WOW! Isaiah and Erin are married!!!
May16 was a very happy, long-awaited day!!! When Isaiah saw his bride coming down the aisle, he cried! We all cried with joy so many times during the wedding and reception. Isaiah met Erin in high school here in Japan, about 10 years ago! (She also grew up in a missionary family here in Japan.) Even though they were high school sweethearts, after high school they both went their separate ways, and the Lord led them together again only recently! We are so thankful that both of them have the same goal to serve God with their lives. At the present, she is working as a nurse and he as a youth pastor in Los Angeles. They have already been accepted as missionaries with Project Amazon (PAZ), and by next January, hopefully, after raising support, they plan to return to Brazil to be trained under Uncle Abe in Fortaleza in church-planting. Eventually, they would like to take a team to Mozambique, Africa.
It was also very exciting to have our family together for a few days before the wedding. It was the first time for some of the 6 grandkids to see the ocean and the beach! (Seal Beach, Los Angeles.) The little children re-learned their aunts’ and uncles’ names, and played with their cousins again–and of course with the rest of us too! We saw little Gracie (1) learn to walk! We caught up with each other’s lives and ministries. We all thank Andy for all the food he prepared and froze, and brought from their home in Colorado. I can’t thank God enough for our precious family, spread all around the world!
From left to right: Aaron and Esther and children: Joshua (6), Christina (3), Gracie (1) with PAZ Mission in inner-city Chicago; Tim, Erin and Isaiah, Christine; Andy and Sarah and children: Lucas (10), Daniel (8), JoyAnna (5), with Canyon View Vineyard Church in Grand Junction, CO (their pastor Kirk Yamaguchi is a member of the PAZ Mission Board); Josiah and Jennifer, with PAZ Mission in the Amazon, Brazil.
Erin’s parents have served for many years in Japan with the Japan Baptist Fellowship Mission. We are very thankful Isaiah could join their close-knit family too. God is enlarging our family, counting all the precious families he has united through our children’s marriages!
As a mom, I am overwhelmed by God’s faithfulness to His promises!!! As Tim mentioned in his message during the wedding, God always has the BEST for us–even through the hardest of times! He reminded us that even though losing his dad at a young age was very difficult, Isaiah has been true to God, and God has been more than faithful to him–now giving him Erin, who is also completely dedicated to serving God! Her dad took the opportunity to also thank God for leading Erin and Isaiah together. As a young girl, she dreamed of being a missionary for many years. PAZ Directors Jeff and Becky Hrubik were present to have a special commissioning prayer over them, blessing them as PAZ missionaries. May God use their marriage and lives to bring His love and hope to many suffering people!
About 200 friends and relatives attended the wedding, some coming from far away. It was so fun to have so many come to celebrate with us together! Those pictured here include: My very precious and highly admired mother, Estelle Bunney (87), formerly a missionary to the Apache Indians in AZ. My twin sister Emilee, my brother Loren and Joan and family– Adam, Audra, Anita, and Andrea; PAZ directors from Brazil Jeff and Becky Hrubik, Paul and Debbie; Brazilian pastors Risonilson and Heloisa; and PAZ Japan and PAZ Chicago website designer, Tim James Hodel! We know many others were with us in prayer and thought! Thank you so much to you all!
We were so honored to have my mother, Grandma Bunney, come to the wedding. She rarely goes anywhere for health reasons, but because she is such a loving person, she made the difficult sacrifice to come for one day, brought by my sister Emilee from Phoenix. We will never forget that, Mother!! (and Emilee!) May God bless you!!!
Now we are back in JAPAN, gearing up for our new YOUTH church plant in Tokyo at the Machida station. While we were gone, a young man Kengo (19) received Jesus, through the help of a short-term missionary named Ben, from Colorado. Kengo is excited about helping our new missionaries from the USA, (some have already arrived) along with the new church pastors, Mark and Yuiko Blakely. We are “coaching” them, and are so thankful for such dedicated people to work with!
Another single lady also received Jesus from the Gospel Choir! We were so excited to get the news. She came to my Bible study this morning, and also to Tim’s Bible study on Sunday.