みんなさん、こんばんは！ Good evening everyone!
I am sorry it has been a long time since I wrote you last. Things have been somewhat busy recently and they are starting to slow down somewhat once again because of the New Year approaching. However, we still have many Christmas parties to do before the real holiday comes in. However, things have started to wind down.
The past few Saturdays have been very busy. On the 19th, Tomobe Church hosted a night where a group from a couple of churches in Hitachi came to teach us new songs. The group is called Accapella Praise Night. The singing was great and very uplifting. Afterwards Marlin and Jeanne and I went to eat with some of the young people who were singing group.
Acappella Praise Night Team
The young people we ate with afterwards
On the 20th we had church as usual. The 21st we took a trip to Costco in Tokyo. For those of you who do not know what Costco is, they are supposably all over America. They are like a Sam’s Club where you have to be a member. While we were there we picked up food supplies for church camp as well as some personal supplies. It was nice to be able to get some things from America as well. After shopping we went to Omika church to plan more for church camp at the end of the month.
Costco in Tokyo Japan
On the 22nd and 23rd were holidays. I ended up going to Shizuoka on the 23rd with the other young people from Tomobe church to an all church worship. It was great to see some older friends I had not seen in a while and meet some Christian brothers and sisters that I had been told to meet from people in America but had not yet had the chance to meet them. The singing was incredible as most churches in Japan have such few people that it is hard to have the same kind of singing you would hear in an American church.
Everyone who came to the all church worship
You could see Mt. Fuji from the building where we had the worship
On the way to the all church worship
I continued my normal class schedule on the 24th and 25th. On Friday, I generally meet with a man by the name of Tamio. Tamio is not so interested in Christianity but wants to know what his purpose in life is. I believe I told you in the last post that we are reading the book Purpose Driven Life together. The past couple of weeks he has seemed to understand the meaning of it more but still has a hard time grasping how to comprehend it and put it into action. Pray that his heart will soften and that he will understand that this is a process he cant do on his own to figure out life but that he needs God to help him understand his life more. After my classes were over that night, I had the young people over to the house for our young people activity and devo at the house. We played video games in my bedroom. We had about five or six people show up.
On Saturday the 26th, we had a Thanksgiving dinner at the church building and invited everyone in the community. All together we had about 25-35 people from the church and the community come. We had everything from Turkey and dressing to mashed potatoes to sweet potatoes. Many people were wanting to know if I still got to enjoy Thanksgiving and the answer is yes. While it was not the same as Thanksgiving at home, it was close enough. Also, while we were there, I met a few new young people and tried talking to them as much as I could since they do not know English. By the end of the night we were joking together and enjoyed talking to each other. I ended up inviting them to a Christmas party by the end of the night and they seemed very interested in coming. I hope that they will come again this week so I can try to find ways to build my relationship with them.
Everyone enjoying Thanksgiving Dinner
Everyone Who Came
The Food. Yes some people actually brought sushi
More of the food
On the 27th, I was able to have a Bible Study with my student Masako again. Masako seems to be at a very confused state. Recently we have been studying about God. She told me that she believes that God was the one who created the Earth. However she also believes the Japanese (Shinto) way that everything that exists is a God. I told her that if God created everything and God wants no other Gods to exist then how could everything be God. She is still having a hard time grasping how to understand that. However, I feel that we have made a little progress. Pray that Masako might come to realize how it is not possible for both to happen. I gave her homework to think about it because we will have a month before we can meet again. Please be praying that she may come to a realization of some kind during this time.
One of the days I had been really looking forward to is the 28th to come. In the morning and afternoon, I went to Ibaraki Christian to teach my classes. After I finished, the time had finally come to see my girlfriend Cassie. It had been 80 days since I had seen my girlfriend and it was becoming very difficult for us to both be so far apart and have completely different schedules. However, she finally arrived on the 28th in Japan to become an elementary teacher assistant. It was so great to finally see her and spend some time with her. We spent the day Wednesday together and even went to Ibaraki Christian so that she could meet some of my students. Afterwards we went to the beach and then had dinner with some of my friends who are teaching in Mito. (Allen and Laura). Afterwards we came home. The rest of the week Cassie went with me to watch my classes and the things I do at work. On Saturday, we finally got her moved into her apartment and settled in.
Eating Sushi with Cassie after she arrived
Noriko and Yuuki took me to the airport to get her. These are some of Cassie's good friends.
Well I am going to stop there for now. I will write another update here in a couple weeks again rather than in the next 2 and a half weeks. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you all for your support and prayers and may God continue to bless you!