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 🙂
Happy Mother’s Day!!!!
I have a bunch of mothers and a couple mothers-to-be on my update list, so I want to wish you all a Happy Mother’s Day!
Today was a really great day on the Japan side! We had combined service at Kawanaka so there were a ton of people. I was pretty nervous because I was asked to play my violin this morning, and I hadn’t practiced with the others yet…only with the pianist, and then doing my own practicing until this morning. I was nervous, but everything went really well and everyone seemed to enjoy it in the praise team. It’ll probably be a monthly kind of thing…but I’ll have to wait and see what Pastor Tony thinks. It was fun though. Samantha gave her testimony in Japanese too. It was her final exam for her Japanese class, which doubled as a distance learning class for her degree she’s working on with Liberty University. She did really well, and I sat next to Megumi, the Japanese teacher, (whose name means “grace” by the way) and she only made a few notes on her piece of paper and not a whole slew…so Samantha was encouraged by the piece of info.
I had asked for you to pray for the owners of the restaurant I’ve been building a relationship with, Yoshio-san and Satsuki-san. I wasn’t sure if they would come to the service this morning, and it got to 10am and I still didn’t see them. Suddenly, Samantha got my attention and nodded over to the middle seats and they there were!! I went and sat with them, and Yoko, Brian’s wife, sat next to me and helped with showing them where to read in the Bible as we came to passages. It was so neat. They came just to hear me play violin, and I am so excited to know what kind of a friendship has been forming with us. I really pray that they heard the Gospel and were amazed by the love in that church. A lot of people went up to greet them, and Satsuki also received a gift along with the other mothers in the church. She was really pleased with that. Please pray for continued interest and for our new relationship to grow and for more opportunities to share in a non-confrontational way.
We also had another visitor at church. Mark, an exchange student from Australia, is studying Japanese at the university near the train station between the church and the Center. I got to chat with him some, and Eri and I coerced him to get some obento (prepared lunch) with us. It looks like he really likes our church and is going to come back next week and throughout his time here (he’ll be heading back to Australia to continue his studies in Japanese medicine) until January. Deborah, he’s from Brisbane, which I was pretty sure was where you had worked when you were Down Under. I’m so glad to have another English-speaking gaijin (foreigner) with us.
This week, I am getting a new class Tuesday mornings, and I lost my once a month Saturday class. I’m kind of relieved about the Saturday class, though, as the curriculum was completely different than the regular one. The Tuesday morning class is of older women and the setting is more like an “English Club” than a class. We’re all preparing for another International Cafe! Please pray in preparation for that, the we will have many returning visitors like Mika and Hiroka, but also new ones. I’m going to take a couple flyers down to Green Mall to give one to the man from Nigeria we met a couple weeks ago, and also the restaurant employee, Tetsu, who helped us find bulgogi. Pray that I can get there on a day the Ghetto store is opened, and also that I can find Tetsu, as I don’t know his work schedule or where he lives, but only remember where he works. 🙂 I know God will work it out!
I think that’s just about it. It sounds like I’m far from worrying about this, but one thing I asked for pray for in the Ladies’ Prayer Meeting this afternoon was that I would not cross the line from contentedness to stagnation. I pray that God would continue to give me the energy needed to make contact and build these relationships with Japanese people. I have a whole year, yeah, but only a year…and I don’t want to waste any time.
If you don’t recognize any names, places, events mentioned in here, then please check up with my blog at: http://xanga.com/pkcricket. (I’m sorry, it’s kind of hard to navigate and find things on my Xanga blog, which is why I moved over to WordPress. If you go to the calendar and get to the complete list of entries, you should be able to narrow down your search by getting to the May 2008 entries. Hopefully that helps you.)
Also, I have just a few more pictures up. Sakura, Samantha and I took a walk up to Oinoyama this evening to see the sunset view from the mountain. Check it out!:
Links to photos have expired and have been removed.