Friday, June 12, 2009

A video

More pics

Preparing for the FUSE

This past week we have finally started passing out flyers for the FUSE. Matt arrived on Monday, so there is now five of us short-termers here. Debbie arrives this Tuesday.

On Sunday at church, a girl named Emi came, who Christine said hadn't been to church in at least a year. She had come just cause she heard us short-termers would be there, and was so excited to meet us. We exchanged emails and she will be going out-to-eat with all of us on Monday. So keep praying for God to work in her life.

On Tuesday after morning meeting, where we had lots of brainstorming on ideas for the FUSE, we went to Machida to pass out flyers. First we stopped the the building where we will be having the FUSE and prayed there for God to embolden us and to open people's hearts. Then, since there were 3 guys and 3 girls, we split up into groups of 2...Hannah and Brad went together one way, Becky and Matt another, and me and Mark another. Many people sounded interested in coming, even though we still didn't know Japanese well enough to communicate too well. We passed out over 500 flyers in the couple hours we were there. When we all met up again, Hannah started a really good conversation with a group of about 6 highschoolers and we invited them to our house for an American dinner; they were quite excited about trying peanut-butter cookies. We exchanged facebook information, and they plan on coming over sometime after high-school testing is over with, near the beginning of July.

After that, Mark went home and we went out-to-eat. Delicious food, American food, but that's besides the point. Becky commented on a shirt a girl was wearing, and that she wanted one like it. Later we left to get the train home, and the same girl and her friend were on the train. So Becky started a conversation with them about where they got the shirt. The girls were really excited to talk with us, we exchanged emails, and they are hopefully coming over soon to eat tacos, which is the "American" dinner they really wanted to try.

When we got off the train, the guys went towards where they're staying and us girls went the other direction to our apartment. Us girls ended up singing, "Hallelujah! Thine the glory" in 3-part harmony on the way home. We've sung alot while we walk places here. This time, though, we were suprised when an elderly Japanese man turned around and said, "Oh that's beautiful" English. Turns out he's been to the States to be a Spanish teacher (weird, huh?) so he knows English well. We had a good long talk with him, and it sounds like God has been chasing him his whole life. All these different Christians he's met and everything. He knew the Gospel and thought it was great we came to Japan to share it, even though he's not a Christian yet. But he's planning on coming to the Noborito church to see us again this sunday, so hopefully soon.

So as if that wasn't enough divine appointments, the next day we had Japanese class again...and God showed up again. We got in a circle of students, some who knew more Japanese than we did, and we were supposed to have a conversation with them. Well, one person "by chance" asked Hannah in Japanese what we're doing in Japan, so she pulled out the FUSE flyer and told them about it. One Nepal-ese guy and one Nigerian guy we were becoming friends with there are planning to come to church this sunday now too, and another guy seemed somewhat interested, so we'll keep working on him. It was just so great, so awesome.

So lots of divine appointments in such a short time. On top of that, we still have 3 Japanese classes a week, interesting food experiences, 2 worship practices a week, and one-to-one discipleship time. So there's plenty going on here, but I thought all those divine appointments would be most encouraging for ya'll to hear.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Pics of me, Hannah, Brad, Becky, and Kengo hanging out

Me, Hannah, Brad, Becky, and Kengo...we all hung out at us girls' apartment today, and took a picture, Japanese style with the peace sign :)

This is Becky and Kengo doing the "turkey"...a mix between a high-five and a fist. We taught him and it has become our unofficial way of greeting each other now.

Friday, June 5, 2009

My first week in Japan

Most of the week has been busy with getting used to the layout of the city, where everything is. We caught a train to Machida (where the church we're planting will be) and had a lookaround there, which was fun. Since then, we have went on two train-rides since that we were able to figure out all on our own, without being able to speak Japanese. We are having 3 Japanese classes each week...two are just regular Japanese classes, and 1 is a Bible class, where we will learn how to say different Bible verses in Japanese. Here is a picture from our first Japanese class.

We also figured out where to shop for different groceries, where the post office and atm are, and registered for our alien registration card. Mark and Yuiko and Christine (Tim has been gone this past week) have been a big help in figuring out all this stuff. Here's a pic of us four short-termers and Mark, followed by a pic of us four short-termers and Christine.

The rest of the week has been spent making plans for the church plant. The title of the church plant is called "The Fuse" which is starting out as an outreach, since the "church" is just the short-termers and Mark and Yuiko and a couple Japanese people so far. Since Japanese students love westerners and our culture, helping with English will be one way to draw them in. The other way is through music, which they love. Here is a picture of our first worship practice just yesterday.

In the picture of our worship practice, Me and Yuiko are singing (Yuiko is the worship leader), Hannah is playing piano/keyboard, Joe is playing drums, Becky is playing bass guitar, and Kengo is playing electric guitar. Kengo is a Japanese guy who recently got saved, and he is super-great at guitar. We are doing Hillsong United songs in English and Japanese both, so I've gotta figure out these Japanese words quickly. But our first worship practice went well. It was lots of fun!

