This was my first Sunday here in Shimonoseki. Apparently the missionaries are required to go to the Kawanaka (main church) service. From the train station near the Center, it costs 190yen, 380y roundtrip. For an approximate cost, just divide the yen amount by 100 and you’ll get the USD amount…but it’s not completely accurate as it’s about 93 y/1 usd. It’s intimidating meeting all the Japanese church members because I don’t know how many really know English or not…so I just smile and shake hands and bow slightly to all of them and wait for their cue. They are used to dealing with foreigners, so it’s not a big deal…they’re very forgiving for breaking social norms. But, I don’t want to do anything wrong.
Pastor Tony introduced me and then had me sing a solo. After a mix-up of not having any music for it, I ended up singing “The Wonderful Cross” with their pianist. Tony’s daughter Tiffany is home on spring break from Thailand. She goes to high school in Chang Mai for missionary kids…and she is really nice and fun to talk to. We’re having a group of the church gals over for a movie night/sleepover this Saturday, so I’ll get to chat some more with her. I’m excited to build a relationship with these girls, and Eri will be there. She is so sweet (we went to Kokura with her a couple days ago)…pray for her family as they are not believers. Her dad actually goes to a new Buddhist sect temple near our Center. We walk by it on the way to the train station, Daiei and Sea Mall. I’m getting my bearings on the simple paths now…but beyond that, it’s still a big city. Once I get a cell phone for emergency calls, I might get myself lost and try to find my way back to the Center.
After church, Brian and his wife Yoko, invited Samantha and I to have lunch with them and their two little girls. Their daughters names are Naomi (6) and Sara (3). They are so much fun. Sara is Samantha’s shadow…and I think that Naomi is going to adopt me. Hah! She and I were having fun with my camera after lunch while Yoko helped Sam with her Japanese studying. I’ll have to get the pictures up soon…but not today…it’s pretty late. We came back to the Center for very little activity. I did some laundry, and have been in my room writing letters and responding to people. It’s tough keeping up with correspondence. I will be going with Taka tomorrow to Kawanaka to sign my contract and finish orientation. Then in the evening I’m having lunch with Pastor Tony’s family. In the afternoon, I will try my hand at grocery shopping! Woohoo!!