By: Ruby Crowe
When I was seven years old my parents, two younger sisters and I moved to southern Japan. We had lived on the Northern island of Hokkaido since I was a baby, but we were moving to the outskirts of Tokyo. I attended a Japanese preschool since I was 3 years old and my parents planned on putting me in an English speaking Christian school for my elementary years. But I saw my neighborhood kids walking to school everyday and told my parents I wanted to know my neighbors and have Japanese friends. The next month I went to the school where nobody spoke English and I didn’t look like anybody there with my blond hair and brown eyes. Slowly I learned the language and tried to fit in.
But only two years later it was time to move back home to North Carolina. My whole family missed Japan so much, but once I looked around I realized that God had put us in the right place. The school I went to was so different from the school in Tokyo. . In Japan the teachers and rules were very strict and nobody talked about Christianity. But in America my third grade teacher shared her testimony in class! She had been a missionary kid in Africa! I lived there from second to fourth grade. I also made some close friends that I still keep in touch with today.
But when I was ten we moved to Columbus, Ohio to follow my dad’s job as a Chick-fil-A owner. It was hard moving again and it took me a while to make friends and of course I missed my old home and friends very much. But God did something amazing by moving us to Ohio. We quickly learned that Columbus, Ohio has a very large Japanese population in America. My parents started teaching ESL at our church and we became very connected to the Japanese community. At the end of the first year we moved about 15 minutes away from where we lived. Moving 15 minutes was easier than moving from another country, but then Covid came.
It was hard making friends during COVID in a sixth grade only school, where everybody already had friends. I got very lonely, then my parents considered an option we never had considered before: homeschooling. We thought and prayed about it and everyone felt very clearly that this was what God wanted us to do. So my two sisters and I looked for a co-op we could join so we could meet some new people. A co-op is where a bunch of homeschoolers get together and do fun things or learn. We found one that had exactly three spots open, it was a theater group. Everyone was so welcoming and nice it didn’t take long for all the new people to make friends. We love it so much we decided to do it again this year.
I love how we can trace back through the events of our lives and God is always putting us exactly where we are supposed to be. So I know it’s hard to think it in the middle of a difficult moment, but I challenge you to look back on your life. You will find that God has been there the whole time and He’s helping you with each step, move and change in your life!