Update

It's the Final Countdown!

This post is meant to connect to the campaign for the final countdown so if you didn't get an email, this might seem out of context! Sign up with yours so we can get you caught up if that's the case.

We only have $500 to go for monthly amount! And we are over half-way left to go for one-time: 37,500!

That one-time goal amount you have seen floating around may seem like a huge number for a mission’s trip, but this isn't for a few days, weeks, months, or even a year. It is meant to pay for a lifetime of mission’s work in Japan. 

These funds will go directly to our "out-going" costs. Just like the money you might need to move into a new house, we need these finances to set up a life in Japan and to be equipped for ministry there. This will pave the way for housing, visas, transportation, flights, two years of language school, and utilities. (You might notice these numbers total up more than what is being asked for, and you’re right! Some has been raised already; we only ask for what we still need)

Our website: https://team.org/givenow/us/add-donation?v2glid=92353 (Here you can do recurring or one-time and it's tax deductible!)

Our One-time Go Fund Me: www.gofundme.com/petkoffs2japan (This is only for one-time donations and they do not give receipts for tax purposes, but you can watch progress here real-time.)

One-Time Costs Graphic.jpg

So What's Going On?

New, almost there, and returning missionairies at Team's conference (Where we also had our final training.)

New, almost there, and returning missionairies at Team's conference (Where we also had our final training.)

We are just about to come up on the one-year anniversary of the fund raising process (August) and a great amount of things have happened in this past year. God as blessed us so much with many people who have a heart for missions that have come on board. We have been flying through the school, orientations, meetings, and more that I know I'm forgetting, but the list is finally down to only one more task. More details and reflection to come (especially for those on the newsletter list) but consider this as a quick catch-up since the last update:

  • We just went to Wheaton College Illinois all of last week to attend Team's pre-departure orientation (this was the last step in the sending process!)
  • We currently sit at about 65% of the monthly commitments needed (both those that have promised, and those that have started now, which helps with our one-time expenses greatly!)
  • Later this year we are planning to hold fundraising events at some of our supporting churches. Lots of interesting and fun ideas; be on the lookout for more info soon to come.
  • A campaign is currently be worked on and should go out sometime later this month by both physical and email forms. We need help growing our connections, so when you see these go out, help us spread the word!
  • We have nothing but supporting building left at this point, once we get 100%, we are set to go!
  • Nick has finished his Master's level studies and is awaiting the diploma
  • TheGoFund, a non-profit working with missionaries going long-term to un-reached places, has partnered with us! This means our student loans will no longer be an issue for our ministry! (Hit the logo and check them out!)
  • We are working on getting networked with some more churches and communities in the Bay Area and Arizona with the possibility of making a more East Coast trip as well. If you know a potential connection we should get in touch with, let us know.

The Heat is Just Beginning

For those that got our more recent newsletter, some of this you might already know, but if you are curious or need a quick catch up, continue on! 

This summer has been filled with events and people, of which, we are thankful for every one. We have now been in California for about 4 months now with plans to make it our "homebase" for some time longer. Though the end of summer has come and gone, and thankfully bringing in lower temperatures in it's absence, we intend to keep our energy high as we move towards the end of the year.

We are very blessed to have hit about 35% of our fundraising goal at this point (granted that number flexed a bit as we waited on a final budget from TEAM in Japan) and with many new friendships to boot! It's been a steady stream of meeting with individuals, small groups, and entire congregations where we get the privilege to share God's call on our lives and present the opportunity for others to be involved in the mission. 

We want to make this time more than just about raising up support and we have recently found an incredible Japanese church in San Jose that has been very welcoming. We are currently involved in their bi-weekly Japanese classes (incredibly helpful), weekly small group, regular service, and the time of fellowship that follows immediately after that. It has been a great blessing to get to know just a few of the people there to hear some incredible testimonies and stories about Japan. We are hopeful to visit this community frequently and look for ways we can serve.

Nick has just one last semester left until the Master's degree journey comes to a close and he can finally take a short reprieve from educational pursuits. For those that don't know, he intends to pursue a Doctorates while in Japan that will enable him to not only be much better prepared for future ministry in that nation but also allow for more opportunities in places missionaries can't always go (such as the public schools). 

We will keep it short, if you want to hear more, please get added to our newsletter! But for a quick recap:

  • We've hit 35% of our fundraising goal
  • We will be travelling over the next several weeks out in Arizona to visit family, friends, and churches
  • We are still looking for a more permanent housing solution as we continue fundraising
    • Currently staying with family in the Bay Area
  • We have joined a more formal class for Japanese language
  • Began attending a local Japanese church 
  • Timeline for Japan is summer of 2017 (Already less than a year!)

Please keep us in your prayers as we travel these next few weeks to meet with a church in Phoenix (our first church we attended as a married couple!) as well as Nick's home church back in Payson and that God would use us to share about His calling on us for Japan. Thank you all so much for your continued prayer and support, it is absolutely what makes this happen and keeps us going! 

A quick glance at our current progress

As more checkpoints pass by, the closer we are to long-term ministry in Japan. Hopefully this quick list will get you up to date at where we are on that path. 

  • We have both finished our undergraduate degrees and Nick has moved into graduate studies.
  • We've officially got one full year of Japanese language self-study behind us with still much more ahead(We can even read the occasional article now!)
  • Just this past May we completed our orientation with TEAM and are now fully-fledged missionaries with them. 
  • The JET program placement was unfortunately not workable, so we have transitioned into traditional long-term missionary status. 
  • We have officially begun the process of building support through partners in our ministry and it has been very encouraging.
  • We have moved out of Phoenix and are spending the summer meeting with individuals and churches to spread the news about our mission and gain partners in that pursuit.
  • We will be making our way out to Erin's family in the Bay Area of California towards the end of summer where we plan to settle down until we head for Japan.
  • Our current hopeful timeline to be in Japan is by June of 2017.