I've completed all the requirements for my MDIV (will officially graduate this December), and am now working on my Ph.D. applications. Since the goal is to get my doctorate in Philosophy (in order to work in the area of Philosophy of Theology), I'm currently taking two classes as a Non-Degree student at the University of South Carolina. That's also the reason for the blog slowdown. All of my time is currently spent reading Immanuel Kant and other readings in moral and political philosophy.
Beth is still working through residency slowly...
but I've finished the Spring semester! This will give me a little more free time to have some fun with my son (see above). However, this summer won't be a free ride, I've got my work cut out for me:
My favorite view
Sorry everyone, life got away from us and we made zero posts in March!
Just in case you haven't forgotten about us in the lull of posting, I promise we haven't been sitting idle.
Beth is preparing for boards exam to become a doctor.
Jethro is rolling, rolling, rolling.
I have been living in the library writing a paper on Speech Act Theory and Christ the Logos. (I'll post that in May...when it's done).
In the meantime, I try and post something every Thursday here on out. Think of it as "Theology Thursday"!
God has given us the gift of Jethro Naito Yardley! Beth and Jethro are healthy and doing well. He is 7lb 8oz and 19in. long! We're tired, but overcome with joy. Above are some pictures (the blood on my shirt is from cutting the cord). Below is the full explanation of this little man's name!
Jethro is named after Moses' father-in-law (Exodus 3:1), which literally means "his excellence" in Hebrew. Beth and I wanted a Biblical name for our son, but not a common one.
Moses' father-in-law was a spiritual man, being the priest of Midian, who became a worshiper of the one true God (YWH) after seeing God rescue Israel from Egypt - "Jethro said, 'Blessed be the LORD, who has delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of Pharaoh and has delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. Now I know that the LORD is greater than all gods, because in this affair they dealt arrogantly with the people.' And Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, brought a burnt offering and sacrifices to God; and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat bread with Moses' father-in-law before God." (Exodus 18:10-12, ESV).
Jethro was also a wise man who counseled and advised Moses himself on how best to shepherd the people of Israel (Exodus 18:13-27, ESV). And if the author of the Torah and God's chosen vessel to lead His people, Moses, "listened to the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said" it seemed good to us also to bestow such a name upon our own son, who we hope will also be a wise spiritual leader in Christ's Kingdom.
A memorial in Japan to Naito Yukiyasu
Jethro's middle name is a Japanese family name pronounced "nigh-to" after Naitō Yukiyasu, a Japanese samurai from the 16th-17th Century who was baptized as a Christian in 1564. However, he returned to Japan in 1604 under the rule of Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu who outlawed Christianity. He was proud about his faith in Christ, even modifying his armor to incorporate the cross (pictured below), and was thus persecuted for his faith being exiled to Manila in 1614AD.
The two kanji (above) literally translate as ‘inner wisteria’; a name taken by two branches of the northern Fujiwara clan. One is descended from the famous warrior Hidesato (10th century), the other from Michinaga (966–1027), the statesman who took his family to its greatest heights of power, and on whom the main character of the classic novel Genji monogatari (‘The tale of Genji’) is based. The hirigana spelling would be うちふじ.
God has given us a love for the Japanese people, who desperately need to be reached with the Gospel of Christ. Beth and I wanted to reinforce God's calling (for all Christians) to His mission to reach all peoples with the message of His love on the cross.
In less than a month our team will be in the city of Ishinomaki to help with tsunami relief.
Where is Ishinomake? What will we be doing? Below is a map of the city and local news of the devastation left behind.
For more pictures visit: http://www.dannychoo.com/post/en/26208/Ishinomaki+Tsunami.html
As you may know, I have attempted to visit Japan six times in the past (as a mission trip or a vacation), but every plan has fallen through. However, God has given me a new opportunity to reach the Japanese people this July. The devastation from last year's tsunami is no longer in the news, but still runs the length of Japan's eastern seaboard. So I have been invited by a church planter in Japan with the mission agency Christar to join a small team to help provide support.
The Details: I will be leaving for Japan on July 5th 2012 and staying for over three weeks. Two weeks will be spent in the northeast city of Ishinomaki to join CRASH Japan (Christian Relief Assistance Support & Hope) clean up and rebuild. The work in Ishinomaki (pictured) will likely consist of cleaning out and helping to rebuild homes that were damaged but not completely destroyed by the tsunami.
There is still much hopelessness and frustration in Japan as the efforts to rebuild cities and towns are hampered by bureaucratic red tape and lack of funds. There is also a nationwide electrical shortage due to the shutting down of all 50 nuclear reactors in Japan for maintenance and repairs. By coming alongside the local Japanese during this difficult time, we will be able to show them the love of Christ and the healing power of the Holy Spirit. A final week will be spent in Ube City of the Southwestern Yamaguchi prefecture with local churches to teach English, encourage believers, and share our testimonies.
Japan is an Unreached People Group. Japan is the world’s seventh largest nation with a population of 126,319,000, but less than 1% are Christian in a society where consensus is important and everyone wants to be part of a group. There are very few complete families who come to faith, thus the majority of believers are women. In Asia, the greatest number of missionaries is in Japan, but the fruit of their labors is disappointingly small.
Japanese are bound by human tradition, materialism, and are spiritually blind to the Gospel. The economic decline since 1989 and the tsunami have shaken the country’s sense of self-sufficiency. Thankfully, Japan is blessed with complete religious freedom, but much prayer is needed if lasting fruit is to been seen.
Your Partnership is needed: I have never been on a mission trip before, so I need your support. It will take special gifts from God’s people to make this trip a reality. I have been asked to raise ten prayer partners and between $3500 and $4000 dollars which includes airfare, immunizations, room and board and local transportation for the trip.
If God leads you to donate, please use the enclosed form to send checks to Christar or visit www.christar.org to give electronically.
God is sending Beth and I our first child! We found out on my birthday, what a gift! We decided that we'd start trying in 2012 in hopes that a little one would arrive sometime in our 3rd year in Columbia (the final year of Residency & Seminary). We didn't know how long it would take, but God blessed us within 2 weeks! Amazing!
The due date is September 18th 2012.
It's too early to determine the sex, but we're leaning toward not finding out until he or she gets here. I'm the "Last of the Yardleys" so there isn't any pressure or anything...Having Beth as a doctor means we're privy to all kinds of paternal hardships so we have a whole new level of appreciation for the phrase "we just want a healthy child."
Please be praying for both Beth and the baby! Morning sickness has hit Beth hard. Nausea and vomiting is a daily routine. We're hoping it will all go away by the end of the first trimester. Be praying! We want a healthy mom and baby!
As Fall 2011 gears up we are once again preparing for another year in Columbia, SC. Our first year sped past in a blur as we settled into our new home, new job/school, and plugged into a new church community with new friends and colleagues.
Beth is now a 2nd Year in the Palmetto Health Family Medicine residency program, which means more work and less supervision as she attends to her patients. A new "night float" system in the medical community also means that she becomes nocturnal every so often for 2 week stints. You can be praying for strength to make it through the long days (and nights), wisdom to treat her patients, and times of rest & relaxation to be with family and most importantly the Lord.
Brett is starting his 2nd Year at Columbia International University (CIU) as he earns his masters degree. In addition to Greek, Theology, and Bible courses, he has begun his internship serving with the RiverCity Network, a collection of newly founded house-churches (founded by Riverbend Community Church). You can be praying for time management for his heavy class work, insight to teach on Sunday nights, and a servant's heart in discipling rising church leaders.
Reconciled by Christ, Brett & Beth recount their tales of service to God through their gifts of ministry & medicine with Jethro & Edessa in tow.