From a missionary family in Japan, struggling to learn the local language

…The end-run came to us almost (but not quite) too late. One-and-a-half months before our year of Japanese lessons ended, we received a precious gift in the form of Mrs. Peggy __, a widowed doctor’s wife who had raised her own children and wanted to do something special for a missionary family. I was constantly awed at how this woman of means came for the specific purpose of serving our family in any way we needed. She had long since given up cooking, but recouped that skill for our family. She hung out the laundry. She washed dishes. She took the kids on outings to the park.

And during home schooling hours, she taught Joseph while Judy taught Sarah and I taught Nathanael. We were all amazed at the super progress Joseph made under her able tutelage. He memorized whole chapters of the Bible for his Bible time with her. He progressed in Science and Writing and Reading. She had a golden touch with all our kids. I found it difficult, at first, to let go of the chores. I continued doing the dishes. There were times when I would come down to the kitchen and find Peggy already finishing the dishes.

There were times when Peggy and I would try to strike the best balance: sometimes I would do the dishes since she had simply done more than her share already in the day and she really needed a break; other times she would say, “I came to help you have time to do Japanese, so let me do the dishes now.” What a wonderful servant of God she was for us.

She came to be with us from the end of January until the middle of May – almost four months. With the extra time I had to study, I zoomed ahead in my speaking ability. By then I had already given up on the Chinese Characters, but somehow the entire year of verbal learning came into focus during the time she was with us. By the beginning of March, several friends commented that my Japanese had suddenly become more fluent. I could express myself far more easily. From April, I began auditing seminary classes at the Reformed Theological Seminary in Kobe. Meanwhile, Judy continued her Japanese lessons until the end of May.

It was a sad day to see Miss Peggy leave. She helped our family SO much. We all miss her and look forward to seeing her again when we are back in the States.

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