The start date for the church is June 28. Until then we will be practicing Japanese, practicing music, and passing out flyers for it. Here's the flyers we side is Japanese, one English.

That's about all the main things we've been doing so far. This coming week we will be passing out flyers and practicing music, plus on Monday Matt gets here so he'll be joining us.Will write again soon.

-- We will learn Japanese quickly
-- We will learn the songs quickly
-- We will make key relationships with Japanese in the area this coming week
-- The people we meet will come to the Fuse and meet God there

-- Our first worship practice went well. We work together as a team well.
-- We have a guitar player and a bass guitar...both of which we didn't have, and were praying about getting.
-- All four of us are already making relationships with Japanese in the area...slowly but surely.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Here's More Pics

Mark and Yuiko, the leaders of the Machida church plant that we are working with, and their daughter Hana.

Hannah reading to Hana

The first one is Jesus name in katakana, the second is my name in katakana, and the third is me, Becky, and Hannah's name in katakana.

here's the homework sensei Brad begged the Japanese instructors for. We each got 42 pages of this....yeah, thanks alot Brad :)

Here's a couple pictures of me.


Here's Hannah on her computer.

This is Becky...she's trying to crack her back.

Hopefully sometime in the near future I'll have a chance to give you an update on what's going on over here. Stay posted for more.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Finally...the pictures you've been waiting for!!!

Sorry it took me forever to get these pics up. Had problems getting them on the computer, and then had trouble getting them from the computer onto the blog. But we finally figured it out I hope. Let's see if this works.

These first two pics are specifically for my brother Justin. He loves legos. This me and Hannah saw at the Chicago airport on our way to get food. It is a somewhere-around-eight-feet-tall statue of liberty made completely out of legos. Yeah it was cool. Thought my brother might want to see that one.

This is our shower. That's all it is. We have to first turn on the gas, then the flame, then the heat, and finally the shower. Quite complicated at first. But they definitely have hot water here. Don't have to worry about a cold shower unless you forget how to turn on everything right.

This is me and Hannah's bedroom.

This is our kitchen.

This is a good explanation of what Japan's like. This is a bike-parking lot. There are barely any car-parking lots, but tons of these. Everyone rides bikes everywhere. A nice quote one of us missionaries said that we've kinda picked up on is "Everything in Japan is small, except apartment buildings and bike parking lots.

This is "Life." Our grocery store. Other than this place, we will also be shopping at the 100-yen store (dollar store) and a nice veggie/fruit stand nearby.

These are pictures of what me and Hannah call "Life Square", where the grocery store is. On weekends, many teens and college students hang around this area, so much of our outreach time will be spent here.

This was our first meal in I'm kidding :) The first time eating there was last night, and would you believe that they taste better than American Mcdonalds? They also have KFC, Dennys, Dominoes, and Wendy's here; haven't tried them yet.

This is my first meal in a Japanese restaurant. A cooked (not raw, like Becky had) egg, fried pork, noodles, rice, meso soup, cabbage, and fried sweet potato.

This is Hannah's first meal at a Japanese restaurant. This is raw tuna. Let's just say she was a little more adventurous than me. But I have a feeling I'll work my way up to it by the end of the year.

Pretty flowers :) They have amazingly beautiful plants over here, from flowers to trees.

This is the start of me and Hannah's card collection. By the end of the trip we hope to have the walls full of cards and letters, so please write us. Our address here is in the previous blog.

Note: We are also collecting pictures of everyone for our walls. I had a picture of all the pictures on our wall so far, but couldn't get it to rotate correctly, so just know that you should send us pictures as well :)

Here is a picture of the other 4 missionaries with me. Starting on the left is Hannah, my room-mate; she is the keyboard player for the worship team. Next to her is Brad, our "sensai" who is helping us learn Japanese, even though he's just learning himself. He's picking it up quicker than we can. Next is Becky, who is staying for a couple weeks with me and Hannah until Debbie gets here, then they move in together; she will be playing bass guitar on the worship team. Finally, all the way on the right, is Joe. He is the drummer for our worship team, and he's also excellent at the trumpet.

Note: Matt and Debbie are coming later in the trip; also, a couple other missionaries may be joining us.

Here is a couple of pictures from the 6th floor of an apartment building. This is a great place to see the Noborito area.

This is a picture of the side of an apartment building. You can see all the clothes hanging out to dry. If you were to go to use an actual dryer to dry your clothes, it costs 300 yen (about $3) for 15 minutes.

This is a picture of a highrise apartment building. Many of the tallest buildings in the city are apartment buildings since so most people in Japan live in apartments.

This is a picture of Becky with the bass guitar we purchased. It was totally God how we got the guitar, strap, new strings, case, and 1-year warranty, all for 45000 yen which is about $450.