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Dale and Karen at Biei 2014

Dale Jeffery Viljoen

Overview of the life of Dale

Since You are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of Your Name lead and guide me.

Psalm 31:3
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Dale drwn by Sambi san
  • Born 20th September 1955 in Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Worked, came to know the Lord (through YMCA and YFC), and studied in Cape Town
  • Arrived in Japan 3rd March 1979, and studied Japanese for 2 years
  • Church planting ministry in Asahikawa (2 yrs), Hakodate (9 yrs), Otaru (7 yrs)
  • Director of Language, Orientation & Training for OMF Japan in Sapporo (6 yrs)
  • Saw Maude into heaven at 13:56 on Monday, 20th August 2007
  • Married Karen Harless October 2008
  • Member of the Sapporo Chuo Evangelical Christian Church
  • Hokkaido International School Board Chair for three years, now on Board of Councillors
  • Serves on the Blue Cross Samariyakai’s boards
  • Serves on the Sapporo Keswick Convention Steering Committee and the HOCMIN committee
  • “Married” more than 1,800 couples
  • Hobbies: reading, running (up to 2012), walking 3km in a 25m pool; listening to music, “onsens”...
  • Desire: To live on the “cutting edge” of God’s purposes for his life
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Dale at opening of HIS in Niseko

Opening the new Hokkaido International School Niseko campus

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View of Sapporo from a ski-jumper

Dale’s sons: Stephen, Peter and Luke (2007 photo)

There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries.

Brutus, in William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar

Dale’s marriage to Karen

December 28th 2007 saw my sons and I playing Scrabble. I suddenly said, “Who knows, maybe the Lord would have me remarry in 2008.” 2 hours later when I was looking at a Mac computer site I saw an ad for “online dating.” Curious to see what was going on “out there” I clicked on it - to be shocked to see photos and information right in my face. I Googled “Christian online dating” and found the same thing. Just as I was going to put my computer to sleep I noticed “eHarmony” half-way down the list. I
Eharmony logo
was drawn to click on this and was surprised to see no photos, etc., only an invitation to take a free personality test. 25 minutes later I answered the questions to complete this and one name came up - no photo, just a first name, Karen.

eHarmony asks more than 400 questions and is said to “match” on 29 different levels. The idea is to keep anonymity and ask each other various questions of increasing depth through the system before being able to email directly. Because of our brief profiles that we had written, both Karen and I knew who the other was by looking in our Japan missionaries directory. When I saw that Karen had been a missionary with TEAM (The Evangelical Alliance Mission) in Japan since 1992 and was 47, I was interested in what God was doing, and began emailing! I felt led to visit and meet Karen Harless in Nagoya (1,000 km from Sapporo) in January.

At Tim and Wakako's Pasadena wedding
January 10th - 14th saw me in Pasadena, California, translating for my good friend (and “grief companion”) Tim Clark who was marrying Wakako, who had worked for OMF in Japan. Those days were amazing ones. I discovered that Tim is from the same denomination as Karen (Karen is from Stockton Covenant Church in California, USA), and that eHarmony is based in Pasadena and was founded by Dr. Neil Warren, the former dean of Fuller's Graduate School of Psychology. In Pasadena I was also
Dale and Karen at Iiyama for wedding counselling
able to meet with a psychologist who had come to Sapporo last October for ministry and who then was able to have a meal with Luke and I and counsel me the following day. This lady thought that I “was in a good place grief-wise” and encouraged me to go ahead with this new relationship.

God has been central in all of this - He has spoken many times to Karen and I independently about the same things. The match between Karen and I is amazing. My continuing grief for Maude and this new journey with Karen go hand in hand.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11

"For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago."
Ephesians 2:10

Our desire is:

To walk with the Living God,
glorifying Him each day as we reveal
His love and grace.

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