I hope this update finds you well. I am pretty sure no one reads this anymore based on my times viewed tab that I have. However, I will continue to update it just in case.
The month of December went pretty fast between finalizing wedding plans and getting ready for Christmas and everything else. The first weekend of December, my host family from when I was an exchange student took Cassie and I as a wedding gift to Nasu Tochigi which is a few hours north of Ibaraki. It was nice just to get away for a couple of days and forget everything that was happening here in Ibaraki.
On the 8th, I was able to meet with Saki and talk about the Bible some with her. Some thing happened recently that really affected her views towards Christianity. Living in Japan has really shown me that people really watch Christians closely, and their actions really affect the way people view Christianity. However, we all make mistakes and that is one thing I wish that I could point out to them. They all seem to think we have to be perfect as Christians, and we are not. Please pray that Saki may open up her mind again and that God will touch her heart and open her up to Christianity more. After Saki and I met, Cassie and I went to an end of the year party for an the International group I spoke for earlier in 2012. It was a great opportunity for us to teach about Christ because they asked what led us together and why we loved each other so much. Japanese are not so open about their relationship with their spouses or sometimes go as far as to not claiming them. However, we were able to show them a Christian example of a godly couple as we brought up Christianity a lot that night.
On the 9th, Cassie and I met with some people at a church about a possible position change in our jobs in the coming year for a new ministry. However, it wasn't quite what we were looking for and so we decided not to go any further with it for the time being. Nonetheless it was great to see a lot of old faces too. While it is possible however that God could open doors in the future, we will just continue to wait for his timing and the things he wants us to for His glory.
On the 14th, we had a Christmas party at Cassie's apartment with some old friends. We enjoyed a great mixture of foods that we eat in America for Christmas and some things Japanese think Americans enjoy for Christmas like KFC Chicken. We also enjoyed drinking some egg nog, playing dirty santa and watching a movie together. This also allowed for us to talk about the meaning we celebrate Christmas back at home. Altogether there were about 6 or 7 us. We all had a great time.
While I try to stay effective doing ministry outside the church, I was also busy doing some things at the church this past month. I continued to study with Cassie's coworker teacher Kato on Tuesday evenings and led worship once again. Annually, the church also has a Christmas party for the kids they teach English to at the church. I ended up going there one evening to help them with their Christmas party and also dressed up as Santa Claus. It was a really great time.
The best part of the month of December was being able to spend Christmas with my family this year and marry my best friend on the 29th. While it was all a whirlwind, we had a great time and had such great and exceptional help from many people to make our day so special. I am so thankful that we had the great help that we did. While it was already stressful for me, if these people would have not been there to help us, I may have had a panic attack. Thank you to all of those who helped make this possible. I am also thankful for all of you who came and made our big day special.
As for January there is not much to post about things going on here in Japan. We spent the first week of January on our honeymoon in Cancun Mexico. It was nice to finally get away from everything and just relax and even see some Mayan ruins like the Chichen Itza. We haven't been able to do that for a long time. After we got back from our honeymoon, we spent a week between Kansas and Oklahoma seeing old friends, visited Oklahoma Christian, saw everyone at the Yukon congregation, went to some doctor appointments a Thunder game and hunting, and most importantly, spent some much missed needed time with our families. When we left on Sunday to come back to Japan, we spent over 18 hours on an airplane because a bad snow storm came to Japan. We ended up flying to another area until we could come back and safely land at the airport in Tokyo. When we finally arrived at the airport, we found out all the public transportation had been shut down and all hotels were full so we ended up sleeping on the airport floor the first night and had to take paid leave on Tuesday from work because we couldn't get back in time. We are now finally settled back in our apartment and got our Christmas tree taken down and enjoying newlywed life. Thats about all I have for now. Please pray for us as we start out our marriage and that we can build a family that glorifies God in all that we do during our time here in Japan. May God bless you all.
At Chichen Itza