My first worship service in Japan was amazing! I was so excited to meet the people that I would serve with and learn from while in Japan. They were so nice and so humble. I don’t really understand how much it means to be a Christian in Japanese culture but from what I have heard, these people have gone against their culture and society. God opened my eyes to how precious these people are. God has softened my heart so much and each day he has “tuned” (to borrow a phrase from a friend) me in some way. Please pray for the people that are searching for God. Pray that he would put someone in their lives so they could learn more about him.
On another note, I was invited to eat dinner with a Japanese friend. It was so much fun and a great learning experience. The menu: sushi (sea urchin, squid, scallops, salmon, tuna, shrimp, salmon eggs and a smaller fish egg), grilled pigs tongue, grilled chicken with leeks, bamboo, pickled melon, tuna salad and green tea. I ate one of everything and I was surprised at how much I liked it. For the record I asked after I ate. Shinobu’s family was GREAT!! I am so happy that God has put them in my life. They bought me groceries and sent some of the leftovers with me.
I wandered around the city tonight. It has so many cool shops and restaurants. It is a surreal feeling to know that you are in a city that you know nothing about and have no immediate way of finding out where you are at the time. It is great to just set off and explore. A very liberating experience.
Introductions. This morning we all met the mayor and the staff of the Mito City board of education. Then we met all of the head English teachers of the schools in Mito City. I was so excited to meet the staff at my school. The vice principal picked me up and took me to the school. I thought he was the head English teacher. When we got to school I sat down with the principal for about an hour and a half. He spoke broken English and I spoke broken Japanese. We sat there some more. He tried to explain what I would do. I think I agreed to mow his lawn and water his fence. I was hoping that he wasn’t asking me to teach 4 extra classes on Saturday. After our pow wow I met all of the teachers and I introduced myself in Japanese and said what I thought was yuroshiku onegaishimasu “it’s nice to meet you” (roughly translated). I thought about what I had just said and realized that I said yukuri onegaishimasu “slowly please”. Oh well, chalk one up for being a crazy foreigner. Most of the teachers speak some English and several speak very good English. I made friends with the secretary so I think I can make it. Tomorrow I meet the students and brave a school lunch, Japanese style. I hope to take pictures and post them soon.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
I arrived in Tokyo yesterday at 3:45 (Japan time). I have been blessed to meet some great people so far and I am excited to see these relationships grow. This has been a trip full of firsts; first time on an airplane, I saw the ocean for the first time today and I experienced my first earthquake last night. I woke up to my bed shaking and I wondered what was going on. I really didn't understand what was going on because I went right back to sleep and subconciously thought "I think that was an earthquake."