Do you prefer mountains, or to spend time near the ocean? Or is your ideal spot to relax at a place on a hill with a view of lake? OMF provides holiday homes for its missionaries to relax at and to be rejuvenated away from ministry. In God’s glorious provision missionaries in Japan even have a choice of where to go.
“With views of where the mountains meet the sea, it was a breath of fresh air for our family to take time away from the daily demands of living cross culturally. It was so nice to simply have more space; inside the home—thankful for a large kitchen! And outside refreshing greenery! It’s so nice to have the affordable option of the holiday home to get away to. The quiet calm was the mental refresh needed to dig back into language study.”—a new missionary
At the present, OMF Japan has nine self-contained places available that missionaries can use. These are set up with basic necessities to give the holiday makers a stress-free time, as much as possible.
At Takayama, on the seaside near Sendai, there are two OMF cabins situated amidst a community of missionary cabins. In the summer there are many vacationers to interact with or quiet places to go. They can swim at the beach, play in the sand, go on walks, and drink coffee. Children love having other kids to play with too. These two cabins can also be used at other times of the year.
Other holiday homes are in more remote areas, for those who prefer quieter holidays. In Karuizawa, in the mountains northwest of Tokyo, there are nature walks, bird watching, shopping, bowling, and coffee shops. On the northern island of Hokkaido OMF has a house by the sea (at Tarukishi) and a house by Lake Toya—both great locations for a refreshing retreat.
These places can be used not only for vacation, but also for spiritual retreats and mini-get-aways. One long-term OMF missionary, recently wrote:
We are squeezing in a short vacation and soaking up the last bit of summer at my favorite place, an OMF holiday home in Sendai, about four-hour’s drive north of where we live in Tokyo. When we arrive and breathe in the salty breeze and gaze at the glistening sea, we feel a million miles away from the busy city, the ministry tasks, full email in-boxes; and people and problems.
Coming here for a few days, a couple times a year has been a huge blessing and I think it has helped me stay the long haul. When we arrive we purposely disengage from work. We read books, have extra-long devotions, do woodworking or quilting, play games, and watch movies. We trek around in the woods or walk along the sand. The pace is slow and each afternoon a nap beckons. We aren’t productive. We disengage and unwind.
We have time to think and pray. Time to be quiet and just sit and soak up the scenery. Time to gain perspective . . . and be rejuvenated. We are thankful for these sea cabin days that God uses to renew us along the way.
Each holiday home is taken care of by one or two missionaries. The grass and the grounds around them need to be tended, repairs done where needed, and old things replaced. The houses need to be kept in good running order to make an easy and relaxing time for those who use them. As missionaries take time away they return stronger and ready to once again do the ministry they have been called to do in Japan.
We are so thankful for these peaceful, affordable places God has provided for our missionaries.
By Shelley, an OMF missionary
Will you pray for Japan?
- Praise God that OMF can provide places for missionaries to be refreshed and renewed.
- Pray that missionaries would take time-out for rest.
- Pray for God’s protection over these valuable assets.