Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Change in Plans

"In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." - Proverbs 16:9

I've been putting off writing this post because somehow, "putting it down on paper," or in this case, on the web, makes everything seem more real. As long as I don't put into words what we are about to do and why, I can pretend that life as I know it will go on: working, playing, eating, sleeping, going to church, raising a family here in this quiet little neighborhood in Hitachi, Japan.

When we came back to Japan last July, we intended to stay for... well, we weren't exactly sure how long we wanted to stay. But certainly longer than a year. I mean, we shipped 37 boxes full of "stuff" from America. You only go to all that trouble and expense when you intend to be somewhere for awhile. But here we are, almost exactly one year later, pulling out the boxes and filling them up again. Is there any sound more synonymous with moving than the sound of packing tape coming off the role?

We are leaving Japan. We are moving back to Portland. Under normal circumstances, I would be excited about returning to the one place in the United States that feels more like home to me than any other. But these are not normal circumstances. And the reasons for this unplanned return are anything but happy.

Rusty's mom, Mary Campbell, has been diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, a very aggressive, malignant brain tumor. At the end of June, she underwent brain surgery, and the prognosis is not good. To read more about this particular kind of tumor, click here.

So, we are moving back to Portland to be close to Rusty's family during this very difficult time. This move will happen soon, probably by the end of the month. In fact, we had purchased tickets to leave today, July 11th, but then I came down with the chicken pox! Yes, it is a childhood illness. And yes, having it once usually provides lifetime immunity. Apparantly, it is still possible, although rare, to contract it a second time -- lucky me! Although I am feeling better this week, now Baby Alex is almost certain to contract the chicken pox as well, so our plans have been put on hold until he is well enough to travel.

We would like to ask for your prayers for our family during this time. Please pray for us as we sort, pack, sell, clean, say our goodbyes, and leave Japan. Pray that Alex will have a mild case of the chicken pox and feel better soon. Pray for Mary and Ronda and the rest of Rusty's family -- for God's peace and strength and comfort to be made very real in all their lives...

Blogging may be a bit sporadic for the next few weeks as we make this transition, so please be patient with us. And to all you Portlanders out there, although we wish it were under different circumstances, we're excited about seeing you very soon!


  1. I'm so sorry to hear about the circumstances of your move, especially on the heels of losing your dear Pa. And I'm sorry that you have to leave Japan for such a tragic reason. My heart goes out to you.

    I know there's nothing I can say that will really help, but know that I'm praying for you and for Mary and for the rest of your family.

  2. Anonymous4:29 PM

    I'm very sorry to hear the news. I will definitely keep all of you in my prayers!

    Amanda Wilson

  3. Seeing it written...totally makes it more real...we will miss you guys tremendously...we will continually lift Mary and the family up in prayers. We pray God’s peace on you three as you transition back home… we love you guys.

  4. Sophie and i will be praying for your move and such a big change in your life. Mary has been in our thoughts and prayers over here. We are so glad she will be blessed to have her family with her now. We love you and hope to get down to see you all before too long! Love, Rox and baby Sophie

  5. Laura! That's so funny that you had the chicken pox too!!! I moved here
    (japan) in September--having had chicken pox as a child, then contracted them again this past January and had to take 10 days off work. I think its japan--it does wierd things to the immune system.

    Have a good day