This is one of a series of emails I sent while preparing and living overseas in Japan, from April 2008 to April 2009. They are mostly for my own benefit, but also for anyone who may care to read them. Enjoy 🙂
Well, I wanted to thank you all for your prayers for the outing on Saturday with Mika and Hiroka. We had so much fun! The day was very full, we took off around 9:45a and didn’t get back to the Center until 9ish-p. First, Mika came and we went over to Green Mall (the Korean street) and watched the parade start off. It was very short, but really neat, we went over to the train station to wait for Hiroka, she missed the first train, so had to catch a later one.
We then went to Sea Mall to see the Hokkaido Island Exhibition. They had all these stands of Hokkaido foods and products. You could get samples of them and then buy some if you liked it. The samples were pretty good, even the fishy stuff…but one thing that stood out were the chocolate-covered potato chips. I guess you can only buy them in Hokkaido, so Mika and Hiroka were really excited about them. I bought us a box and they each bought one and we took them back to the Center to store until we split up for the night. Before that, though, we went to the arcade and had purikura taken, which is just photo-booth pictures and you add embellishments to them electronically. I had done it in China too, but you couldn’t really add designs and captions to those, but the Japanese are really good at it. We enjoyed making goofy faces and funny poses, and they got a kick out of it. I loaded them on my Facebook too, so you can see some of them.
After that we walked to the Kaikyo Messe Tower and had lunch at an organic restaurant…not really my taste, and it was a buffet, but they didn’t have a lot of selection, or quantity. The girls said I ate like a bird, though, because I didn’t get a whole three or four plates of food…those two are pretty tiny but they can eat! Afterwards, we went back to the Center got Mika’s car and drove to the Aquarium where we saw the porpoises make bubble rings and watched the dolphin/seal show. Then, we took the cable car up Hinoyama and then hiked back down. The view was incredible, you could see to the other side of Shimonoseki from the summit. It was great, I loved it. After that, we were hungry for dinner and went to Mr. Donuts in Sea Mall and had Chinese food and coffee. We chilled out at the Center for a little while before the girls decided to go home. It was a great time.
I had asked you to pray for a friendship to grow between us and that our time would point to Christ. I don’t know what prompted it, but at dinner, Mika asked me the difference between God and Jesus. As I was explaining, I took the opportunity to share the Gospel message with her and Hiroka. It’s difficult with those two because they went to Baiko high school and Hiroka is attending Baiko college. Baiko teaches the Bible, and they even pray and sing worship songs, but they teach that the miracles and stories never really happened, and that Jesus was just a good teacher. It’s a shame, but also a wonder that they even teach the Bible at all. Regardless, as I shared some of the stories, the girls had already heard a lot of them. It made it easier, in a way, but more difficult in another. Pray for continued opportunities to share with them and that I would be able to spend more and more time with them.
(At this point of the newsletter, I shared a difficulty happening on the team itself and asked for prayer. Something that surprised me when I first went on the mission field (not this trip, but one much earlier) is that other missionaries are not perfect and have issues just like the rest of us. If I feel inadequate on the mission field, then I’m sure others have sins and struggles as well. I’m not including what the issue was, just that there was one in hopes that it may encourage anyone preparing for the mission field as well. People are not perfect – only God is. You must have grace and mercy for other believers, especially those in ministry and when you are far from home.)
Well, here are the links to my pictures and a couple of videos for you as well:
Links to photos and videos have expired and been removed.
Have a great week guys!