process—sorting items, paperwork, and housing. Second, they ask for continued strength for finishing the deputation process. Third, Andrew asks for prayer as he works on his doctorate classes. When the Gonnermans arrive in Japan, they will begin language school while working with missionaries who are already serving in the Tokyo region.