The Gate, Which was Called Beautiful

Well, I’ve been adding some new shots to my albums, so I’ve included links to them at the bottom of this particular post.  I could probably figure out a better way to do this…but I don’t really want to.  Heh. 

Today started my first week completely by myself in the classrooms.  I’m so glad that I have the classes that I do on Tuesday…they are perfect for building my confidence that I can actually teach English.  Hah.  My first class is a group of girls that are just adorable.  I think they’re all in 1st/2nd grade.  One of the girls, Rinka, has an attention problem, and sometimes doesn’t follow along.  But her grandma sits in with us, and keeps her in line, which is nice.  Apparently, I smelled pretty nice today, because at one point, Rinka sticks her nose right on my arm and sniffs me.  She did it a couple times, and then she’d sigh right after, like she had just smelled a flower.  It was so funny.

My second class is of older women, and one college-aged girl.  They are so nice and polite and refined.  I just love spending that hour and a half with them.  Today, in our Bible Time, we went through the story of Lazarus.  I think it had a pretty good impact on them.  Most of their discussion for the Bible Time happens in Japanese, so I have to rely on body language to know what’s going on.  But it goes pretty well, that I can tell. 

For my personal Bible Time, I’m going through Acts.  It’s always an encouraging book to go through at the start of a mission trip.  I’ve always enjoyed it.  I’m breaking down each section, verse by verse, and analyzing each part.  I was really encouraged by the story of the Lame Beggar Healed.  What struck me most was the very first verse of Chapter 3.  It says, “Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.”  Amidst the chaos and fear that surrounded the Lord’s crucifixion, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension…Peter and John, now filled with the Holy Spirit, continue going to the Temple to commune with God.  They were just going on their way, trying to keep in touch with God the Father.  As they were going on, He brought their path passed a lame man, who had sat at the Beautiful Gate for years and years, begging.  It was at this moment, that God did something amazing through Peter, John, and the lame beggar. 

But had not the apostles been faithful in meeting with God, they would not have passed that man, or been in the right heart-set for the miracle to happen.  It made me think about my own condition, here in Japan.  Everything happened so quickly to get me here.  I came with no expectations of what God is going to do.  YET, I didn’t come with an expectant heart…I don’t believe that my heart has truly been ready to receive whatever it is God has for me here.  There’s a difference.  God does not work through our expectations…our expectations can never fulfill the ability of God…but we must have an expecting heart.  We must be prepared for God to do something, and allow ourselves the flexibility to go along with whatever that something is.  Some would say, “But Sarah, how can you say you’re not flexible??  I mean, you went to Japan on a couple week’s consideration and a month and a half preparation.”  But it all comes down to the heart.  Everything pointed to God willing me to come out here to Japan…and I’m enough of a workhorse to know that God’s will is the best thing for me.  But my heart was not necessarily willing.  I’ve never wanted to come to Japan.  My heart is in and for China.  But then again, before I went to China, my heart was in and for Nepal.  God has changed the shape of my heart before, I don’t doubt He can do it again.  But I have to be prepared for it.  I’d appreciate your prayers as I allow God to get me to that point. 

Oh, and here’s the pics.  🙂

Random Shots

On the Street Where I Live

My students and new friends 🙂


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