2016 in Review

For the UK, it was Brexit. For the US, it was Trump. For Japan, it was Pen Pineapple Apple Pen.

For me and Chi, 2016 went a little like this:


2016: A year as big as my boutonniere.

Wedding: Engaged in January, married in May…and June. Of all events in 2016, this one takes the cake.

A team effort. Seriously.

“Where You Go” released June 5, 2016. Album cover fail.

Album Release: A joy to serve with so many talented musicians and learn under Christie Chong’s guidance.


The Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering in Jakarta

Back to Vocational Ministry: Since leaving my Japanese company job in March, I’ve networked with about 65 Japanese ministry leaders, musicians, and cultural experts. It’s been a unique season of vision casting for my return to full-time ministry, of which I hope to announce the next steps in early 2017.


“What was that next chord?”

Back Behind the Mic: Shared my music and testimony at three church and outreach events in Tokyo. Fingers were as rusty as the two-year old guitar strings.

Three amigos...kinda.

Three amigos…kinda.

Study, Study, Study: Besides networking, I’ve devoted a significant chunk of time to studying theology, Japanese literature and music. This includes everything from long-forgotten Greek and Hebrew, to Japanese novels like Silence, to the soundtracks of Studio Ghibli. I’ve also undertaken jazz, as it’s quite prevalent in contemporary Japanese music (more so than in the States). Thanks to Jason (pictured right), who met in Jakarta, I’ve been taking jazz keyboard lessons via Skype once a week from Louisville since August. A former worship pastor at John Piper’s church and an amazing jazz pianist, he’s been a key mentor during this season.


“Say cheeeeeee-zu!”

Our Church: By the grace of God we continue to grow, with several new believers, new babies, and five newly wed couples. Chi and I continue to serve on the worship and translation teams.

Sabrina, second from left. Too bad the others didnt stay too.

Sabrina, second from left. Too bad the others didn’t stay too.

Sabrina Arrives: Our newest Evergreen SGV missionary, Sabrina Yee, arrived in Tokyo in Sept. 13, exactly 4 years to day after I arrived. We’re excited for what the Lord has in store for her. So much so that we celebrated with a trip to Costco and IKEA!

Thank you again for your support this past year. May God be gracious to you in 2017.


Kawabuchi Parents, Nagata Parents, Chian



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