After returning to the US to complete my internship, I reconnected with Gary at Kingwood Bible Church in Salem where we had first met in 1979, and we were married in August 1982. My focus began to shift. I found great satisfaction and fulfillment in developing a grant-funded music therapy program for preschoolers with physical handicaps and/or learning disabilities and became comfortable in my role as “the music minister’s wife.” But at the same time, Gary was feeling unsettled. He wanted us to experience a short-term mission together.
So in 1985 we went to Japan with the same program that had so impressed me four years earlier. And Gary began to sense a call to Japan. After much internal struggle, a year later God reconfirmed my earlier sense of call, and we were approved by Asian Access. After two years of partnership development, during which Jessica was born, our family of three arrived in Tokyo on December 28, 1988. Although we had gone to Japan to use our training to help start the new Song-Rise music ministry, by April 1990 I was a full-time mom with two young children. Only occasionally could I be involved in the performance side of the music ministry. But raising Jessica and Josiah while watching the parenting practices of Japanese mothers established the foundation for my future ministry as God put a love in my heart for these mothers and a burden for their challenging lives.
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